New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters says he won't be "loose as a goose" and go off script in the capital gains tax debate.

Speaking to media this afternoon, then facing questions in Parliament, the Deputy Prime Minister repeatedly dodged questions about his on-the-record rejection of a capital gains tax, before the 2017 election.

Instead, he was sticking to the same line as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that the Government would come out with its response to the Tax Working Group's recommendations in April.

Before the last election, Peters told Q&A that a capital gains tax was "off the table".


"The two factors are – it doesn't work and the second thing is there is no fairness if you haven't got capital losses as well."

He also said, during Newshub's ASB's Great Financial Debate in 2017, a CGT "won't work in this country. They won't work in any other country. They have never worked. No."

National deputy leader Paula Bennett put these comments to Peters during question time, but he did not give a straight answer.

"Here's the fine point about a democratic, constitutional Government – and that is we're going to consult the people of this country over the next two weeks," he said, speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister.

It was a similar story when Peters was talking to media before going into the House.

"You all know full well, because it has been our line and it has been for some time, that we're going to read the report, take serious advice on what tax experts and what others think of that and, more importantly, consult the business and the working end of town.

"When we know what the people have said, we will make our decisions by the end of April."

This morning, Finance Minister Grant Robertson would not say when in April the Government would announce its response.


Asked if he had shifted his position from before the election, Peters did not directly answer.

"This is a report… which requires serious consideration and consultation with New Zealand business and working community."

He played down his previous suggestions that farmers don't have to worry about a CGT.
He would not go into any detail about the report's recommendations.

"I'm not going to be a loose goose and not stick to the script, and the script is very clear."

Greens co-leader James Shaw said his party was now considering the recommendations as well.

"We are going to be working through all of them with our partners in Government over the next few weeks."

He would not rule anything in, or out – although he did say it was "pretty clear what Green Party policy is, it hasn't changed in the past 20 years".

The Greens have supported implementing a capital gains tax since the party was formed.

Last week, Shaw came out strongly supporting the tax and suggested that the Government shouldn't be reelected if a CGT was not adopted.

He said both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Peters had talked to him about comments, but would not say what was said.

"Let's just keep that between us."