Each weekday The Front Page keeps you up to date with the biggest news in New Zealand. Today's big story: the Government announces it's scrapping the proposed capital gains tax. Hosted by Juliette Sivertsen.

The proposed capital gains tax is no more

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Cabinet could not reach a consensus.

She says she still believes such a tax would have made a difference, but a Government that reflects the majority of New Zealanders has not been able to find support for this proposal.


Ardern says the Labour Party has campaigned on this for three elections but it's now off the table.

She has pledged that under her leadership, Labour will no longer campaign for or implement a capital gains tax.

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But it was National Party leader Simon Bridges who has claimed credit for the dumping of the CGT.

"Today is a real win for National under my leadership," Bridges told reporters this afternoon.

Bridges says NZ First would have supported a CGT were it not for National's vocal opposition - a claim quickly rubbished by NZ First leader Winston Peters and Green party co-leader James Shaw.

"We've embarrassed the Government out of a CGT and that is good for New Zealanders," Bridges said.

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The chairman of the Tax Working Group has put the blame for the Government's rejection of a capital gains tax firmly in the lap of Winston Peters.

Speaking to the Herald, Michael Cullen, the Tax Working Group's (TWG) chairman and a former Labour Finance Minister, said he was "disappointed, but not surprised" with the Government's decision.

He claims the Government was unable to proceed because of Peters and suggested Peters made the decision for political reasons.

"When you're sitting on about 3 per cent in the polls, you've not got a lot of political capital to use up."

Cullen added that he was disappointed with what happened, but not in the least bit surprised.

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One group that's relieved - landlords.

The head of an organisation representing about 7000 of New Zealand's 270,000 landlords expressed relief at the Government's capital gains tax rejection.

Andrew King, the NZ Property Investors Federation executive officer, is applauding the Government, saying a CGT would not have been fair or right, and would have negatively affected more than one million tenants by increasing costs.

The Federation had strongly opposed capital gains tax on rental properties, telling the Tax Working Group last year that landlords were already heavily taxed, the new regime would not bring down house prices and landlords already paid $1.5 billion in annual taxes.

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Meanwhile the Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff says the decision to scrap the tax is "hugely disappointing".

He says working people need a fairer New Zealand, a place where everyone can all thrive, and ensuring that everyone contributes their share is a key part of that.

Auckland Action Against Poverty echoed the sentiments, condemning the decision to not fix the tax system which it says benefits a wealthy few.

Co-ordinator Ricardo Menendez March says the Government's refusal to implement bold tax reform to address the growing wealth gap is a disservice to the most vulnerable.

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Police have confirmed it took them 18 minutes to make an arrest after first being called to shootings at two Christchurch mosques.

The shooting saw 50 people killed and a further 39 injured after the terror attacks at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque on March 15.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said he wanted the public to have as much information as possible about their response to the two incidents.

However, given the matter was now before the court there were certain details that couldn't be released.

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New Zealand's national threat level has been moved down from high, to medium.

It has been at high since the terror attacks on March 15.

The terror threat level is set by CTAG - a multi-agency group with the primary task of continually assessing New Zealand's threat environment.

Medium is defined as when a terrorist attack is assessed as feasible and could well occur. The new level remains higher than it was before the March 15 terrorist attack, when the threat level was low.

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That's the Front Page for today, Wednesday 17th April, making sure you're across the biggest news of the day. For more on these stories, check out The New Zealand Herald, or tune in to Newstalk ZB.

You can subscribe to this podcast on Apple podcasts here, iHeartRadio here, and Stitcher here.

If you like to stay up to date on social media, you can find host Juliette Sivertsen on Twitter.