Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has given a non-committal response to questions about whether she would back Winston Peter's proposal to launch a government-owned KiwiSaver provider.

A private members bill, put forward by Peters, to establish an independent working group aimed at setting up a government-owned and operated KiwiSaver provider, known as KiwiFund, was drawn last week.

It aims to set up a group of four to five specialists who would examine the accountability of current KiwiSaver providers relating to complaints of charging exorbitant fees, unethical investments, and profiteering in the trading of KiwiSaver providers.

The group would then advise on setting up KiwiFund which would have lower and more transparent fees, be required to keep its profits in New Zealand, give preferential treatment to New Zealand-based investments and invest in a socially and ethically responsible way.


KiwiFund would be supported by a government guarantee.

Asked by Mike Hosking on NewsTalk ZB this morning whether she would support the bill Ardern said she hadn't looked at it.

"To be honest I haven't looked at the detail of that individual member's bill."

Ardern said Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First had all put forward private members bills.

She couldn't say whether the proposal had been raised in coalition talks without looking at the bill.

"I wouldn't give you a hard and fast answer right now."

But Ardern said she wanted everyone to be in KiwiSaver.

"Do we want everyone to be in KiwiSaver? Yes. Of course there are different ways to encourage that."


She said discussions around compulsory superannuation saving had been around for a long time.

In the past there had been ways to encourage more KiwiSaver engagement but she said some sweeteners that past governments had removed had reduced people's likelihood to engage with the scheme.

The National-led government removed the $1000 kick-start payment which all new members received and halved an annual member tax credit from $1043 to $521.

Labour has yet to release details of its KiwiSaver plans other than to say it wants to get all workers into the scheme and increase the minimum contribution rate from 3 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

The government already owns a KiwiSaver provider. Kiwi Wealth is owned by Kiwi Group Holdings which is owned by the government, ACC and the NZ Superannuation Fund.

There are no restrictions on where it can invest but it does have a socially responsible investment policy.