New Zealand general election: tax plans and policies of the main parties
28 September 2023 | Minutes to read: 8

New Zealand general election: tax plans and policies of the main parties

By William Buck

Updated 9 October 2023

As the upcoming election draws near, discussions on goods and services tax (GST) and income tax are becoming increasingly relevant to anyone who earns or spends money – which essentially includes all New Zealanders.

With the main political parties providing more details about their tax policies and proposed actions if they win the election, we’ve compiled a brief overview of the key tax policies announced so far.

Labour Party

The focal points of Labour’s tax policy coming into the election include the GST announcement and modifications to the Working for Families Tax Credit. Their plan proposes no adjustments to income tax rates, and no plans to introduce new taxes, such as a Wealth Tax or Capital Gains Tax.

Key policy Details
Remove GST from fruit and vegetables From 1 April 2024, fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables will have GST removed, but this won’t apply to canned and dried items or juices.
Increase In-Work Tax Credit Labour will increase the In-Work Tax Credit for families with children earning less than $120,000 from $72.50 to $97.50 per week from 1 April 2024.
Increase Working for Families abatement threshold From April 2026, Labour will lift the Working for Families abatement threshold to $50,000.


This year, the party adjusted Working for Families tax credits in line with inflation.

Trustee tax rate Increase to 39% from 1 April 2024.
Commercial building depreciation Labour will remove the depreciation for non-residential buildings that was introduced in March 2020 to support commercial property owners through the pandemic.
Digital Services Tax (DST) If a multilateral solution isn’t found in an appropriate period of time, Labour would be ready to implement a DST from 1 July 2025 if required. The final rate for this would be set once the international position is clear.

Sources: Labour’s cost of living plan – NZ Labour Party 13 August 2023; Labour tackles cost of living for families

National Party

Key policy Details
Adjust income tax brackets to reflect inflation From 1 July 2024, National will make the following adjustments to tax thresholds:


Tax Threshold Adjustments
Existing Threshold Proposed Threshold Threshold Rate
$14,000 $15,600 17.50%
$48,000 $53,500 30%
$70,000 $78,100 33%

The $180,000 income tax threshold will remain in place. National has ruled out removing the 39% top tax rate in their first term due to fiscal and economic pressures.

National has indicated it will assess the impact of inflation on the average tax rates at least once every three years, including in 2026.

Expand tax credits From 1 July 2024, National will increase eligibility for the Independent Earner Tax Credit to compensate for inflation.

  • The upper limit of eligibility will be extended from $48,000 to $70,000, with abatement of the payment starting from $66,000.
  • The lower limit of eligibility will remain the same at $24,000.
Introduce a FamilyBoost childcare tax credit From 1 July 2024, all families earning up to $180,000 with childcare costs will be eligible for a rebate on these expenses.

Household Income Maximum fortnightly rebate
Up to $140,000 $150
$150,000 $112.50
$160,000 $75
$170,000 $37.50
  • This rebate will be calculated on childcare costs paid, paying back a 25% rebate for childcare costs up to $300 a week.
  • National will end Labour’s extension of 20 hours early childhood education (ECE) policy for two-year-olds because this policy will be replaced by the FamilyBoost childcare tax credit.
Increase Working for Families tax credits National will increase the support available through the Working for Families policy by:

  • Increasing the value of the in-work tax credit by $25 a week (from $72.50 to $97.50), from 1 April 2024.
  • Adjusting the abatement threshold for Working for Families payments, up to $50,000 from 1 April 2026.
  • Keeping the automatic increases to Working for Families payments that currently exist in law.
Rental Property Tax Changes National will restore interest deductibility for rental properties, to be phased in as follows:

  • Interest deductibility will be kept at 50% in April 2024 (rather than being reduced to 25% as planned by Labour).
  • Interest deductibility will be increased to 75% in April 2025 (rather than being removed fully as planned by Labour).
  • 100% interest deductibility will be fully restored from April 2026.
  • Take the bright-line test for rental properties back to two years, from Labour’s existing 10 years by July 2024. Properties acquired before July 2022 will not be subject to the bright-line test at sale.
Trustee tax rate Retain 39% rate proposed in May 2023 Tax Bill but this is subject to review.
Removal of taxes
  • National will remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax and ensure fuel taxes will not be increased in the party’s first term.
  • National will remove the Ute Tax. Details on this, including costings, will form the basis of a future announcement.
  • National will also remove Labour’s new App Tax on services like Uber and Airbnb and ensure the same GST rules apply to all services.
Introduction of new taxes National will partly fund the package mentioned above by introducing:

  • A new tax on offshore online gambling operators on proceeds from New Zealanders’ online gambling.
  • Higher immigration visa processing fees from 1 July 2024 (there will be no increase to visa fees for the Pacific Islands). National will not allow any fees to cost more than 90% of Australia’s equivalent fees.
  • A new 15% foreign buyer tax on the purchase of residential properties worth more than $2 million, and
  • Removing the depreciation of commercial buildings for commercial property investors.

Source: National’s Back Pocket Boost 30 August 2023

Act Party

Key policy Details
Create a Three-Rate Tax System The thresholds would change as follows:

Up to Labour 2023/24 2024/25 2025/26 2026/27
$14,000 10.50%  


$48,000 17.50%


$70,000 30%
$180,000 33% 33% 30%
+ 39% 39% 33%
Low and Middle-Income Tax Credit To offset the costs of a higher bottom rate for low-and-middle income households, the ACT Party would introduce a new tax credit for those on low and middle incomes.
Carbon Tax Refund ACT’s Alternative Budget will bring back the Government’s revenues from the Emissions Trading Scheme to New Zealanders through a simple per-person tax refund. Based on the Treasury’s forecasts for ETS revenues, per-person tax refunds would be as follows:

2023/2024 2024/2025 2025/2026 2026/2027
Per-person refund $243 $140 $119 $98
Rental Property Tax Changes ACT is proposing to reinstate interest deductions for rental properties and completely remove the bright-line test.
Remove the NZ Income Insurance Scheme Act will reverse the introduction of the Income Insurance Scheme.

Source: ACT’s Alternative Budget

Green Party

Key policy Details
Introduce an Income Guarantee The Green Party will introduce a new tax-free threshold on the first $10,000 and adjust the tax rates.

Income tax bracket Tax rate
$0 – $10,000 0%
$10,000 – $50,000 17%
$50,000 – $75,000 30%
$75,000 – $120,000 35%
$120,000 – $180,000 39%
$180,000 + 45%
  • The Green Party will index the tax brackets and adjust them for wage inflation every three years.
  • It will introduce a payment of $385 to anyone out of work or studying – with an extra $135 each week for people caring for kids on their own.
  • Replace Working for Families with a single payment for parents or caregivers of $215 every week for the first child, and $135 a week for every other child, with an extra $140 a week for every child under three years.
  • It will increase the abatement threshold from the current $42,700 to $60,000.
  • The abatement rate will change to 18% from the current 27%.
  • It will transform the ACC into an Agency of Comprehensive Care so that if anyone has to stop working, they will receive a minimum payment of 80% of the full-time minimum wage.
Changes to the tax system The Green Party’s Income Guarantee will be funded through:

  • A 2.5% Wealth Tax on net assets (such as properties or shares) over the $4 million threshold for couples and $2 million for individuals. Mortgages and other debts will be deducted from the asset total. This will not affect most family homes or retirement savings.
  • A Trust Tax of 1.5% on all assets held in private trusts so people cannot move their money into a trust to avoid the Wealth Tax.
  • A new top rate of income tax of 45% on income over $180,000.
  • Raising the corporate tax rate back to 33%.

Source: Tax Full Policy Document 22 June 2023

New Zealand First Party

Key policy Details
Tax Reforms New Zealand First will:

  • Establish a tax-free threshold of $14,000 by 1 April 2027.
  • Adjust tax brackets for inflation starting 1 April 2024, with the first adjustment taking place in 2027 and every three years thereafter.
  • Secure a Select Committee Inquiry into GST off basic fresh foods to examine if this would deliver real benefits for taxpayers before legislating for it.
  • Reinstate interest tax deductibility on rental property.


Business & economy



  • Examine the feasibility of lifting the adult minimum wage to at least $25 an hour by allowing businesses a tax concession to do so.
  • Explore the feasibility of introducing a lower business tax rate for SMEs as in Australia.
  • Introduce a 100% depreciation rate for business equipment, and an agreed timeline with business, worth up to $20,000 for each item, or a higher sum for approved capital outlay.
  • Continue to streamline and simplify tax exemptions for small business.
  • Conduct a Select Committee review into the double-taxation of ‘tax like’ instruments such as GST upon rates and excise tax.
  • Amend Capital Limitation Rules in the Income Tax Act to treat seismic strengthening as “repairs and maintenance”.
  • Examine tax deductions for domestic news subscriptions, press patron subscriptions, and large corporate sponsorships of news outlets.
  • Establish a 40% refundable tax offset for eligible games developers spending at least $600,000 on qualifying NZ game development expenditure by 1 July 2024.
  • Increase the tax benefits for corporate givers when funding authorised community programmes to 50%.
  • Amend the way backdated compensation is taxed so claimants do not pay tax at a higher rate when receiving lump sum payments.
  • Undertake a Select Committee Inquiry on the introduction of an exporters tax of 20% for new business or product lines.
  • Increase the penalty framework for tax evasion.
  • Oppose a comprehensive capital gains tax.

Source: New Zealand First 2023 Commitments

Te Pāti Māori Party

Key policy Details
Removal of GST from food Te Pāti Māori are proposing to remove GST off all food.
Change income tax brackets New tax rates from 1 July 2024.

Income tax bracket Tax rate
$30,000 or less 0%
$30,001 and up to $60,000 15%
$60,001 and up to $90,000 33%
$90,001 and up to $180,000 39%
$180,001 and $300,000 42%
$300,001 and above 48%
Introduction of new taxes Te Pāti Māori are proposing to introduce several new taxes.

Wealth Tax:
The new tax rates will be:

  • 0% Net wealth under $2million will not be taxed.
  • 2% Tax rate for net wealth over $2million.
  • 4% Tax rate for net wealth over $5million.
  • 8% Tax rate for net wealth over $10million.
  • These rates will be less mortgages and other debts owing and will be for individuals and the combined net wealth of couples. The Net Wealth Tax will not affect most family homes or retirement savings. The tax will be payable annually and will capture capital gains accrued.

Raise the Company Tax Rate back to 33%.

Overseas Financial Transfer Tax
, with the rate set at 2%. This will apply to all overseas-owned companies operating in Aotearoa and will be additional to the Company Tax Rate.

Undeveloped Land Tax
, which will be payable on all land that has not begun to be developed within four years of purchase. The tax rate will be 33% of the increased land value.

Vacant House Tax
, which will be payable on all properties that do not have a tenant after a six-month period. The tax rate will be 33% of the market value.

Source: Tax Policy Executive Summary July 2023

The tax policy proposals that have been unveiled reflect the prevailing economic circumstances and inflationary pressures affecting both individuals and businesses in New Zealand. Every main political party, except the Labour Party, is looking at changing or adjusting the existing income tax rates. Also on the radar are revisions to property tax regulations and raising corporate tax rates. Some parties are also proposing the introduction of new taxes. The full impact of the proposed tax plans and policies on taxpayers and businesses will become more apparent following the election.

If you have any questions or need advice on any of the above, please contact your local William Buck advisor – we’re here to help.

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