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18th of January 2018

Politics



Government reveals who it's asking to overhaul NZ's tax system

The Government has released the names of the people charged with making the tax system "fairer".

One of Labour's election promises was to establish a tax working group to look at the structure, fairness and balance of the tax system.

During the election campaign there had been a lot of talk about the possibility of a capital gains tax, however, Labour later said no new taxes would come into effect until after the 2020 election.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Tax Working Group has been tasked with making the system fairer. DAVID WHITE/STUFF

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the Tax Working Group has been tasked with making the system fairer.

Last month, the Government announced the parameters of the working group, and the appointment of former deputy prime minister and finance minister Sir Michael Cullen as the chair.

READ MORE:* Sir Michael Cullen to head tax working group, GST changes possible* Steven Joyce sticks to $11.7b hole in Govt budget* Labour backs down on tax, will not introduce anything from working group until after 2020 election

Despite Cullen's obvious links to Labour, the Government said Cullen had carried out similar work for National in the past and would be able to act independently.

Robertson and Revenue Minister Nash says the group is a good mix of people with a range of expertise and experience. STACEY KIRK/STUFF

Robertson and Revenue Minister Nash says the group is a good mix of people with a range of expertise and experience.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said "the wide range of expertise and experience among the membership means the working group is well placed to consider changes to make our tax system fairer". 

Along with Cullen, the 10 members are:

* Professor Craig Elliffe, University of Auckland

* Joanne Hodge, former tax partner at Bell Gully

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* Kirk Hope, Chief Executive of Business New Zealand

* Nick Malarao, senior partner at Meredith Connell

* Geof Nightingale, partner at PwC New Zealand

* Robin Oliver, former Deputy Commissioner at Inland Revenue

* Hinerangi Raumati, Chair of Parininihi ki Waitotara Inc

* Michelle Redington, Head of Group Taxation and Insurance at Air New Zealand

* Rosenberg, Economist and Director of Policy at the CTU

* Marjan Van Den Belt, Assistant Vice Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University of Wellington

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash said it was a "good mix of people".

"From tax experts and academics, to people with private sector, union and Maori community expertise. The Working Group is tasked with looking at how we can make our tax system fairer for all and the diversity in this team makes it well placed to do that."

The group would also look at how the tax system could promote the long-term sustainability and productivity of the economy, Nash said.

"New Zealand faces significant opportunities and challenges in the future of our economy. It is prudent to start thinking now about how we respond."

The group's first meeting would be held in January.

 - Stuff

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