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Dr Muriel Newman

A Costly Mistake

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The words of a former PM must have been ringing in the halls of Parliament last week when the Prime Minister announced that a capital gains tax (CGT) would not be introduced during her watch. It was David Lange who said, “a capital gains tax policy is one likely to lose you not merely the next election, but the next three”.

By putting the CGT to rest, Labour’s chances of winning a second term of Government have now increased dramatically. But Jacinda Ardern’s ‘mistake’ came at a great cost – around $2 million of taxpayers’ money and 20 months of uncertainty and disruption for New Zealanders.

In pulling the plug on a CGT, Labour’s leader has abandoned a policy she claims to be deeply committed to. But pragmatism has triumphed over principle – namely holding onto the power of her premiership has overridden any commitment she has to party principles.

In the final analysis, it was naivety or perhaps vanity that created the whole CGT fiasco.

The flush of her elevation to leadership in 2017 and the imperative of a looming election, led Jacinda Ardern to ignore the fact that promoting a CGT had heavily contributed to Labour’s defeat in the 2011 and 2014 General Elections.

It is the same dangerous trait which later saw her destroy the oil and gas industry to look good on the world stage, and more recently, to penalise law abiding gun owners with rushed and unworkable legislation, in order to look strong and decisive.

The whole CGT saga was shambolic. While Labour’s former leader Andrew Little had relegated the policy to the back burner for the 2017 election, Jacinda Ardern made a Captain’s Call to resurrect it as her key election promise – even though doing so is said to have almost caused a “mutiny” within the party.

Her first reversal came once the hard questions about her policy began and the poll ratings started to turn down. This forced Labour’s new leader to make a second Captain’s Call, this time to announce that a working group would be set up to determine the policy, with voters approving or rejecting it at the 2020 General Election.

As the Chair of the Tax Working Group, the PM appointed Sir Michael Cullen, who, during his 17 years as Labour’s finance spokesman – including nine as finance minister – never made a single statement supporting a CGT. In fact, in response to an OECD recommendation for a capital gains tax in 2000, he described such a tax as “extreme, socially unacceptable and economically unnecessary”!

Restrictive terms of reference were set for the review, which precluded the family home and the ground under it. This compromised policy options right from the start, since capital gains taxes generally only work properly if all asset classes are included. Furthermore, the requirement to make the policy tax neutral further constrained possible outcomes.

In the end, the CGT proposed by the Tax Working Group would have been one of the harshest regimes in the world. They recommended capital gains be taxed a taxpayer’s top marginal tax rate, not the 15 percent Labour had campaigned on. The tax was to apply to virtually everything except the family home and the land under it, which meant that anyone living on a larger section came under the net, as did everyone with KiwiSaver accounts, shares, businesses, or farms. It’s no surprise that the proposal attracted widespread criticism. 

Three members of the eleven member Tax Working Group – including a former Inland Revenue Commissioner – were so strongly opposed to the proposed tax, that they produced a minority report: “…taxing remaining untaxed capital gains in New Zealand would impose efficiency, compliance and administrative costs that would not be outweighed by increased revenue, fairness perceptions, and possible integrity benefits… It is our judgment that the disadvantages of the comprehensive capital gains taxing system outweigh the advantages and it should not be implemented.”

In particular, they expressed concerns about the disincentive effect that a capital gains tax would have on business activity: “New Zealand needs to respond to demographic, technological and global economic change. Businesses must take risks and be encouraged to experiment with new ideas and methods; entrepreneurship and experimentation should be encouraged and not penalised.”

This was also a concern of this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, Economist Edward Hudson, who believes the Tax Working Group did not take sufficient account of the adverse impact the tax would have had on economic growth:

“Investment in new assets is the source of growth in capital. Business owners or companies invest to add to their future earnings capability. These investments may be in rental property, in business property, in machinery, in transportation equipment, in IT equipment, in software and intellectual property, or other types of productive assets. The driving force in all cases is to continue and increase the earnings potential of businesses. Increasing the rate of tax on capital, whether on capital income or capital gains, has the effect of reducing prospective returns; this reduces the incentive to invest.”

Dr Hudson concludes, “The foundations for economic growth remain in place now that the Government has ruled out a capital gains tax. Increases in income taxes in general, or taxes on capital in particular, have a disincentive impact on work and investment. These effects slow the growth in incomes and living standards. To continue New Zealand’s long term income growth, the Government would be well advised to live within its means rather than searching for new taxes to fund additional spending.”

Wise words, indeed.

In the end, one didn’t need to be an expert to recognise how unpopular the proposed CGT was with a majority of New Zealanders, many of whom had been burnt by the 1987 Sharemarket Crash and had invested their retirement savings in the safe haven of property.

While left wing CGT supporters dominated the airways and social media after the release of the Tax Working Group’s proposal, praising a tax that they believed would force New Zealanders who had saved and invested to get ahead to pay more, the silent majority of Kiwis were concerned about its impact on their investment decisions and their future.

The adverse public reaction is said to have shocked the Prime Minister, who attempted to pacify concern by re-directing the debate onto ‘fairness’.

National, meanwhile, pledged to abolish the tax if they became the government – providing them with a powerful point of difference and a dominant position on tax issues.

To counter this and to shut the door on suspicions that she might try to introduce the tax after the election with the support of the pro-GST Green Party, Jacinda Ardern categorically ruled it out: there would be no CGT while she was Prime Minister.

It was a smart political slam-dunk. With that move, Jacinda Ardern not only promoted herself as a leader who listens and can be trusted, but she took away the platform for NZ First to claim credit for the demise of the tax. She also removed any credibility the Green Party may have had on the issue, since they would have no chance of bringing it into law. 

The PM’s announcement caught the Greens off guard. It was only a few weeks earlier that co-leader James Shaw had boldly stood in Parliament proclaiming that it wasn’t a matter of if the Government introduced a capital gains tax but when – and that they didn’t deserve to be re-elected if they didn’t deliver: “when the commentators pontificate about whether this Government can politically afford to do what no other Government before it has done, I ask ‘Can we afford not to?’ The very last question that we should be asking ourselves is: can we be re-elected if we do this? The only question we really ought to be asking ourselves is: do we deserve to be re-elected if we don’t?”

When James Shaw was interviewed on Morning Report, following the abandonment of the CGT, Suzie Ferguson reminded him, “You famously said that the government didn’t deserve to be re-elected if you didn’t follow through with a capital gains tax…”

He back-peddled: “…that’s not strictly true… What I said was we should be asking ourselves the question… on the basis that at the last election a majority of New Zealanders voted for bold change. …tax reform is only a part of that picture. And if you look at everything that we’re doing, whether it’s lifting people out of poverty or ending homelessness or cleaning up the environment, action on climate change. We have taken some really big calls… And so yes, I do believe that we deserve to be re-elected…”

So where to from here?

Firstly, let’s look at what the Prime Minister actually said in her press statement.

“The Tax Working Group gave the Government, and the country, an opportunity to look at the fairness of our tax system and debate options for change. All parties in the Government entered into this debate with different perspectives and, after significant discussion, we have ultimately been unable to find a consensus. As a result, we will not be introducing a capital gains tax.

“I genuinely believe there are inequities in our tax system that a capital gains tax in some form could have helped to resolve. That’s an argument Labour has made as a party since 2011. However after almost a decade campaigning on it, and after forming a government that represented the majority of New Zealanders, we have been unable to build a mandate for a capital gains tax. While I have believed in a CGT, it’s clear many New Zealanders do not. That is why I am also ruling out a capital gains tax under my leadership in the future.”

She then said, “The Tax Working Group was a valuable exercise that has delivered some useful suggestions well beyond just the debate on CGT… In fact the majority of recommendations will either be investigated further or have formed part of our work programme.”

So while the threat of a tax on capital has now disappeared, many of the almost one hundred recommendations proposed by the Tax Working Group are still on the table and could potentially become law. These include beefing up the Emissions Trading Scheme, introducing agriculture into the scheme, bringing in a range of environmental taxes – like water taxes, fertiliser taxes, environmental footprint taxes, or natural capital enhancement taxes – expanding the Waste Disposal Levy, and introducing congestion pricing.

What can we learn from the whole CGT fiasco?

First of all that Jacinda Ardern desperately wants to be re-elected – even if that means abandoning a firmly held principle and upsetting party faithful.

As Victoria University’s Dr Bryce Edwards explained, “The complete abandonment of any CGT for the entire term of Ardern’s leadership makes it clear that the policy was just one they want to go away. It seems now they never really intended to follow through… a completely cynical episode in which her supporters have been conned into thinking this government is more progressive and principled than it really is.”

And secondly, that public opinion really does matter.

By speaking out with force, New Zealanders were able to convey a deep opposition not only to a capital gains tax, but to any leader that wants to impose one.

Ultimately, it was the desire to remain in the top job that brought the Prime Minister to her senses.

The problem for National, is that Labour is now in a similar position to where they were when John Key was PM – a popular leader of a party that’s riding high in the polls. 

So while New Zealand has dodged the capital gains tax bullet, Labour has managed to turn what was a political fiasco of their own making into a strong springboard for the 2020 General Election.


Now Labour has ruled out a capital gains tax, do you think they will win a second term of Government in 2020? 


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.


Click to view x 120


Over a year until the election is a long time in politics but I sincerely hope not for the sake of New Zealand. National need a change of leadership & a strong minor party to emerge (New Conservatives?) But given the lack of intelligence among many voters Labour may well get a second term. What told me volumes about the voting public was how Labour managed to jump 20% in the polls in 2017 simply by replacing Little with Ardern as leader. Their policies were the same. How could any thinking person draw any conclusion other than there are some very uneducated & easily swayed voters out there? Rex
Has improved their chances but there are increasing head winds ahead. Michael
Hopefully someone will eventually remember to lock the gates of the clown academy, and we wont be subjected to this govts idiotic decisions for to much longer. Our country and our values are being undermined by a bunch of limp wristed closet dwelling totalitarians. BS gun reforms , increased refugee quotas , CGT fiasco, constant pandering to an ethnic group that will never assimilate to a western way of life unless propped up financially throughout, our national day of rememberance threatened , the police slowly being allowed to become policy makers instead of doing their job and enforcing policy as set by ELECTED govt officials. Taxcinda and her half arse muppet show are going to take this country backwards because they have the power and bottomless purse to buy a generation of youngsters that have no idea whats coming globally and minority groups that are just leaches with hands held out because no one with any spine has the guts to say no. Clinton
I wish political parties would just sod off – Independents Rock! Russell
I think the NZ voter has enough common sense to see beyond the hype to the lack of achievement in any of Labour’s election planks. Child poverty has increased, there is a fiasco called Kiwi Build, the Provincial Growth Fund is a joke. Ian
Politics has become too much about the person and not enough about the policy. The media hype is very one sided and we unfortunately have a PM who has her own agenda but not in the country’s best interest. A very concerning time for NZ. Vivienne
hope not Barry
Policies before personalities. J. Ardern has proved herself to be too flakey without skill or intellect for leadership. After a leadership change, National needs to make drastic changes to its policies much like Don Brash did, such as the unsigning of UNDRIP, Paris Climate Treaty, CAMA, need one citizenship for all New Zealanders; abolishing Maori seats & Waitangi Tribunal, TOW put into museum, all Maori companies & land pay the same tax rate, te reo & Maori revisionist history stopped, no special treatment for Maori or Muslims. RMA reform. There will be no NZF even if W. Peters retires and the Green party should be booted out of parliament also as they are so ideologically left wing and dangerous. This should basically rid ourselves of MMP. Monica
They have gone out of their way to ensure that they don’t get back in IMHO Rob
Labour only got into Parliament because of Winston Peters NZ First Party coalition move. Wayne
Hard to say when the mainstream media don’t publicise what is actually going on in that Coalition government. People just see all the ‘fluff’ that is our great ‘leader’!! Uuuuugh …. :0/ Maddi
Absolutely, their opposition consist of a pack of clowns who claim to be conservative, when in reality they are Bering of any ideas that could improve the lot of our middle class. Kick these dickheads into touch for the next six years and maybe, just maybe a well organised party may spring up that promotes conservative values , not this hogde podge of goofy values that closet left winger Keys has left us. Sam
I hope not John
CGT is not the only shambles created by this Govt and if a week is a long time in politics, who knows what will happen in a year? Mike
Unsure, but they’ve possibly increased their chances. At present there really is little recognisable opposition. We urgently need viable alternatives. Alan
I hope that she will win a second term. I believe her Party has many sound policies that will take time to show the benefits to NZ. She has done more good in 2 years than the National Party did in 9. Peter
Until National gets a better leader, they will lag behind Jacinda Hilary
Hope they do not Valerie
No I don’t, for me they have made too many silly decisions, they don’t deserve to be in charge. Fraser
Any party in power that gives away money to its supporters, at the rate this government is doing, will most likely win the next election, competent ot not. Graeme
Capital Gains Tax will be attempted again by Labour, Ardern said she still believes in it and all it needs for har to implement it is for the Greens to gain more votes than NZ First, or Winnie to change his mind or he may retire and give someone else the helm. This lucrative tax grab from hard working New Zealander’s will continue to bounce back for another go. George
No chance of winning the next election, Ardern said she still believes in it so I expect it to return. George
National lives in a world that has passed away. Nigel
I sincerely hope not. What a shame National cant seem to find a leader that can show that they are not a lost cause, I’ve little time for the MMP system when the party winning the most votes doesn’t have the opportunity to form a government. Arthur
Ask any licenced firearms owner. John
On this alone, I am afraid they will. A strong opposition that details good policy is needed. What is not needed is a personality attack on She Who Will Not Be Named as that would only garner sympathy for her. Anthony
I hope not Gerald
A lack of things achieved will be the downfall. Andrew
Unfortunately yes I only wish they could do it without the greens as the Marxist element is dangerous but even ardern herself has a touch of it Jeff
Labour’s determination to tax us more in some way or another will hopefully wake struggling Kiwis up! Allan
From those I talk to a backlash is coming Tracy
Saved by NZFirst preventing a cabinet consenses. Thank goodness. Huria
But I feel they have a very good chance for a second term Laurel
Based on there being nobody else suitable to contest Jacinda… Jan
labour DOESN’T deserve to be elected again but I’m not sure they wont be as jacinda has made sure of maori & moslem votes & that will help her Cindy
Whilst I think they will, I hope something will happen to bring the PM down from her pedestal and thus see Labour lose the 2020 election. Ian
there are still too many issues that socialist Cindy has to deal with, which she has to face in the lead up to the next election and the pressure of decision making will take its toll6 James
I hope not Diane
I certainly hope they don’t. But I fear that probably will now. Wayne
Not enough voters have yet woken up to the PMs shallowness. Roy
Yes they will. Simply because the opposition do no have strong policies or leadership to win the electorate over. Dennis
Yes they will get a second term because most people are too stupid and will vote for the person and not what they represent Mike
do not trust them they will find a way to bring it in if elected again Cherryl
She has already shown that she is a disaster so let us hope not! david
We need realists and not dreamers, left wing leaners and out of touch Greens. (They just have no idea regarding the practicalities of life and humans needs) Alan
Too many unachievable policies. Graham
mainly because the population in this country will take anything it can get without putting effort in to earning it. Steven
Unfortunately. Unless National picks up their act. David
I have spoken to a fair number of people who voted labour at the last election who are now looking for an alternative if they can find one. Peters has not helped. The CGT enquiry was set up to fail at the post. Reminds one of all those enquiries we have into fuel prices. All piss and wind. But that is politics. Gary
many other issues we do not like Gerard
I had to answer yes but it is a yes that they have a better chance than they had. I don’t believe they will win a second term as there is still over a year for them to show up their true colours. Think back to advertising leading up to the last few elections where Labour supporters were told that a Labour |Government believed if it involved money then tax it, if it was a private enterprise then control it, if it is progress freeze it and so on. Already Adern and others have threatened an inheritance tax a higher rate of tax for top salaries and Dr Newman is correct in suggesting a water tax,, think Maoris demands and an environmental tax is just waiting for the Green grab. Nobody will trust Peters again and the electorate has a long memory and as for Shaw’s comments about Labour not deserving to win if the CGT disappears shows there is disharmony on that front too. Chris
We can only hope not. To have a second chance could be disastrous – they would think they have a mandate to do what they want. Look out! Graeme
Winston is not delivering on his pre-election promises so his vote will go down and Jacinda is sucking up to the Moslems in a Christian country and is not helped by Mallard She will not get my vote again Arthur
The will be a number if “slip ups” and our economy will suffer within 8 months. Joe
CGT would have guaranteed a defeat in 2020, but after her immature performance after the CHCH killings she is seen to be just another academic show pony. She really needs to strap on the backpack and spend a couple of years in the middle east and return wiser and grown up. Rex
Yes unfortunately. L
No one in National Party to lead Gillian
Unfortunately yes because they have given an electricity payment boost in the winter and the great unwashed will grab any extra benefit they can while to want to help themselves pay the taxes to support the lazy and the immoral and any other idiot who has another perceived problem that the government can solve with more Money Colin
Unfortunately they have increased their chances through dropping the CGT. What will they think of next, that is the next worry.. Norm
Yes, they will. Jo
Not from my vote they won’t Vaughan
I hope not. Ardern is a very dangerous young person, who, along with idiots like Macron and Trudeau, is pushing an invasion agenda as part of the one world order. Look at Europe, ruined by idiots pushing their very leftist dogma. The same invasions is now being pushed by Obama, Clinton and others with their open borders policy on their southern border. If these young idiots succeed the world will be a different place for our children and future generations, freedoms will be limited, new restrictions on speech and religious beliefs will be imposed and a sinister brand of socialism/communism will prevail, while these idiots will live in their fenced communities sipping on their cocktails….. Carolyn
Hopefully NZers will have the brains to see what a hopeless attempt at governance has been so far with this coilition. Nobody really in charge and a lot of promises unfulfilled. Andrew
I’m hoping voters have a long memory and remember why we ended up with this fiasco labour coalition government because of Winston Peters, I’m thinking forward that NZ first will be gone and regardless of National party leader, National will come thru Anita
Think they will win anyway .. popular PM stakes rank high in this country Eliza
I hope not but the main stream media keep publishing lies to boost her image. I’m voting for the New Conservative Party because they stand for common sense in government and family focus outside of government. Jack
I pray not! Donald
No way these idiots should even be allowed to stand again! Norm
They weren’t elected last Election. If National hadn’t pissed Winston Peters off with it’s WINS ‘LEAK” there probably would have been none of this. Geoff
Despite the CGT being scrapped, the Labour thieves will find some other excuse to increase taxes and further impoverish the average NZ’er who, Labour allege they are trying to help. A leopard does not change it’s spots! Peter
unfortunately Anne
I hope not Brian
I hope not. Our Prime Minister should go off and be an NGO she has neither the intelligence, knowledge or willingness to do her homework to be a Prime Minister. It is all about looking good on the international stage …often at the expense of New Zealanders. A deep thinker she is not. Gail
they are stuffing up NZ in a big way probably nothing left next year Russell
Voting levels at the 2020 election will probably be close for either major party. Hopefully, National will heavily push the anti-gun aspect of Labour’s action, thereby gaining the support of a quarter of a million shooters out there who will never vote Labour again! Carl
Too many uninformed NZers Libby
our Muslim loving Prime-minister has the country at her feet so I see how we can regain power while she is PM. Cyril
Labor with the Greens is still a smoking gun. The greens are only Green on the outside – Very Very RED in the middle. James Shaw and most of his followers are also very RED. Labor are are only interested in having every body accept their ideology , very little ambition to help people improve their lot. John
National have NO intention of regaining the treasury benches until all of the UNPOPULAR UN directives are implemented. Carbon taxing farmers, Shared governance with Maori are just two examples. A.G.R.
Yes, I’d say so. Brent
I trust that the majority of NZers have already seen through these hypocritical socialist losers and the free ride they have been given by the extremely partisan left wing meedia and will vote them out. Richard
without nzfirst and greens, both of whom appear to be fading, labour will not win Cliff
I would never trust another Labour Goverment (Past.Present/Future). And as FOR MMP I would also like it GONE. Carl
Unfortunately Martin
note her weasel words, not introduced under her “leadership”, so its still on the table we assume, are just waiting for a change of leader, Wayne
The woman has angered both her support base and conservatives. She doesn’t deserve a second term and if we work together she won’t get it. She’s made too many other mistakes. She’s a menace. Jenny
It depends on who the NP Leader is. If Judith is the Leader I am sure that NP will win Leon
This very pragmatic decision has been based on the belief that we cant do this and get back into power So they have decided that reelection is more important than their principals The Nats need to get another topic upon which they can beat the socialists now in power or we are doomed to more and more government control of our lives Robin
Twitchy Witchy will try something else with Clarkes aggressive back stabbing support and certainly don’t need Labour in to continually wreck the country and adopt Islam? Ian
Most unfortunately. Amazing what power can do!! Sandra
I don’t support this socialist-communist coalition, but who is there to topple them at this point? Lesley
Sad as it may be the majority of the population only look for what they can gain in the short term with no view to the future Tom
I do not intend to vote in future. My vote in 2017 was to no useful purpose – IMO. Isabel
Unfortunately … quite on the cards ! Donald
New Zealand Murray
I think she had no choice in the end either have it in full water it down or go with the majority. She was stuck. Barbara
Will depend on who becomes leader of the National party Graham
The only reason Ardern canned the CGT was to ensure Labour wins the next election with herself at the helm. The same goes for Winstone. Watch them making tax changes which will make up for the loss of CGT in the next few years. It’s all smoke and mirrors, and plenty of people fall for it. Lorraine
Hard to know. There are too many idiots around who I realise think that a PM is made of someone with no policy knowledge and who is inept. Someone who looks ok on the font of Woman’s Weekly. Too much water to go under the bridges before then. Roger
Labour were NOT voted into government in the last election .. they got in due to the treachery Winston Peters. We will not be taken in by the same tricks again. He will be GONE! Capital gains will not be at the top of the list. Of more importance will be who is leading the National party and the trust placed on that person. Simon Bridges is not the right person but National can get back into power if they show a n HONEST leadership and they need to work on that NOW. Des
Who else could do the job? Bill
Well you need a viable alternative. National don’t look up to it? NZ First may be gone such are broken promises. Greens are wacky flat earth society in disguise. I’m searching! Tony
Cindy has been exposed as the tougher that she really is, desperately clinging to the inflated salary and perks of the job she is so blatantly ill equipped to perform. John
They are too disorganised Allan
I hate to hit the yes button. National currently have little leadership. There are some very capable people waiting in the wings but hard to see them getting up to win the 2020 election. They need decisive new ;policy, roll back the considerable damage inflicted on New Zealand during the last few years of their 2008-2017 tenure. Thankfully Finlayson has gone. Nick Smith should also must go and maybe some element of commonsense will return to National policy settings? National needs new MP’s with some fire in their bellies. Chris
I do think that Capital Gains TAX is a good idea on the high income earns that have lot of land and morn than two houses. Or who are always buying and selling. One has to be careful on how to work capital Gains Tax. Robert
Jacinderella wants power and will do anything to position guarantee it, hijab and all. Bud
Not because they have ruled out CGT but because Winston will be calling the shots and Jacinda will again bow to his demands to keep in power. Colin
I certainly Hope Not, Would be a disaster for NZ. Don
They still have to deliver on any of their other failed promises. Voters will catch on to them eventually. Mark
National lacks a popular leader Martin
yes unfortunately Gary
They have gone from “no chance”if they had pushed through their Envy tax, to potentially. I however will still not vote for them as at best they will bankrupt the country, at worst they will destroy the very fabric of the country. John
…if Simon Bridges is still National ‘s crap leader. The message is “never mess with the property and business folks of NZ ” OK CHowes
It reminds us all that Labour is a Robin Hood party and always will be Graeme
Too early to guess. Alan
Well, I just hope not. A government which kowtows to an emotional dictatorial demand by a prime minister to pass ill-thought-out “gun laws” with no real democratic input is not the sort of government that will advance New Zealand or New Zealanders. Rob
I sincerely hope people can see them for what they really are but I’m a bit sceptical that they will. Jacinda seems to be riding on an inexplicable cloud nine at the moment and getting good Press from overseas. I dread to think what will happen if they do win. Helen
This group of people have mucked up nearly everything they have campaigned on and done little for NZer’s. Their main focus is TAX and a fairer system – oh ho Robin hood – rob the rich, educated with good jobs and folk in the middle to hand more out to the idle……… Labour are not governing the largest country in the world so stay within the bounds of what we have, I wish I could say NO but the electorate is a weird entity. Elizabeth
Sixteen months is a very long time in politics and my gut feeling tells me that there are a few more bomb shells in the pipe line which will blow up in our faces. So far this ” Govt’ has utterly failed to produce anything of substance. No trees –no houses– but destroying at the stroke of a pen a multi billion gas and oil industry and handing 3,5 billion dollars so called Provincial Growth Fund over into the hands of a political maverick with a shady agenda . And a lot of people out there in society will NOT be happy. This popularity driven hyper activity of this ‘PM’ is what it is : a soap bubble glittering in all the colours of the rainbow , but no substance to it what so ever but good enough for the political propaganda machine called main stream media to spread their daily tripe and dribble from Woman’s Weekly to Radio New Zealand. And if National can get finally their act together and rid them selfes of their spineless posturing and blowing bubbles– not to mention starting to think about real and outspoken leadership. It is high time for the National Party to re earn the right to carry this party name in the first place and do concentrate their efforts on national interests. And the Nation is in essence the citizens and Permanent residents of NZ. There would be a hell of a lot of people out there who would start to listen to National( again) and find their interests and concerns taken care of. But as long as this is not coming to the fore Jacinderella and her party dwarfs will continue their relentless and irresponsible virtue signalling regardless to the enormous negative consequences to our country. Michael
3 parties running the country is a shambles costing us the taxpayer too much money cant wait to see the end of it all ! Gene
The Nats haven’t got organized so far, and Cindy is still milking her over-sung rock star status & we have so many stupid idiots fawning over her. Frank
This Govt has been seen for what it is-opportunistic, shallow in its governance and untrustworthy. Michael
Nothing to do with the tax. I think the public are becoming aware that Labours fact less desire to ram through ideological laws such as school hubs, Technical Institute hubs, gun laws, tax laws etc. with minimal consultation has shown their communistic, one world government agenda. JA’s insistence on supporting the totally conflicting ideologies of the rainbow community and the Muslim show she has no idea of policy. She is just creating separatism. Her latest move arming police for ANZAC and suppressing our communal grief demonstrates “police state” desire and control of any thing that creates a state of National Unity. She is supporting the removal of National Icons (such as ANZAC War Heroes and Captain Cook, and replacing them with made up icons. Bruce C
Jacinda may be popular but politically naive her party are a sad mixture of dumb asses. Brian
I sincerely hope not. Clark
But to make sure this doesn’t happen, National have to UP their game.Sometimes feels like they are taking a holiday after two terms as the government. Barry
They probably will unless National changes their leader to someone people can respect and admire Kerin
They are a party without any policy other than tax and more tax of the hard working citizens of nz Kevin
It will definitely not be a negative against them! – unfortunately!!! Roger
Why vote in a person who’s main interest is her position on the world stage while the remainder of her Government lack the skills to do a good job. Peter
The prime minister said : ” No CGT while she is the prime minister “.If the labour Caucus decides to replace her, with another, the CGT will be back. Logic dictates that it will be more wise to vote for National to escape this issue. Hopefully NZ people will be able to follow this reasoning. Pierre
I really hope they wont, but given the polls, and the lack of a strong charismatic leader in National, I think they will win unless either a new Nat leader comes along, or they screw up something else major Tony
It all comes down to the formation of a coalition at the end of the day, am thinking most likely yes but hope not. Sandy
Depends on other minor parties such as NZ First, Maori party etc William
National do not exist John
They’ve really done nothing of any consequence in their first term. Surely the voters can see past Jacinda the show pony Trevor
If we have a strong opposition and give healthy policies, then hopefully National would win! June
Jacinda’s appeal to the non-thinking populace will get her and bet party back in – at the moment there’s no alternative. Terry
They have no long term economic plan Les
Not because they ruled out the CGT but because of her and her ministers riding rough shod over NZ citizens in general Murray
I view the CGT fiasco as political exercise, but more importantly, a high profile ploy to divert attention away from other issues. The PMs anti democracy and anti sovereignty actions that are leading NZ down a path we cannot afford to travel down are far more important issues. The media, unfortunately seems firmly stuck in the “left” and balanced reporting is no longer given. For example, the Sri Lanka terrorist attacks did not even make the Herald front page. What is with that? Are Christians not important? Seems Muslims are? So will the PM get to govern next term? Not if I have anything to do with it. Neil
Until National sort themselves out and find a strong leader who can ask Ardern the hard questions then she will get another term and we will be heading the same way as Venezuela, at a faster pace Michelle
only because we don’t have a opposition Michael
At this point in time it looks like a labour win .yes wiping the CGT helps but National simply look weak. Ardern has gained substantial popularity ironically by way of tragedy. Sadly there are so many kiwis follow like sheep without studying just how dishonest and dumb this woman is surrounded by incompetent goons. Don
Has not delivered on poverty, housing, energy and has a show for pm dancing from from one photo to next Jeff
already have seen enuff of this new green deal and these clowns are stupid enuff to implement it Collin
Labour did not “win” this election, they are in power with a “Coalition of Losers” Tom
I sincerely hope not, they are very untrustworthy. Chris
Doing better than Bridges/National Kevin
They will have to do it without Winnie as his mob won’t get the 5% threshold . If National can find a decent leader they may still win but at the moment it looks like they don’t want to win by persisting with Simon . Jock
By then the mess they are making will be self evident to all. Frank
Yes, if she doesn’t do anything catastrophic in the meantime, they will win again. Kate
The Nats have no allies, they will not succeed, esp with Simon Bridges as leader. We are stuck with a socialist govt for at least another two terms Rod
for the long term good of all of us real Kiwis , we hope that she doesn’t get in to do even more damage to this country ! Roy
lot more stuff ups to come yet Erin
People are so taken with Jacinda, they’ve forgot just how venal she is and can be. I don’t want to see them re-elected but what else is there that get the idiots to see sense??? Graeme
Almost a certainty especially if National persists with Simon and continues to vie with labour for the left of centre. Alan
Well at least they wouldn’t win if it depended on my vote. I hope NZers can see that she is really only interested in herself and her ideals rather than. I look forward to a time when we focus as a whole on issues that we agree are important rather than play party politics. Darag
As long as National sticks with Simon they will win at a cantor Allan
An elemental lack of competence and economic understanding inevitably dooms the fronting of even the most charismatic leadership. When combined with a complete lack of practical ability, the outcome is guaranteed – even under such nonsense as MMP. Jim
Provided the country comes to it’s senses. John
Depends on Winston and the Greens. Winston might retire and NZ First droop below 5% Ken
They only ruled out the CGT to give them a good chance of winning the next election. If they win – CGT will be back on the table in one form or another. Maurice
National with any leader will get a huge majority and bye bye colgate girl John
National don’t have a credible leader and MMP in NZ allows the forming of a coalition by minor parties. David
I really hope they don’t win a second term – the damage they would do would be substantial as they would no doubt throw caution to the wind.  Chris
What a horrendous thought! Murray
Unfortunately, Jacinda Ardern is very popular, and many voters do not realise how dangerous they are.   Larry
Thank goodness the capital gains tax was canned. But perhaps Labour will decide to increase income taxes. They plan to spend our money like there is no tomorrow so they need more taxes to pay for it. I sincerely hope they do not win the election. Donna
More people need to read these newsletters so they understand what’s going on. I certainly hope Labour doesn’t win in 2020 but canning the CGT has definitely increased their chances.   Paul