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Maori welcome tax cuts but disapprove of Budget

Embargoed until 7.30pm
Wednesday May 26, 2010

Media Release

Maori welcome tax cuts but disapprove of Budget overall

Maori support income tax cuts in the Budget, but disapprove of the Budget overall.

Maori support for personal tax cuts ranges from 49% (on the top rates) to 71% on the lowest rate, according to latest results of the largest scientific survey of New Zealanders’ views on the Budget.

Opposition to the tax cuts ranges from 2% against cutting the lowest rate (from 12.5% to 10% on the first $14,000 of income) to 24% against cutting the top rate (from 38% to 33% on income over $70,000).

Maori support cutting the company tax rate from 33% to 28% by 33% to 22%, with 33% neutral.

While 69% of New Zealanders support moves to increase tobacco taxes, among Maori 43% approve and 49% oppose. Only 8% are neutral.

The ShapeNZ survey, commissioned by the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development, covers 2,459 people between 5.15pm May 20 and 8.30am May 25. Results are weighted to provide a nationally representative population sample. The maximum margin of error on the national sample is ± 2%. The online survey also covers 188 who identify their ethnicity as Maori only. The margin of error for this sub set would be higher.

Maori opposition to the GST rise from 12.5% to 15% is strong: 75% oppose, while 17% support and 8% are neutral. This compares with 58% opposed among the total population, 22% support and 15% neutral.

On whether or not they will be adequately compensated for the GST rise, through personal and other tax cuts, 69% of Maori say no, 15% yes while 17% don’t know. Among the population at large 54% say no, 18% yes and 27% don’t know.

Asked if overall they think the Budget will make New Zealand’s tax system more or less fair, 47% of Maori say it will make it less fair, 24% fairer. This contrasts with the population as a whole, 32% of whom agree is will make it fairer, 17% less fair.

Among those who voted for the Maori Party in 2008, 59% oppose the GST rise, 33% support; 73% support increasing tobacco taxes, 16% oppose; 68% don’t think they will be adequately compensated for GST rises, 15% think they will; 49% think the changes will make the tax system less fair, 21% more fair, and overall 22% rate it good to excellent, 32% rate it poor to very poor, while 43% are neutral and 3% don’t know.

Results represent the views of survey respondents, not the Business Council’s policy views. The Business Council focuses on long-term solutions for New Zealand’s problems and conducts research on sustainability issues to allow public input on policy issues.


The Business Council believes sustainable businesses are profitable, contribute to social progress and ecological balance – and protect New Zealand’s quality of life. The Business Council’s members jointly employ more than 80,000 people in managing resources, manufacturing, retailing and the service sector. The Business Council runs a national online survey panel, ShapeNZ, (www.shapenz.org.nz) to allow public input on major issues. The panel has more than 16,000 members, is built from purchased lists and is representative of the population as a whole, compared with the 2006 census. An independent report on its methodology is available here.

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