NZ Election 2020: Mark Richardson happy to pay more tax but 'all I want is a little bit of thanks'

The AM Show sports reader Mark Richardson says all he wants "is a little bit of thanks" should he have to pay more tax to cushion the blow for New Zealand's COVID-19 response.

His comments come after Labour announced its tax policy last week, saying it will create a new top tax bracket of 39 percent for those earning over $180,000.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson told The AM Show on Thursday Labour is committing to "using the tax system to have those top 2 percent of earners pay a little bit more".

"It is a balance of all of those factors - being careful with our spending, making sure that we do grow the economy sustainably - and we do have a plan for that," Robertson said.

"All of those things together will get us through this [COVID-19]."

Following Robertson's appearance on the show, Richardson said he was surprised to find out he is in the top 2 percent.

Mark Richardson.
Mark Richardson. Photo credit: The AM Show

"That's fine but if I am going to pay off the debt, all I want is a little bit of thanks out there," Richardson told viewers. "That's all I'm after," he said, as co-host Duncan Garner burst into laughter.

Garner suggested New Zealanders hold up "thank you" signs for Richardson on Thursday.

"Take a photo of yourself thanking Mark - we'll end the programme today with a montage of 'thanks Mark'."

Richardson last week said he accepted the country was in a situation where he'd have to pay more tax but found Labour's policy to be "disingenuous".

Robertson said Labour has a "balanced" plan to get New Zealand through COVID-19.

"I am going to carry on my commitment to be a careful manager of our books, but I am not prepared to sacrifice services like health or education, or dignity and retirement, for New Zealanders," he said on Thursday.