NZ Election 2020: Newshub-Reid Research poll shows nearly half of Kiwis think wealthy should be taxed more

The Greens are digging in on their wealth tax even though Jacinda Ardern has categorically ruled it out - but they might get another key element of that policy across the line in negotiation: higher benefit rates. 

It comes as the latest Newshub-Reid Research polling shows the Greens could be onto something with voters, with nearly half of the country believing the wealthy need to be taxed more. 

The Greens want a tax to be paid on wealth over a million dollars, but National leader Judith Collins says it's "vicious" and unfair. 

"To tax people on their savings over that, I think, is a pretty vicious thing to do," she told reporters in Auckland on Thursday. 

"Judith jumped the shark this week and no one's listening," said Green Party co-leader James Shaw. 

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has spent the week shooting it down. 

"I won't allow it to happen as Prime Minister," she said on Wednesday, after Collins continued speculation that Labour would bow to the Greens and introduce a wealth tax. 

The only tax Ardern will add is the higher income tax rate on those earning over $180,000. 

Ardern was asked on Thursday if she thinks the public wants further tax on wealthy New Zealanders. 

"If I'm being honest, that's not something that's been fed back to me during the election campaign," she said. 

Collins says a wealth tax won't just affect wealthy New Zealanders. 

"If you own a home in Auckland and you've paid off your mortgage - the average house price being a million dollars - you actually won’t be feeling wealthy," she said. 

But perhaps the Greens have actually hit the jackpot. 

The Newshub-Reid Research poll asked voters if Labour should have gone further in taxing the wealthiest New Zealanders. 

Opinion was split, but more voters - 48.7 percent - said yes while 43 percent said no and 8 percent didn't know. 

A majority of Labour's own voters - nearly 60 percent - wanted them to go further, while a third of National voters think so too. 

But here's a surprise: a quarter of the Greens' supporters think the wealthy should not be taxed further. 

"We've heard from a number of people who are millionaires who've said actually, they would happily contribute more in tax," said Shaw. 

"It's about making sure everyone has enough to live," said Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson. 

The Greens' policy of higher welfare payments might be able to get across the line.  

The Welfare Expert Advisory Group recommended benefits needed a boost of up to 47 percent and Ardern is not ruling that out.

"We have said that we want to continue on with the work of the Welfare Expert Advisory Group," she said. "We have not given specifics there."

Kiwis back that with a majority saying yes benefits should be raised. 

The Greens are warning Ardern won't do it without them.