Jacinda Ardern denies changing wealth tax position as Opposition goes on attack

Will they or won't they? The Prime Minister has muddied the waters about whether or not the Government is planning to bring in a wealth tax. 

Jacinda Ardern previously ruled it out while she's in charge, but on Monday her position wasn't quite so clear. 

The Prime Minister began her Monday morning talking about New Zealand's relationship with the United States - Ardern's heading there later this month on a mission. 

"In the United States, it will be absolutely shameless New Zealand promotion," she said.

In an opening video shown at the NZ US Business Summit, Americans questioned if New Zealand was home to the Loch Ness monster and emus. The Prime Minister said she'd make sure the US knew "we're not home to ducks and llamas". 

Maybe not home to ducks, but Ardern was ducking questions about tax at home.

"We haven't prepared our tax policy for the next election yet," she told AM on Monday morning. 

She continued to rule out a capital gains tax as leader, but wasn't so decisive on a wealth tax. 

"We have not worked on our tax policy for 2023," Ardern said. 

That's a different answer than she gave when a wealth tax was proposed on the election campaign in 2020. Asked if she would resign before introducing a wealth tax, Ardern said: "I won't allow it to happen as Prime Minister."

At the time, she even straight-up accused then-National leader Judith Collins of misinformation for suggesting she would. 

Collins on Monday said she felt vindicated. 

"I believe I am. I'm looking forward to the apology but I don't think it will turn up," she said. 

And now-National leader Christopher Luxon was jumping on the Prime Minister's uncertainty on Monday. 

"What we've seen today is the signalling, I think, of a U-turn… I am really concerned about where the Prime Minister is going with it. She needs to front and say what is in and what's out."

At her post-Cabinet press conference on Monday afternoon, Ardern said "we've already said that our policy is not to introduce that and that remains our position. Nothing has changed".

She doubled down on that.

"We are not doing any additional work and I stand by all the statements I have made to date... I have made a number of statements in this space and I stand by all of them and nothing has changed… nothing on our tax policy has changed." 

Nothing has changed, except her answer to the wealth tax question from AM to PM.