Chris Hipkins says Labour could put capital gains, wealth taxes back on table after election loss

Labour's newly reconfirmed leader on Tuesday indicated the party could propose capital gains or wealth taxes at the next election after ruling them out for the campaign just gone. 

Chris Hipkins said during the campaign that capital gains or wealth taxes would not be introduced under his watch, citing the current economic climate. That's despite his fellow left bloc parties campaigning on such taxes, which they said were aimed at helping reduce widening income inequality. 

The outgoing Prime Minister told reporters Labour was "starting effectively with a blank page" after last month's election loss. 

Labour's policy platform for the 2026 election could be "very different" to the promises it ran on in 2023, he said. 

"We lost so; therefore, we start again and that means everything comes back onto the table, and that includes a discussion around tax. 

"And 2026, our tax policy could look quite different to our 2023 tax policy. 

"I said... 'Any change to our tax approach would only be after a mandate of sorts.' We clearly lost so, now, everything's back on the table again. 

"In 2026, the issues will be different - the world would've changed quite a bit in the next three years, so we start again." 

The Labour leader said the party now had an opportunity to refresh its policy platform. 

"That will include a discussion around tax," he said. "My own personal comments around taxes - wealth taxes, capital gains taxes and so on - are already out there but we need to take stock, we need to go back, we need to refresh." 

But Hipkins noted he didn't believe tax was the "one issue" that lost Labour the election. 

"I think there were a range of issues," he added. 

The comments from Hipkins came after Labour's caucus met on Tuesday, where members voted to endorse Hipkins to remain as party leader. 

Another announcement that came from the meeting was outgoing deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni would also become deputy leader of the Labour Party, replacing Kelvin Davis who had decided not to remain in the role.