Simon Bridges promises yet-to-be detailed tax relief if National's elected into government; comments on burden of 33% top income tax rate

Simon Bridges promises yet-to-be detailed tax relief if National's elected into government; comments on burden of 33% top income tax rate
Simon Bridges

National is promising to provide tax relief that will benefit average income earners, if elected into government after the September election.

Delivering a speech on Monday on the party’s economic plan, leader Simon Bridges said National’s tax plan will “see people on the average wage better off and keeping more of what they earn”.

“People on the average wage shouldn’t be paying almost 33% in the dollar,” he said.

Average hourly earnings in New Zealand are only $32.76, so average wage earners do not meet the $70,000 per annum income threshold, requiring them to pay 33% tax on income earned over this amount. 

Bridges didn’t detail how National would provide tax relief and how this would be funded.

National has already committed to adjusting income tax brackets according to inflation, to prevent taxpayers moving into higher tax brackets when increases to their incomes don’t keep up with rising living costs.  

It will also repeal the Auckland fuel tax, but wants to introduce “revenue neutral” congestion charging. Nonetheless, it's campaigning on not introducing new taxes. 

Bridges also reaffirmed National’s commitment to “keeping debt low”, but didn’t put a figure on where it wanted net core Crown debt as a portion of gross domestic product (GDP) to sit.

The Coalition Government met its target of reducing net core Crown debt to below 20% of GDP within five years of taking office, and is now giving itself room to borrow proportionately more by broadening its target to 15% to 25% of GDP.

National is promising to out-spend the Coalition Government on investment in infrastructure.

"We won’t be afraid to use the private sector to partner with government to deliver projects that matter to us all," Bridges said, highlighting his support for public private partnerships.

Overall, a key theme of Bridges' speech was around putting more money in people's back pockets. He mentioned the term "back pocket" five times. 

"This Government is a failed experiment. A failed experiment is fine when you’re in high school science, not when you’re running the country," he said.

Bridges summarised: 

  1. We will keep taxes and red tape low and grow incomes to help with your cost of living
  2. We will be responsible managers of the economy
  3. We will focus on growing the economy for all
  4. We will invest more in core public services like health and education
  5. Finally, we will create more jobs and opportunities for all New Zealanders

To do this, today I am announcing five key measures that I want the sixth National Government’s first term to be measured by…

  1. New Zealand’s economic growth is back to at least 3% per annum.
  2. New Zealand’s growth rate per person is in the top half of the OECD
  3. We are reducing the after-tax income gap with Australia
  4. More New Zealanders feel they can reach their potential at home, rather than overseas
  5. We have revived business confidence so that businesses feel like they can take more risks and create opportunities for you and your family…

Over the next few months I will be announcing our comprehensive Economic Plan.

The five major planks to it are five packages on:

  1. Tax relief
  2. Regulation reduction
  3. Infrastructure
  4. Small Business
  5. Families

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That's the boy Simon. Functional families are a/the critical ingredient to a functional democracy, a functional society, functional neighbourhoods, and pretty much everything that works well.


What's the use of an extra $20 per week in a family's pocket if Simon's plan to push house prices up again makes their everyday living so much harder?

Like the COL are keeping house prices down. Face it, the COL weren't the answer and doubling down just makes the clean up longer.

and doubling down just makes the clean up longer.

You've just pointed out exactly why rescinding the Foreign Buyer Ban and opening the country up to yet more foreign ownership (National's policy) is definitely NOT useful.

That the current government have not done as much as they should (nor been helped in any measure by the Reserve Bank) is no good reason for young Kiwis to jump from the frying pan into the fire. (Notwithstanding the fact that Auckland house prices have stalled for the last three years and sales volumes remain very low.)

How will Simon's approach help them, to your mind? It serves only to push housing further out of reach. Why would young Kiwis vote for fewer future opportunities for themselves? Seems to me you're suggesting voting for a government that will make things a whole lot more dirty deliberately, before any clean-up.

Sounds more like a body function to me.


Simple Simon's recipe is to cut tax but they let loose on house prices.. so the impact would be worse for FHB and middle income earners

The fixes for high house prices have to come from cutting regulations that have added something like $150k to house prices in last 10 years (cost of building has risen by that much above inflation). All parties should make pruning back inefficient regulatory regime and ensuring there is a supply of cheap sections available on urban boundaries priorities if they truly want to reduce house prices. If they don't, well, just shows they aren't really interested.


when we did some minor renovations in our Auckland home. The compliance cost was about 25% of the overall cost, it was a joke!

Out of curiosity, were those frictions more in dealing with council regs or government ones?

In my case although the building consent cost nominally more, the time delays associated with the resource consent (which occurs after part of the cost has been sunk into the project, think engineering & architecture) meant that the resource consent costed more before we even take into account the opportunity cost (using just interest paid in money owing).
P.S. resource consenting picked up “issues” that had already passed in the building consent stage.


But the prospect of National not doing that while at the same time increasing demand and money into the housing crisis is the exact opposite of making life more viable for younger Kiwis hoping to have children and build a life in NZ.

Lowering income taxes for high income earners and removing the foreign buyers ban will increase demand for housing. As will returning the Bright Line test to two years.
I am all for improving the supply of housing. But National's housing and RMA paper was actually light on detail and they have history on not following through with housing supply promises. So given National are proposing definite factors that will increase housing demand whilst being vague about improving housing supply then it is likely house prices and rents will continue to rise if they get into government.

To be fair we can thank the Nats for the Unitary Plan, which is making a huge difference to freeing up supply in Auckland.

Yes having something like the Independent Hearing Panels doing cost benefit analysis on local government planning restrictions would be helpful. It certainly helped with Auckland's Unitary Plan.

But have the prices come down?

No and in fact in places like Wellington rent has been rising strongly. So more needs to be done.

Spot On, because a lower price is the only true indicator of sufficient supply. So things like the Unitary plan and SHA were completely inadequate in that they only feed enough supply onto the market for maximum value to be extracted from purchasers before they could no longer afford to buy.

It's a practiced skill but any good parasite knows how to get as much out of the host without killing it.

Everyone is a fan of "cutting regulation", until a large apartment complex goes up next door

Lets see the plan Simon, this "announcement" was so loose on details, it was a play from Labours playbook, make announcements with no actual plan.


he wants to cut taxes but keep debt low but spend more on roads but get rid of the fuel tax but introduce congestion tax but not add any more tax's
that is one confused politician


You are right. What he says does not add up. The same way what Labour says never adds up. So sad that we get to chose between these two. And at the end of the day, it really makes no difference to which one end up in power as they are essentially the same with a small degree of difference on their pet projects.

Your conclusion isn't rocket science either just common sense understanding

This stuff was all budgeted for before the last election; lots of infrastructure build, a tax cut, and surpluses. Helps when you don't waste billions on low quality spending, massive growth of civil service and beneficiary numbers and knobbling growth the way the coalition has. National will once again be called upon to repair the mess created by the woefully incompetent left.


The economy has moved on from 2017 and so has the policy promises -so no it doesn't add up. But it is interesting that you think National's game plan is simply to carry on from where they left off in 2017.
Simon is going to play the burlesque dance routine all the way to the election. Promising plans and details about tax cuts, debt forecasts, infrastructure spend -getting media to events where he promises to reveal all. But at the last moment he will not deliver the facts on what his government would do.
Simon's campaign plan is to go relentlessly negative about Jacinda's government -that's all he has.


What did National do in 9 years apart from a flag referendum?


Sell state houses during a housing crisis (whilst denying the crisis existed).
Planned to sell the whole stock of state housing to for-profit commercial enterprises.

and created a whole load of social housing with CHPs that did not exist -- which significantly increased the numbers of social housing options - -but just not with Kainga Ora -- virtually all the stock was sold to social housing providers - the revenue raised where the stock was not transferred, was used to finance projects like the Tamaki regeneration project - which will create nearly 25000 new warm dry homes -
the stock they inherited from Labour - was worn down poorly maintained - not insulated and among the worst housing in the country -

dare i remind you - it was national taht instigated the insulation targets -- and had to do over 50000 state homes whilst in power -- - also labour built less than 200 new homes in teh last two years in government ( about the same as they have managed with Kiwi Build ! ) as the money had all run out !

National certainly failed to respond - acknowledge and recognise the grwoing extent of the problem - and with high immigration helped cause it -- but hell its got massively worse since teh muppets took over the beehive

Lots of your facts are wrong here. The COL government has a plan for HNZ to build 1600 state houses a year. Which it is exceeding. A fact which they get too little credit for.
National when in government wanted the non-profit community housing sector to take over state housing from HNZ. The Salvation Army and other Community Housing providers despite repeated public inducements to negotiate declined this offer.
The community housing sector would like to expand in its own right. But that would take capital grants which neither National nor Labour have provided.

Also National when in government decided to sell state housing to for-profit foreign commercial entities starting in Christchurch, Invercargill and Tauranga? when its negotiations with the NZ based community housing sector fell through. They lost the 2017 election so COL obviously stopped that plan from being implemented.
Judith Collins vague Housing discussion document indicates National wants to continue with the transfering state housing away from HNZ plan.

Isn’t the social housing shortage more acute under labour? How is the emergency housing expenditure under labour relative to under the last national government? It almost looks like Labour are building more state houses because they have generated the need for more state housing (by pushing people into poverty? Possibly by driving rents up?).

More people are on the que for state housing and getting emergency housing grants because they aren't being ignored and left to sleep in cars like under John Keys government.

Clearly the answer was just to promise more - what parties actually do apparently isn't that relevant.

Was the flag referendum the same one Labour had in it’s election manifesto ?

John Key trying time be nice - but conveniently overlooked.

Do we really have to go through this all again? Good: Took huge structural deficit that Cullen left (see the pre-election Prefu) and while weathering the twin trevails of GFC and Earthquakes within 6 years had returned the govt to surplus. Boosted NZ growth a lot, got unemployment down to 4.5%, increased health spend well above rate of inflation. Reduced poverty. Bad: vastly increased health and safety and other regulatory costs, many think too much immigration (though they still won 3 elections in a row), wasted opportunity to fix RMA, wasted time and money on flag referendum, slow to react to house price skyrocketing 2012-2016 (just like other countries in same period), but worst of all; annoyed leftists.

> Good: Took huge structural deficit that Cullen left (see the pre-election Prefu)

Except there wasn't a structual deficit. It was ONLY if spending remained the same that there would be a deficit of that order. The government didn't have any time to change policies and since they lost the election they didn't. But if they had been elected they would have changed policies to ensure the deficits did not happen (or at least didn't last for a decade).

> while weathering the twin trevails of GFC and Earthquakes

Because Cullen had run 9 budget surpluses and spent them paying down debt. We're lucky that Brash didn't win in 2005 or he would've cut taxes and not reduced our debt, making recovery from the earthquakes much harder. Bill English said in 2009 of the GFC - this is the rainy day the government has been saving for.

> within 6 years had returned the govt to surplus
2015 was National's first 'surplus', and it was smoke and mirrors. They only achieved it by marking things as recoverable loans from local councils which would ordinarily be straight payments so that they could be classed as assets on their books instead, only to turn around later and forgive the loans.

> increased health spend well above rate of inflation.

But not population growth.

> Bad: vastly increased health and safety and other regulatory costs

Nah, the new law is substantially not any different than the old one. People are just obeying it (better) now.

Don’t forget the marvel that was the asset sales policy that was going to transform our economy. Also Brownlee’s management of the rebuild, and McCullys restructure of the MFAT. Oh and bigger class sizes. Now Bridges says they will deliver smaller class sizes.

Have I missed any of the highlights?

Refusing entry to Pike River mine
Not increasing spending in key areas like health to keep up with pop growth...

Pike River was always a waste of money. Offer a quarter of the 40million spent to families and which do you think they would have chosen?
National increased health spending 10% per person in real terms. Labour lied repeatedly about that during their 'barking at passing cars' days in opposition.

Managed NZ economy through GFC Christchurch Earthquake. Short memory syndrome from labour as usual

increased GST (after saying they wouldn't)

National were running on increasing Working for Families and the Accommodation Supplement, and their spending on emergency motel accommodation (following selling off state housing) was already ramping up. Likewise, spend on contractors at a higher rate than fulltime staff was a massive gravy train in Wellington.

National was not achieving growth, and the current government hasn't knobbled it in comparison. They're both poor on GDP per capita.

What you describe simply doesn't resemble reality. More a wish list.

Nationals policy on housing resulted in our hard earned taxes being spent on emergency housing.
This was the legacy National left for New Zealanders.

The problem is never fully realised until years later - I see we're still paying for it 200%+ more than in 2016

It's the biggest bloody disgrace for New Zealand in the 21st Century.

"This stuff was all budgeted for before the last election; "

I love that you actually believe that!

A great summation.

Bridges is promising tax cuts, lower debt, and more spending.

No numbers attached to any of it.

No explanation of how he would take in less money, spend more, and borrow less.

Simon says National is the party of tax cuts, the party of infrastructure and a good economic manager/fiscally responsible party.

It's just empty fluff.

Show us the money, Simon.

He mentioned a public private partnership, that would imply allowing private equity to do some of the spending on his behalf.

That is extremely vague. The voting public deserves the facts.

Commercial sensitivity will usually mean that projects done during this model have to have a measure of secrecy around them until after the tendering phase is complete (at which point the public can be advised of the details). I am fairly certain that this is the same the world over.

WTF there is no commercial negotiations because Simon Bridges is not in a position and may never be in position to negotiate because he is not in government.

No different to what the Coalition have been doing. But you sucked it up from them. So suck it up again


And so the money scramble begins!!!

Im sure Labour will be buying your vote with similar "promises"

I cant remember the last government that did anything meaningful to enhance our piece of paradise. Just numbnuts that think they know it all and go ahead and sell out and bastardize what was once so precious.


What lolly scramble. What lollies did Simon offer? It was a speech devoid of anything solid and tangible. It was waffle not lollies.

Should we therefore have a 4 year government... fewer money/lolly scrambles.

Not on your Nelly. three years has been for this lot

National opposed Congestion charges in Auckland , while in power.

Different leader= Different policies

Yet every economist (including RBNZ) says current fiscal expansion from present Govt is the right move.....

National need some actual policy not the tinkering of English.

Labour's trump card would be interest free student loans for those living overseas. That's extra 8000 votes. Helen did it and she won the election!

What so ex pat Kiwis can send their offspring to NZ medical schools, like Dunedin, sucking on the teat of local tax payers then take off home to places like Australia to enjoy the student loan interest free while chucking a few $ at the balance? What the F....

btw, he got scholarship to go uni here. so un-tighten your underpants a little, you are choking for air.

Devil will be in the detail.
Will I change my vote to the Nats if I get an extra $10-$15 in the hand per week? Yeah, nah.
If that's $25-$30, yeah yeah....probably.

I wish I could vote Labour, but they are incompetent, and in the face of that incompetence on delivering on their 'greater good' agenda, which I voted for last time, I will put self interest first.

But it's got to be a meaningful change, so I will reserve judgement for now...

Whatever pittance National hand out in tax cuts will be taken back ten times over in housing increases.

The shortness of this article reflects the details proposed.

The shortness of this article reflects the *lack of* detail proposed


'I've no real idea on how to support a prosperous economy so I'll just fall back on cutting tax revenue even further to give the illusion of economic growth. What meagre public services that do currently exist will collapse in on themselves due to underfunding from lack of tax revenue, just the same way my party acted last time in government. If you are stupid enough to vote for that you deserve me as PM.' Simon Bridges 2020

An indexation of tax brackets and/or a tax free threshold would be the fairest cut. Basically everyone gets a tax cut to roughly the same dollar value.

The difference being that Labour would jack up income tax rates at the top at the same time, because they don't want "rich pricks" being better off even by a single buck.

Indexing tax thresholds to inflation was Michael Cullen's policy in 2005. After the election he couldn't get enough support from coalition partners to pass it. National opposed it. Now they're trotting it out like it's some magical policy they invented.

There is nothing new under the sun.

Gotta fund the Wellington gravy train somehow - and it's sure as hell not going to be through cost savings, I can promise you that.


The reason why families and all low income earners (and others) are struggling is that the cost of housing (be it to purchase or rent) takes up too much of the take home pay of those renting. There are no any policy statements that will tackle this. So they will put more money into peoples hands which will go out the hand to pay more rent or pump up house prices. Sorry, this is a fail and more of the same policies which saw them lose (not win) the last election.

I don't know if I agree with this. Most NZ h'holds are living paycheck to paycheck, meaning that the savings rate is close to zero (apparently KiwiSaver hardship withdrawls hit a record high [according to Granny Herald behind a paywall]). As soon as more h'hold budget is allocated to housing, this will impact both discretionary / non-discretionary spend in the consumer economy (already doing it pretty tough). This impacts income growth so you're creating a negative feedback loop for the bubble economy.

Bubble economics is quite stupid if you're prepared to think about it.


Tax cuts? That should sweeten selling property to non-resident foreigners. And who wouldn't want that? Certainly not the CCP accolytes seemingly having sunk their proboscis deep into National – inserting money and influence, and sucking out honesty and transparency.

For this is where National has a serious problem. Bridges willfully downplays the rank of a figure he meets - ‘in charge of China’s secret police’, so characterized by Professor Anne-Marie Brady - and, to global astonishment, lavishly praises the CCP in a Chinese media interview. All this on a trip organized by National list MP Jian Yang, whose background includes a decade at an elite Chinese spy school (a career at first invisible on his cv). The party’s hero, John Key, goes out of his way to hobnob ‘in a personal capacity’ with Xi Jinping, the 21st century’s Stalin.

Other MPs – Labour too - have their own compromises, allegiances and relationships to explain. But any further, and the CCP will have New Zealand politics in a determined headlock (much as our universities find they're now in). We will be out of full membership of Five Eyes (a knife-edge already) and all deep democratic information-sharing. We will be little more than the CCP’s South Pacific outpost, an economic colony of a state intensely hostile to every democratic and human right.

Comment of the week !!!


Yep it's a nope from me if he wants to re-open foreign buyers.

Yeah that's what my wife said to me when I said I might vote for the Nats if they cut taxes...
And it's a fair point.
I have no idea why they are looking to revert this. I'm sure it's a relatively popular policy.
And it's telling, anecdotally, that it might be a key factor in people not finally giving their votes to the Nats.
It's a big one for my wife, she would otherwise probably vote for the Nats.
How about you liveyourwork?
It's one of the very few good things that the current government has done.

This feels like an ideological call from the Nats (or one designed to please their CCP overlords), and it won't help them...

The way he phrased it is sounds like he want to let foreigners build new houses (to help alleviate the housing crisis) and buy expensive houses (not competing with first home buyers, but giving builders a lifeline in the event that construction work starts to dry up)

I agree that it is one of the few good things the current govt has done and haven't met many people who disagree.

Well I'm personally not interested in voting red or blue for the foreseeable future. However like you and a few other commentators here I was beginning to look at tax cuts over meaningful societal change. I just can't see past SB's love affair with CCP and the blatantly obvious Chinese interference with the Nats over the last decade or so. Workingman's comment above better outlines my concerns :D


Tax cuts with average benefits?

Would love to see his working on the 33%.

they should knock gst back to %10

Yeah nah, not gonna vote for Simple Simon this time..

"To do this, today I am announcing five key measures that I want the sixth National Government’s first term to be measured by…"

No doubt after the election he will claim, ala John Key and closing the income gap with australia' that these are not actually targets to be measured by but rather simple aspirations.

Heard it all before ey


...the National Party campaigned on closing the wage gap with Australia, and in a coalition agreement with the Act Party, set up the Don Brash-led 2025 Taskforce to look at ways of closing that gap by 2025.

However pretty much every suggestion in the two reports from the Taskforce has been cast aside by National as being politically too unpalatable, leaving the reports as nothing much more than doorstoppers in the Beehive and pillows for Act Party members.

The last National government ignored their own appointed work group recommendations?

Cullen's response to NZ falling behind Australia was that Kiwis who didn't like it should leave. I'll take Key's failure and arse-covering over endemic Labour laziness and apathy towards middle NZ.

Key didn't fail, to fail you have to try. Key ignored all the recommendations and imported cheap labour, incentivising companies to not invest in greater productivity.

Absolutely no pretence that will do anything to solve the housing affordability crisis. Nada. I suppose you can say that they are at least more honest than John Keys Government.

Blimey, we're a tough lot. You all sound as cynical as me. I suppose it comes from being let down time & again by our puerile politicians. I wish I had the answers, but I read similar tales from many (good) countries around the planet every day online. And whilst we all seem a bit grumpy with how things are going, remember we don't live in Wuhan, or Libya, or Russia, or Romania, or Yemen, or Iran, or the Phillipines, or Indonesia, or any of the other 100 other nations that have much worse issues than we do.
But we need a better democracy & as I've written before, we need competitive regions with competent regional leadership with central leadership reduced to half a dozen key ingredients. I'd probably suggest a rotating central leadership structure, based of federalism, but with the real voting power given to the regions to bring to the central table. I want to break up the left-right thing, which is currently quite dysfunctional, & bring in a new dynamic where the regions both can compete & co-operate, depending on their strengths & weaknesses (yes, & the politics of the time). My leadership ingredients would involve people with proven leadership records, obviously from business, but including community & other (sporting) heavyweights, that could bring some real regional solutions to the central table about how they've made their regions work for everyone that lives there. The current dipsticks that call themselves local government would need totally changing, but that's part of what I'm suggesting - both levels of governance shook up & starting over, so that the people (us) everywhere can participate in a potential success story. How would it succeed? Within a decade the regions doing well will be obvious to all, laying down the template for what could be replicated around the rest of the country so that perhaps within a generation (25 years) we have a completely functional & accountable society. Sure, it'll be a sh.... ......t to re-write but I'm sure their are brighter people than me that could suggest or perhaps compete (with a million dollar prize) to update democracy, so that it's a mostly functional thing for most of us to enjoy during our time here. It (our national leadership) can't be any worse than what we've got, can it?

I would love NZ to have a Federal/State government system based on our provincial structure. But there is no obvious political path to achieving that.

Maybe turn the 61 (or 60? ) seat MP's into "state" Senators , do we really need 120 MP's?

Agree, highly urbanised NZ tends to capriciously stomp all over the interests of provincial/rural NZ without thought or concern for the communities they (at times) destroy - need some manner of devolution of control to people who live in the places affected.

Mate where I live it' the farmers dictating to the urbanites how things should be run. Regional Council's area classic for being over run by self interested farmers looking to extract as much value out of the environment as possible and then getting everyone else to pay for their fencing and planting to reduce their environmental impact in a token way.

This Government is a failed experiment
substitute for this national leader is a failed experiment

with a different leader they have a good shot at taking over, give Andrew Little his dues he saw that before it was too late
its a shame SB does not do what is best for the party

Sums up the party and voting base - self interested.

Bridges needs to do his sums and front up on Checkpoint.

He's a Trumpist in the offing.

He came across very poorly on this Newshub article. I think Key and English would be embarrassed about Simon's so called major announcement speech.

Simon's learned the three R's: recycle, reuse, reduce.


From what I see, there is no silver lining. The Party that win is the one that lies the most convincingly. All start with what they think is the best intentions. Have to give credit to Labour for acknowledging and trying to fix the housing crises although miserably failed. Idea was good target wrong. The only way to fix housing is through legislation and killing the demand. Bean counters are brain washed into growing profit to be successful. That's why a companies success is measured by how much more profit they make than the previous year. All the big banks yearly profits equals in access of Billion dollars. This is what drives their big paycheck bonusses. Therefore me the little peanut in the packet just need to shut up and accept the greed. So I won't care about the big picture and look after number one.

An idea that didn't work, for reasons that were clear even when it was announced (could never meet cost targets, and lack of industry capacity), is a terrible idea. How do you give Labour any credit for that other than for being stupid ideologues? The big problem in NZ is the regulatory cost burden - amounting to something like 25-35% of the cost of the build, and additionally the majority of land cost as councils use it as a cash cow (eg someone I talked to was charged $0.25million for subdivding a 1Ha lifestyle block with no council services near Helensville). Those regulatory costs pump up cost of new builds massively - increasing price of whole housing market as a result. Regulatory costs can be fixed by govt. Why don't they?

This article talks about average hourly earnings, Bridges talks about average wage. Not everyone is on an hourly rate, many are on salary. From we see the average salary is $76451.

The other point about using hourly rates is that it doesn't take in any overtime, penal rates, allowances etc. therefore Bridges is correct. While he will have access to actual IRD data we have to rely on the data from the average salary survey.

From a survey of a 1212. Hardly representative...

While the median wage is lower again. In the $50-55k area, I heard mentioned.

They do pay 33 cents in the dollar for every dollar earned over $70,000. The average wage is higher than $70,000. That implies logically that they do pay 33 cents in the dollar on at least some of their income. The claim in the link only holds water if it were made in opposition to a claim that someone on the average wage in NZ is taxed on average at 33 cents in the dollar ( which no one is claiming ).

Semantics is important, not certain that it will matter too much here though. Left voters are less likely to understand the message being conveyed by the article linked, whilst most right voters comprehend effective marginal tax rates and / or at least the rudimentary logic above.

Nope half the workforce do not earn more than $70,000 a year.
Keen Observer's linked article clearly explains it;
"So what is the average wage then? Stats NZ figures from last year put the median weekly income at $1016, which added up per annum comes to a shade under $53,000."
Simon Bridges is out of touch with the real life experience of being a worker in NZ if he thinks that half the population earns over $70,000!
And that is the point. Simon was profoundly ill prepared for his major economic announcement on Monday which indicates he is not ready for government.
Not that I was a fan of John Key or Bill English (although I preferred Bill to John) but neither of them made half-arsed presentations when kicking-off the party's economic direction for a electoral year campaign.

You are confusing median and mean. Average = mean. The average is an easy to understand & commonly used concept for most people. The median is rarely used in real life statistical concept that is generally only ever used by theorists. When you and your 2 of your mates chip in to buy 3 pizzas ( $5, $5 & $11 ) you do not claim to have spent $5 each on pizza despite that being the median, you would instead say that you each put $7 (the average) towards pizza.

On the other hand, "fully half of Kiwis earn less than $53k per year" is pretty easily understandable. Depends on how it's expressed.

Either way the amount of high income bracket tax paid by the average worker would be negligible.

The median is far more useful actually for population analysis. If nine people earn 100 bucks and the tenth earns 1000, the average (mean) of 190 bucks won't be representative.

The median works to trim the impact of outliers and show what the bulk of people are experiencing.

Additionally that article omits income from sources other than wages & salaries. Simon’s declaration will resonate well with anyone who makes over the $70k mark even if it was bonuses, overtime, self employed income or income from a second job that pushes them over the 70k mark. On top of that anyone who sees that they are close to that $70k mark and believes that they may pass it soon will also receive his comments favourably. All that an article like the one in the spinoff achieves is convince them that they are in a minority and that it will be extra important for them to vote to have any hope of having their position represented.

in the photo he looks isolated,he usually has some "noddies"backing him,did he give them the slip?or have they deserted him.

As covered here, Simon's speech was nothing other than empty fluff. You are only months away from an election, yet we see no details. Luckily he was rightfully panned for his lack of details and seeiming lack of knowledge about how the tax system works.

They go on and on about the government not actually doing much, then they do exactly the same. Thats a special sort of incompetence.

Either way it signals whoever wins the election, they are not going to actually do much. We are in the age of the social media politician, focus on all the fluff and PR, but actually deliver very little.

Could we please actually see some concrete plans from a political party of actual details of what they will do? So we the voters can actually judge for ourselves.

This is politics 101, promise tax cuts that rarely if ever eventuate or have any real impact...

I would speculate based on their last term that the real agenda of National is to get the population increasing again and unwind some foreign buyer rules
This in turn pushes up housing costs (well beyond any possible tax incentive) and far out of the reach of average income families which simply prevents any real benefit to New Zealanders and continues the decline in home ownership
Bit of a stretch to believe national ever has the best interests of 'average wage earners' at heart...

Tax cuts for average wage earners are a bit of a joke as the tax laws are written to incentivise running a business or investment which has the lowest real tax rates, with key differences in deductables and how it is calculated. From a 'percentage taken as tax' standpoint employees will always be taxed the highest, especially the 'average wage earner'

they just announced they will stop the raising of the min wage.
maybe they should scrap it altogether then we could save money on inspectors chasing down liquor shop owners

I wish Brash at the helm before Nat Co. awarded JK for the post, once a bwanker always be.. the principalities, never faded in your life. Voted them expect for the betterment of the country as a whole, but noticing how JK flip-flop interview for couple major cases, then for us just to realise that we've been taken for a ride. (you name it: pike river, AML/initial denials, EQC, etc) - The current Nat Co. babies just inherit/rub in.. the Malice character. The left? sigh, incompetent.. but hey it can be trained. The right malice? well, kind of difficult.. using their paper/legal competency to shield their malice intention/activities. - It is about our choices at the end of the day.