Rob Salmond takes a look at New Zealand’s tax system and compares it to the rest of the OECD. His conclusion. Low income New Zealanders pay more tax than they would in almost any other OECD nation, and high income New Zealanders pay less tax than they would almost anywhere else.
(The neoliberal reply to this would be that the wealthy can invest their money far more productively than the government, so the current settings are more likely to drive economic growth. I think anyone making that argument should be forced to eat every news story ever written about the finance company debacle.)
I don’t think Rob’s work factors in Working For Families, which changes things a bit. Those on low incomes with no children – ie those who can easily move to Australia, taking their future tax streams with them – seem hardest hit by the current tax system.