MikeAqua: "The rich keep getting richer under national" etc
The rich get richer under any government, but when the left of centre parties are in opposition they highlight, that the rich are getting richer. It's a fact of life that some people are good at accumulating wealth. The real problem is that the poor are getting poorer.
It is possible in a wealthy economy with heavy taxation to have a socialist system that functions reasonably well, still allows people to accumulate wealth and provides an incentive to take risk and innovate. This is what the Nordic countries have historically managed to achieve. It should be noted that the rich get richer in Nordic countries too, but a decent standard of living is provided to almost everyone, due to strong and expensive social policies.
Those countries have abundant natural resources which they exploit extensively. Forests, fish, aquaculture, oil, geothermal electricity. They have developed export industries based on these industries e.g. Nokia, Ikea, Marel and countless companies who sell expertise and technology in the oil, fishing and aquaculture sectors.
The wealth and IP arising from natural resources have enabled their economies to afford socialist policies, and provide incomes high enough that you can tax the stuffing out of people and despite the high cost of living in those countries they can still have a nice lifestyle.
The greens would like to introduce a whole lot of socialist policies without exploiting natural resources. How will they fund them?
You can tax the rich for a while, but that isn't actually creating the wealth you need to support social policy.
We could be richer if we more actively explored and exploited our natural mineral wealth. Look at how wealthy Norway has become as a result of that - their surplus fund is worth over US$850 billion!!
Imagine what NZ could do with that kind of wealth? Now, maybe we don't have it but I darned well want full geological surveys done of everywhere (no sacred cows) to find out so that we can actually have an informed discussion.