This graph shows average earnings (from Stats NZ) for those in employment adjusted for tax (and ACC) and inflation. So basically it is net disposable income from work.
The red shows nine years of Labour and blue seven years of National. You can see the difference low inflation makes, plus of course a reduction in tax rates twice.
This is adjusted to June 2015 dollars.
The latest data is for June 2016. Nominal average earnings are $51,062, tax is $8,340 and GST $710.
Here is what is interesting. That average worker on $51,000 is paying as much income tax today as the average worker was in first quarter 2009 when they earned only $42,000.
But also of interest is that someone earning the average wage is now $9,000 a year better off than they were 15 years ago – even after adjusting for inflation.