If Labour were to introduce tax changes, the most obvious strategy is with a bait-and-switch.
John Key's 2010 "tax switch" increased GST to 15% while reducing personal taxes.
His opponents vehemently disagreed, arguing that increasing GST would disproportionately benefit higher income earners.
Key's switch was introduced outside of an election year, but during a similar period of economic uncertainty.
He correctly calculated that voters were more likely to value an increase in their respective incomes than punish his government for subsequent inflationary impacts, or a perception that rich would get richer.
Thirteen months later, National was comfortably returned to government.
Labour might consider a version of the same strategy, arguing that a tax switch which benefits the poor and middle class at the expense of the wealthy is a prudent way to improve the fairness of the tax system whilst helping New Zealanders with everyday cost-of-living challenges and a potential recession.
One way to do this would be to adopt National's tax policy and raise income tax brackets in line with inflation whilst simultaneously targeting wealthier Kiwis to make up the lost revenue, and some.
Commentators have questioned whether boosting middle class incomes might even allow for the reintroduction of a capital gains tax (CGT) policy, which was previously ruled out under her leadership by Jacinda Ardern.
Opposition parties would surely characterise a CGT or similar as depressing economic growth and stifling innovation.
But Labour's strategists could gamble that many of those most directly affected by the introduction of a CGT, wealth tax, or similar, would be unlikely to vote for Labour anyway, and any votes lost in the political fallout might be offset by support among lower-and-medium income earners.
Still, given his party's recent history and his decision to scrap contentious policies, it would be a surprising move for the prime minister to take on a comprehensive CGT, especially given Labour has already introduced changes to the brightline test.
A much easier sell would be a tax switch which in the eyes of voters more directly targeted the wealthiest New Zealanders (National recently reversed its planned cut to the top income tax bracket after polls showed two thirds of New Zealanders opposed it).
Labour is always twitchy on tax policy. But if timed deftly and communicated skilfully, conditions could allow for significant changes that don't automatically hurt the party's chances in October's election.
Jack Tame is a well-known television presenter and journalist in New Zealand. This article was first published HERE