While National has labelled the terms of reference underwhelming, Mr Robertson says it aims for a better balanced tax system.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson unveiled the terms of reference for the group, part of the government's 100-day plan, on Thursday.
The tax working group has been asked to look at a capital gains tax that wouldn't capture the family home, a progressive company tax and other measures.
"Individual wage earners, businesses, asset owners, and speculators should pay their fair share of tax", Mr Robertson said. Right now we don't think that is happening.
It's been directed to focus on fairness and will be tasked with figuring out how the tax system could deliver "positive environmental and ecological outcomes".
"This is an issue that both our coalition partners have asked us to include within the tax working group, it is with an eye to the long term to make sure the tax system supports the environmental outcomes that we have", he said, adding that the water tax remains off the table.
Sir Michael, a former Labour finance minister from 1999 to 2008, is the first of the likely eight-member group to be announced, with the rest expected to be hired by Christmas.
They included taking GST off fruit and vegetables or women's sanitary products, requiring overseas retailers to collect GST on goods bought by New Zealanders, and changes to tax treatment of KiwiSaver.
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But the government will still look at progressing legislation to include online purchases in GST.
Also outside the scope of the group's work is an increase to any income tax rate or the rate of GST, inheritance tax, any changes applying to the taxation of the family home or the land under it.
"The other members of the Working Group will be announced before Christmas".
"We think the working group can play a really important role in carrying on the work of the previous Government in that regard".
But while his hiring has not come as a surprise it was not welcomed by the opposition.
National's finance spokesperson, Steven Joyce, said there no pretence at the independence of the group with the appointment of Sir Michael as its chair.
The Public Services Association criticised the group for having a narrow scope while it and the Taxpayers' Union both called for unions to be represented.
He also says there will be no major changes before the 2020 election so voters can have their say.
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