New research by the University of Otago in Wellington suggests a tax on salt could save the health system around a $1 billion.
A study by the University of Otago in Wellington has been looking at ways to reduce salt in the nation's diet.
Two of the most promising methods include a gradual decline in salt available to the market, and a salt tax.
A co-author of the study, associate professor Nick Wilson, said New Zealand was a long way behind many countries in reducing salt intake which was the eleventh biggest risk factor to health.
He said taxes aimed at tobacco and alcohol had been shown to work.
"These targetted taxes on unhealthy things are a pretty well-recognised way to improve population health."
He said as well as saving money, a salt tax would raise almost $500 million a year.
Chief Executive of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, said the industry had already put a lot of work into reducing salt and said while New Zealander's salt consumption needed to come down, a tax was not the way to do it.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said while he had not seen the research, the Government had no plans to introduce such a tax.