Increasing dependence on rechargeable batteries for energy storage calls for the improvement of energy density of batteries. Toward this goal, introduction of positive electrode materials with high voltage and/or high capacity is in high demand. The use of oxygen chemistry in lithium and sodium layered oxides has been of interest to achieve high capacity. Nevertheless, a complete understanding of oxygen-based redox processes remains elusive especially in sodium ion batteries. Herein, a novel P3-type $$Na_{0.67}Ni_{0.2}Mn_{0.8}O_2$$, synthesized at low temperature, exhibits oxygen redox activity in high potentials. Characterization using a range of spectroscopic techniques reveals the anionic redox activity is stabilized by the reduction of Ni, because of the strong Ni 3d–O 2p hybridization states created during charge. This observation suggests that different route of oxygen redox processes occur in P3 structure materials, which can lead to the exploration of oxygen redox chemistry for further development in rechargeable batteries.