Labour led-Government with New Zealand First and Greens ready

Swearing in on Thursday, October 26, 2017

Jacinda Ardern

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Agreements with New Zealand First and the Green Party lay the foundation for a strong and proactive coalition government.

The agreements set out a positive agenda for the Labour-led coalition Government to tackle the issues facing New Zealand.

Determined and focused

The majority of people voted for change to the status quo and that’s why we are committed to taking a new approach to how our country is governed and how the economy is managed.

This will be a government of action. We will be determined and focused on what needs to change to make life better for all New Zealanders.

As a priority, we will restore funding to the health system to allow access for all, ensure all Kiwis can live in warm, dry homes, take action on child poverty and homelessness, crack down on foreign speculators, clean our rivers, and strengthen efforts to tackle climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy.

We will focus on sustainable economic development, supporting our regional economies, increasing exports, lifting wages and reducing inequality.

Fiscal responsibility

We are committed to being fiscally responsible and growing the economy, while ensuring all New Zealanders share in our economic prosperity. We firmly believe economic growth must also go hand-in-hand with environmental responsibility.

Today, we embark on a new era for New Zealand. I’m very proud to soon lead a government that will be committed to a better, fairer New Zealand, a government that will ensure the well-being of all New Zealanders is at the heart of all our work.

Newshub reports:

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and Green co-leader James Shaw have signed and released the confidence and supply agreement formed between the two parties.

The parties have agreed to introduce free counselling to under-25s, a Green Transport Card, a referendum on legalising cannabis for personal use, and a host of major environmental policies.

Greens Ministers

The Greens will be given the following Ministerial portfolios (all outside of Cabinet): Climate Change, Associate Finance, Conservation, Women, Land Information New Zealand, Associate Environment, Statistics, Associate Transport, Associate Health, Statistics, Under Secretary to Justice Minister (Domestic and Sexual Violence).

Labour’s agreements with NZ First and the Greens were negotiated separately but there is crossover in a number of areas.

Here’s a look at what Labour and the Greens have committed to:

Sustainable Economy:

Establish a Zero Carbon Act and a Climate Commission

All new legislation to have climate impact assessment analysis

A new cross-agency climate change board of public sector CEOs

A Green Transport Card prioritising lower fares for those in low income households and on benefits

Begin work on light rail to the Auckland Airport

$1 billion investment in low carbon industries by 2020, starting with a $100 million Green Investment Fund

Healthy Environment:

Significant boost to Department of Conservation funding

Better enforcement of the Resource Management Act

Improved water quality with stronger regulation and more funding for freshwater enhancement, while winding down support for irrigation

Work with Maori to establish the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

Look to establish a Taranaki blue whale sanctuary

Minimise landfill with significant reductions in all waste classes by 2020

Fair Society:

An overhaul of the welfare system, removing excessive sanctions, ensuring access to entitlements, and reviewing Working for Families so everyone has a standard of living and income to live in dignity

Ensure every child with special learning difficulties can fully take part in school life

Eliminate the gender pay gap within the core public sector by 2020 and put the rest of the public sector and private sector on a similar pathway

Aim to ensure every New Zealander has a warm, dry, secure home with a significant boost to the number of insulated homes

Introduce a Rent to Own scheme or a similar model as part of the KiwiBuild programme

Free counselling for under 25s

Have a referendum of legalising cannabis for personal use by 2020, boost funding for alcohol and drug addiction services

Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern will announce the full line-up of Ministers and their portfolios on Wednesday, and the new Government will be sworn in on Thursday.

Deal with New Zealand First

Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister-elect Winston Peters have released the details of the coalition agreement for the new Government.

They have agreed to major policies including a re-entry to the Pike River mine, the introduction of three new commissions, a boost to the minimum wage to $20 per hour by 2020 and free doctor’s visits for under-14s.

NZ First’s ministerial portfolios will include Foreign Affairs, Infrastructure, Regional Economic Development, Internal Affairs, Seniors, Defence, Veterans’ Affairs, Children, Forestry, State Owned Enterprises, Racing, Associate Finance, Associate Education and an Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Regional Economic Development.

Here are some of the key policies from the agreement:

A commitment to re-enter Pike River

$1 billion per annum Regional Development Fund:

Investment in regional rail

Planting 100 million trees per year in a Billion Trees Planting Programme

Study the feasibility of moving the Ports of Auckland, giving serious consideration to Northport

Relocating Government functions to the regions

Re-establish the New Zealand Forestry service in the regions

Immigration:

Ensure work visas reflect genuine skill shortages and cut down on low quality international education courses

Take serious action on migrant exploitation, particularly of international students

Environment:

Introduce a Zero Carbon Act

Introduce a Climate Commission

“Significant boost” to Department of Conservation funding

Introduce agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme if recommended by the Climate Commission, with a 95 percent free allocation to the agriculture sector

An emissions-free Government fleet (where possible) by 2025/26

Introduce a royalty on bottled water exports

Health:

Re-establish the Mental Health Commission

Annual free health check including a free eye check for SuperGold Card holders

Teen health checks for all Year 9 students

Free doctor’s visits for all under-14s

Progressively increase age for free breast cancer screening to 74

Economy:

Review and reform of the Reserve Bank Act

Review the official measures of unemployment to reflect the 21st Century

Increase Minimum Wage to $20 per hour by 2020

Increase penalties for corporate fraud and tax evasion

Investigate growing KiwiBank to position it to become the Government’s Banker

Strengthen the Overseas Investment Act, create a comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing

Social Development:

Increase funding for family violence networks including Women’s Refuge and Shakti

Introduce programmes such “Ready for Work” for the long-term unemployed

Pilot the Youth Education, Training & Employment initiative

800 extra places for the Limited Service Volunteer programme

Education:

Pilot counsellors in all secondary schools

A 30-year strategic plan for New Zealand education

Free driver training to all secondary students

Housing:

Establish a Housing Commission

Law and Order:

Aim to introduce 1800 new police officers by 2020

Increase Community Law Centre funding

Investigate a volunteer rural policing programme

Establish a Criminal Cases Review Commission

Ms Ardern and Mr Peters signed the agreement at Parliament this afternoon.

The Prime Minister-elect will announce the full line-up of ministers and their portfolios on Wednesday, and the new Government will be sworn in on Thursday.

*

Photo Caption:

Prime Minister-designate Jacinda Ardern speaking to Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau earlier today.

(Picture Supplied)

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