Fixing the Housing Crisis
Home ownership is the worst it’s been in 60 years and our young people are increasingly giving up on the idea of ever owning their own home. The more the National Government denies there is a problem, the more it shows how out of touch they are getting.
Instead of fixing the problem, National is siding with property speculators. They are too focused on looking after those at the top rather than families in the middle.
Labour backs the Kiwi dream of home ownership.
That’s why we will:
- Build more affordable houses.
- Crack down on speculators.
- Support those in need.
Making immigration work for New Zealand
- Ensure that businesses are able to get genuinely skilled migrants when they need them. This will include introducing an Exceptional Skills Visa for highly skilled or talented people and introducing a KiwiBuild Visa for residential construction firms who train a local when they hire a worker from overseas.
- Strengthen the Labour Market Test for work visas so they are not being used for jobs Kiwis can do, and make our skills shortage lists more regional so migrants coming in under them can only live and work in areas where there is a genuine skills shortage.
- Require courses for international students to be high-quality, remove the ability to work for international students in low-level courses except where the work is approved as part of their study, and remove the ability to get a work visa without a job for those who have completed study below university level.
Clean rivers for future generations
- Restore our rivers and lakes to a truly swimmable state within a generation
- Help farmers and other owners of waterways with fencing and riparian planting through our Ready for Work programme
- Give the regional councils the resources to clean up their waterways through a water royalty.
- Make it easier for those in our community with mental health problems to get the help they need by increasing resources for frontline health workers. Click here to read the details.
- Extend School Based Health Services to all public secondary schools so all schools have a comprehensive youth health service. Click here to read the details.
- Boost Working for Families to all those who currently receive it and extend it to 30,000 more families, in addition to the Working for Families changes announced in Budget 2017.
- Introduce a Best Start payment to help families with costs in a child’s early years.
- Introduce a Winter Energy Payment for people receiving superannuation or a main benefit.
- Reinstate the Independent Earners’ Tax Credit.
- Implement the Accommodation Supplement increases announced in Budget 2017.
Labour's Fiscal Plan
National Cancer Agency
Ready for Work
- Give unemployed young people a job for six months doing work of public value, so they can gain work experience and avoid long-term unemployment.
Transforming Careers Advice
- Ensure every student has a personalised career development plan.
- Professionalise careers advice and integrate it into learning. Every high school will have highly trained, skilled careers advice staff.
- Develop partnerships between schools, businesses and training providers to provide young people with hands on experience in schools encouraging flexible approaches like the Gateway programme.
- Labour’s Working Futures Plan provides three years of free post-school education over a person’s lifetime. It can be used for any training, apprenticeship or higher education approved by NZQA and can be used for full-time or part-time study.
- The three years don’t have to be used all at once. For instance, someone could complete a one year polytechnic course in their twenties, then a two year design course if they want to retrain later in life.
- The plan will be introduced in phases, with one year’s education available from 2019, two years from 2022 and three years available from 2025.
- It will not affect the existing living allowances and course-related costs.
Young Entrepreneurs Policy
- The Young Entrepreneurs Plan will allow a small number of smart and innovative young New Zealanders to apply to cash in their three free years of education, instead receiving a start-up business grant, training and a business mentor. Any New Zealander aged 18 to 23 can apply for up to $20,000 to start a new business based on an innovative idea.
- They must have been through an accelerator business training programme, which will be paid for under the policy, have a business mentor and a business plan accepted by an independent panel of business experts.
- This will be a one-off grant, helping those with a great idea and the drive to make it happen, get access to the finance that otherwise would be unavailable to them. Safeguards include training and a mentor who will help them put their business plan into action.
Our Work Our Future
Labour will ensure the Government focuses on creating more jobs:
- When Government organisations issue large contracts, they will have to choose the winning bid based on which creates jobs in New Zealand.
- When Government organisations issue contracts, they will have to design them so that companies focused on creating jobs in New Zealand have a fair chance of winning them.
- Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour.
- Replace the current National Government’s ‘fire at will’ law with fair trial periods that provide both protection against unjustified dismissal and a simple, fair, and fast referee service.
- Introduce Fair Pay Agreements that set fair, basic employment conditions across an industry based on the employment standards that apply in that industry.
- Promote the Living Wage by paying it to all workers in the core public service, and extending it to contractors over time.
- Double the number of Labour Inspectors.
1000 additional police
- Fund 1,000 more Police Officers and the resources that they need to make our communities safer.
- Work with Police to tackle the increasing numbers of assaults, sexual assaults, burglaries, robberies, as well as methamphetamine supply. Community policing will be a priority.
Ending Secondary Tax
- Labour will abolish secondary tax as it denies many New Zealanders access to wages they need to make ends meet.
- To avoid people getting a large tax bill at the end of the year we will ensure that they are taxed at the appropriate rate through the year. This will be possible through the IRD Business Transformation/computer system upgrade process.
Better homes for Maori
- Partner with hapu, iwi and Māori organisations to develop affordable and social housing through the procurement process and by creating joint development organisations
- Expand home ownership support programmes proven to assist Māori into home ownership including:
- Invest an additional $20 million over four years in NGOs and Māori providers who deliver supported home ownership services such as budgeting advice
- Reform the Kāinga Whenua and Welcome Home Loans schemes so Māori are able to access home loans on an equal basis to other New Zealanders whether the land has one owner or is part of a whānau trust with multiple owners
- Work with financial institutions, iwi and Māori organisations to enable iwi and Māori organisations to access mortgages collectively on behalf of their members
- Investigate the option of shared equity and rent to buy for KiwiBuild houses with iwi
- Establish a Māori Housing Unit within the Affordable Housing Authority to ensure housing policies are tailored to meet the specific needs and aspirations of Māori
- Increase state housing stock by at least 1,000 homes per year
- Implement a Healthy Homes Guarantee to ensure all rental homes are warm and dry
- Work to end homelessness by increasing emergency housing, developing a national strategy and action plan, adopting a Housing First approach and implementing a licensing regime and minimum standards for boarding houses.
Auckland Transport – Making Auckland a world-class city
- Build light rail from the CBD to Auckland Airport. This will be part of a new light rail network that will be built over the next decade with routes to the central suburbs, the airport, and West Auckland, and will later be extended to the North Shore
- Build a new Bus Rapid Transit line from Howick to the airport, starting with a bus service which will connect Puhinui and Manukau train stations to the airport in one year
- Invest in more electric trains, electrification to Pukekohe, and building a third main trunk line urgently between Westfield and Papakura
- Build a range of significant cross-town bus priority routes including New Lynn-Flat Bush, Point Chevalier-Botany, Silverdale-Whangaparoa, and Howick-Glenfield
- Allow Auckland Council to collect a regional fuel tax to fund the acceleration of these investments, along with infrastructure bonds and targeted rates to capture value uplift.
Investing in public transport for Greater Christchurch
- Commit an additional $100m from the National Land Transport Fund in capital investment to Greater Christchurch multi-modal public transport, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD as a first step. We’ll work with local authorities and other partners on a 21st century strategic multi-modal transport plan for Greater Christchurch.
Rapid Rail in the Golden Triangle
- create a passenger rail service linking Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga and, if justified by demand, upgrade it in stages to a rapid rail network throughout the Golden Triangle.
Regional Transport Funding
- make more funding available for transport projects of regional importance by doubling the funding range of $70-$140m to $140-$280m.
- ensure that our rivers and lakes are genuinely swimmable, without trickery around standards
- restore the health of waterways so that fish and invertebrates can thrive in them
Flexible Tax for Business
- An entirely flexible voluntary withholding tax, to let businesses meet their tax obligations at a rate of their choosing and on their own timetable, rather than the current rigid system of provisional tax.
- Raise the threshold for businesses to pay provisional tax from $2500 to $5000.
- Remove late payment penalties on provisional tax.
Regional Development – Unlocking Dunedin's Potential
- set up a Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) in Dunedin. The Centre will build on existing gaming and digital businesses and the existing academic centres. CODE would cost around $10m over ten years and would have three main elements:
- set up a new Chair of Computer Gaming at Otago University
- accelerate existing digital start-ups with an incubator space that includes a motion- capture studio, access to publishing software & mentorship programmes
- establish a funding pool administered by private industry aimed at attracting young talent to the industry with post-school digital pathways and scholarships.
A fresh solution to the Manawatu Gorge
- commit to funding a permanent, resilient replacement for the Manawatu Gorge Road. This is most likely to be the proposed Te Apiti route, subject to the final decision being made by NZTA
- make the process of building a new road as quick as possible to restore a quality link.
Dole for Apprenticeships
- Labour is boosting its Dole for Apprenticeships scheme. We are expanding our previous commitment to pay the equivalent of the unemployment benefit to employers who take on an apprentice.
- This is an extension of the Kickstart Apprenticeships scheme which offered Dole for Apprenticeships to 18 and 19 year olds only, capped at 3000 per year.
- We are removing the cap and extending the eligibility to all 18 to 24 year olds not earning or learning. There are currently 72,000 under 25 year olds in New Zealand who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), 11% of this population.
- There are almost 12,000 fewer apprentices in training today than there were in 2007 under Labour.
Child Obesity Package
- In Government, we will provide a clear time-frame for industry to reduce sugar content in all processed food
- We'll roll out the Project Energize programme from the Waikato, nationally
- We'll introduce an actual childhood obesity reduction target, not a weak referral target like National has done
- We'll implement clear front-of-package labelling that is easy for everyone to understand
- We will develop policy around advertising unhealthy food to children, school food requirements, etc.
We'll be announcing more on our Child Obesity Package closer to the election.
Double the Refugee Quota
Labour will double New Zealand's refugee quota to 1500. Read more here.