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How we'll fund our policies

In its first term, Labour will introduce policies to make New Zealand an even better place to live…

Labour’s plan will invest in making New Zealand a better place to live, work, visit, and do business. Our policies will see major investments in housing, health, education, police, and infrastructure, while creating more jobs and lifting the incomes of families. These investments will be made while running surpluses and paying down debt.

… by tackling the housing crisis and restoring the Kiwi Dream of homeownership...

In the first term, the Labour Government will:

  • Ease the housing shortage by building affordable homes and selling them at cost to first home buyers, building state houses, and implementing modern rules around urban limits and density controls
  • Crack down on speculators by banning overseas speculators from buying existing houses and tightening the tax rules speculators exploit
  • Increase our building capacity by investing in our young people, encouraging them into building trades, and investing in modern manufacturing techniques
  • Improve the quality of housing by requiring all rentals to be fit to live in, and invest in insulation and heating grants paid for by closing the speculators’ tax loophole
  • Increase Māori homeownership by establishing a Māori Housing unit, reforming the Kāinga Whenua and Welcome Home Loans schemes, and partnering with hapū, iwi and Māori organisations to develop affordable and social housing.

These policies will see thousands more homes being built while removing speculative demand from the market. Kiwi families will have a fair go at buying a place of their own. By the end of our first term, we expect to see more families owning their own home and a significant reduction in homelessness, on the path to our target of making sure every Kiwi has a warm, dry, safe place to live.

… addressing chronic underfunding of health, education, and police…

In the first term, the Labour Government will:

  • Reverse National’s health cuts and begin the process of making up for the years of underfunding that have occurred. This extra funding will allow us to invest in mental health services, reduce the cost of going to the doctor, carry out more operations, provide the latest medicines, invest in Māori health initiatives including supporting Whānau Ora, and start the rebuild of Dunedin Hospital. By the end of the four year forecast period, Labour will invest $8 billion more in health than was proposed in PREFU 2017
  • Work towards the goal of free education by making tertiary education more affordable and tackling school donations. We will fund schools and early childhood education centres properly, so they can deliver world class education to our children. We will introduce a School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life. By the end of the four year forecast period Labour will invest $6 billion more in education than was proposed in PREFU 2017
  • Support Māori educational achievement through dedicated professional development programmes, and increased support for Te Reo Māori including dedicated scholarships to increase the number of Te Reo Māori teachers
  • Increase funding to Police to recruit 1,000 additional officers to make our communities safer.

These policies will mean our public services are able to give us the service we need, when we need it. By the end of our first term, we will have more doctors and nurses in our hospitals, more teachers in our schools, better educated young people, and more police keeping our streets safe.

… investing in infrastructure, our future, and jobs…

In the first term, the Labour Government will:

  • Restart contributions to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, as part of maintaining the superannuation age at 65
  • Begin the construction of a light rail network in Auckland, invest in passenger rail for Hamilton and Tauranga, and restart commuter rail in Christchurch as part of a nationwide increase in investment in modern transport
  • Introduce a clean water royalty on major commercial users of water to fund making our rivers and lakes swimmable again
  • Boost growth and jobs through our Regional Development Fund and R&D tax credits
  • Establish a Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund
  • Target reducing New Zealand’s unemployment to 4% by backing apprenticeships, getting young people off the dole and Ready for Work, investing in regional development opportunities that will create jobs, and creating employment through KiwiBuild and our infrastructure programme.

By the end of our first term, we expect to see unemployment in New Zealand among the lowest in the OECD, from the current position of 13th. The New Zealand Superannuation Fund will be growing rapidly again and worth around $63 billion. The infrastructure projects to get our cities moving will be underway. We will be making progress in cleaning up our water.

While these investments are being made, we will take a breather on immigration until our cities can keep up with rapid population growth.

… and boosting incomes to families while helping those in need.

In the first term, the Labour Government will:

  • Boost wages by introducing Fair Pay Agreements, increasing the minimum wage on the path to making it two-thirds of the average wage, and paying the living wage to core government employees, and — over time — contractors to government agencies
  • Increase family incomes with higher Working For Families payments and a Best Start payment to families with babies and toddlers
  • Help older New Zealanders and low-income families stay warm and healthy in winter with a new Winter Energy Payment
  • Reinstate the Independent Earner Tax Credit for single low-income people.

By the end of our first term, we expect to see a significant increase in incomes, especially for working families and those in need. This will help to reduce inequality and poverty and create a New Zealand where everyone shares in prosperity. Over the four year forecast period Labour will spend an additional $5 billion lifting the incomes of middle-income families and those in need.


Click here to download the PDF of our fiscal plan (3MB).