New Zealand Labour Party

1 April: A day of delivery

We want businesses to innovate and grow. We want workers to get paid fairly for a fair day's work. And we want older New Zealanders to be supported into their retirement.

So - we're making all of that happen.

From 1 April, New Zealanders will see a number of key policies come into effect. Let's take a closer look at just three...

We're encouraging businesses to invest in research and development - because we want to reach our Government's target of raising total R&D expenditure to 2 per cent of GDP by 2027. 

This is the largest ever investment in research and development (over $1 billion in Budget 2018).

We want to incentivise work that results in new knowledge, new or improved processes, services or goods. This is where the spill over benefits to New Zealand are most likely to happen.

The scheme aims to incentivise product or service development in all fields, where this involves trying to create something new and where the process involves resolving uncertainty about what science or technology can do.

This scheme will help to ensure that we have an economy fit for the 21st century, and that we have more high-paying jobs in New Zealand. 

Up to 209,200 New Zealanders will benefit from a pay boost this Monday 1 April, thanks to the Coalition Government’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $17.70. 

This will make a real difference to low-income workers. Our lowest paid workers will be receiving a boost to their incomes, as the minimum wage increases by $1.20 an hour. On a 40-hour work week, this means an extra $48 a week before tax. 

Results of the 2017/18 Stats NZ’s Household Economic Survey showed that a third of people said their current household income was either not enough or only just enough to meet their everyday needs.

“Lifting the incomes of Kiwi workers will contribute to improved living standards and reduce poverty. Our Government has committed to increasing the minimum wage to $20 by 2021,” says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

The starting-out and training wage rates also increase this Monday to $14.16 per hour, in order to remain at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

To provide businesses and workers with greater certainty, the Government has indicated minimum wage rates of $18.90 to come into effect on 1 April 2020 and $20 to come into effect on 1 April 2021. These indicative rates are subject to each year’s annual review, in accordance with the statutory process, which will take into account the economic conditions at the time.

Rates of New Zealand Superannuation and Veterans Pension will increase by 2.6 percent from 1 April 2019.

This increase reflects the Government’s commitment to maintain the net weekly amount paid to a superannuitant couple at no less than 66 percent of the net average weekly wage.

1 April will also see a number of other initiatives come into effect, all of which will deliver greater support for business, workers, and families. 

  • Saving businesses and customers $100 million over the next two years by dropping ACC levies on average from 72 cents to 67 cents per $100 of liable earnings.
  • Helping Kiwis to plan for their retirement by adding new KiwiSaver contribution rates of 6% and 10%, and allowing more workers access to KiwiSaver by allowing those aged over 65 to sign up.
  • Justice Under-Secretary Jan Logie’s Bill providing greater support for domestic violence victims comes into force, with the new right to 10 days' domestic violence leave and flexible working conditions taking effect.

We want to grow the economy and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders. 1 April continues the delivery of our plan to build a modern New Zealand that is sustainable, productive, inclusive, and fair for everyone.