News & Achievements

Protecting our environment and marine life from plastics

Our Government is taking further action on plastics to turn around New Zealand’s rubbish record on waste, and to restore our environment for future generations.

It’s now been more than three years since our Government banned single-use plastic bags, to help clean up our environment and protect marine life.

Before we took action, these plastic shopping bags were being used for only 12 minutes on average, but took 1,000 years to break down. They were littering our waterways and harming all kinds of species – from turtles and fish, to sea lions and whales.

Thanks to our ban on single-use plastic bags, and further work on plastics, it’s estimated that more than two billion single-use plastic items will be removed from the environment each year. But with more than 60% of the waste found on our beaches each year being plastic, we know that even more needs to be done.

Here are the next steps in our plan to clean up our environment:

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Building a better Aotearoa for disabled people

We’re incredibly proud to be celebrating the launch of Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People.

Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People will put disabled people, their whānau, carers, and supporters first, removing barriers that existed when there was no single agency. The Ministry will also be the first in Aotearoa to have a New Zealand Sign Language name.

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Historic free trade agreement with the European Union

We’ve secured a major free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) – a move that’s set to boost exports by $1.8 billion per annum, enhance our economic security, and enable New Zealand businesses to grow, by unlocking one of the world’s biggest and high value markets.

The new historic agreement will increase New Zealand’s GDP by up to $1.4 billion per year by 2035. This is fantastic news for Kiwi exporters and our economy, and comes on top of our recent $1 billion United Kingdom free trade agreement.

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A better health system for all

Our Government is committed to making sure that our health system works for all New Zealanders, no matter who you are or where you live.

Transformation of our health system will take time, and the step we’re taking today – establishing Health New Zealand and the Māori Health Authority – is about getting the structure right.

We’re making the changes as seamless as possible, so most patients won’t see the change on day one. You can be confident the health services your family relies on will be delivered by the same great people, and in the same local places. If you have an appointment booked this will not change.

But in the coming years New Zealanders right across the country will see real improvements to our health system.

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How we’re delivering a better future for women and girls

We’re committed to ensuring that there is every opportunity for women and girls to succeed in Aotearoa New Zealand, with fewer barriers.

Since coming into Government, we’ve worked hard to support women and girls, by improving services like healthcare and tackling issues like the gender pay gap.

Here are just some of the ways we’re making life easier for Kiwi women:

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Celebrating our first Matariki public holiday

We’re proud to have delivered on our election commitment to establish a public holiday to celebrate Matariki. For the first time this year, New Zealanders will have the chance to enjoy a mid-winter holiday that is uniquely our own.

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Major milestone in our school upgrade programme

This week, we’ve marked a major milestone in our school upgrade programme.

We've supported 4,500 projects across the country for schools to upgrade classrooms, sports facilities, playgrounds and more, so Kiwi kids have the best possible environments to learn in.

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How much do you know about Matariki?

We’ve delivered on our election commitment to make Matariki a public holiday. For the first time this year, all New Zealanders will have the chance to enjoy a mid-winter holiday that is uniquely our own with family and friends. Try our quiz below, then challenge your whānau!

To celebrate, we’ve put together a quiz to test how much you know about Matariki and mātauranga Māori. Show off your knowledge or learn something new… then challenge your whānau to do better. Good luck!

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New Zealand is open for business and in high demand

As New Zealand reconnects with the world, we’re making the most of every opportunity to show we’re a great place to visit, trade with and invest in as part of our plan to grow our economy and build a secure future for all Kiwis.

Just this week we saw further evidence that we’re moving in the right direction, with the news that export revenue from the food and fibre sector expected to reach a record $52.2 billion this year.

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