New Zealand Labour Party

Cost of living: what we're doing to help

One of the most common things we get asked is what we're doing to help ease the cost of living. It's no secret - plenty of us find it hard to make ends meet. We know this won't be fixed overnight - but we've already taken a number of steps to help. Take a look below...

We created more jobs and raised wages

  • We got 70,000 more New Zealanders into work - and made sure they're getting paid more for it
  • We raised the minimum wage by $1.20 to $17.70 an hour, giving 209,000 people a much-needed pay rise
  • We lowered unemployment to 4.2% - a sure sign our economic plan is working
  • We created 830+ new jobs in our regions through the Provincial Growth Fund
  • We made sure New Zealanders keep more of what they earn by indexing benefit increases to wage increases in the Wellbeing Budget
  • We put an end to unnecessary secondary tax
  • We boosted the number of apprenticeship opportunities through Mana in Mahi, to support our young people into training and into a job

We made it cheaper to pay the bills

  • We helped over a million people to heat their home over winter with the Winter Energy Payment
  • We required landlords to properly insulate rentals, so you can heat your home and stay warmer for longer, without breaking the bank

We made it cheaper to go to the doctor

  • We made going to the doctor cost $20-$30 less for 600,000 New Zealanders 
  • We extended free GP visits to all children under 14
  • We invested in rolling out free, immediate mental health support for everyone who needs, with a focus on getting support with those with mild-moderate needs

We made it cheaper to send the kids to school

  • We scrapped school donations for all students at decile 1-7 schools (we're paying every school $150 per student for whom they don't charge a donation)
  • We removed NCEA fees
  • We made the first year of post-secondary education fees-free

We made it easier to raise a family

  • We boosted incomes of 384,000 people by $75 a week when our Families Package is fully rolled out
  • We supported all families with new-born babies with our Best Start Payment, with 65,000 families so far receiving payments of $60 a week, for up to the child's first three years
  • We began lifting 50-74,000 children out of poverty through the Families Package and the Wellbeing Budget
  • We banned overseas speculators to help first home buyers into homes

We made it a priority to investigate petrol prices

  • We launched the Commerce Commission Amendment Bill to compel petrol companies to be honest about petrol prices
  • We demanded answers as to why New Zealand has the highest pre-tax cost for fuel in the OECD, despite our tax rates being one of the lowest