Foreign Affairs & Trade

Labour will continue to back our exporters and ensure we have an international reputation New Zealanders can be proud of. We will continue to work constructively within the global community to find solutions to problems that transcend borders, from climate change to the Christchurch Call.

Labour’s plan

Labour is already rolling out our plan to back New Zealand exporters, boost primary sector export earnings, and ensure we have an international reputation to be proud of. That’s why we:

  • Backed New Zealand exporters during COVID, including providing on-the-ground support to help local businesses connect with overseas markets and global partners
  • Launched our Trade Recovery Strategy, to help get businesses through the disruption of COVID and recalibrate our trade policy to navigate a turbulent environment
  • Boosted aid to support our Pacific neighbours tackle COVID and rebuild their communities and economies
  • Joined the global search for COVID-19 vaccine, ensuring that all the stops are pulled out to advance discovery, development, testing and supply of a COVID-19 vaccine

Labour will continue to negotiate modern, high-quality free trade agreements, which promote adherence to environmental and labour standards, including progressing negotiations with the United Kingdom and European Union.

Labour will continue to strengthen New Zealand’s advocacy on issues such as climate change. We live in the Pacific, and with that comes a huge duty to both act, and speak on, the threat that climate change poses to our region.

Labour will progress our bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade through a focus on creating value, while improving environmental outcomes.

Labour’s achievements to date

During the COVID crisis

We worked alongside Singapore, Canada and Australia, and a number of other nations to keep trade open, especially in medical supplies and other essential services. We dropped tariffs on a range of essential goods including medical supplies and supported Air New Zealand to secure freight links with important markets to keep trade flowing.

At the same time more than 400 MFAT staff were mobilised, working shifts to provide a 24/7 emergency response service focused on helping New Zealanders stranded across 150 countries. This was the largest consular operation in New Zealand’s history, and also meant supporting thousands of Kiwis to come home with an array of diplomatic agreements and repatriation flights.

Before the COVID crisis

In the aftermath of the 15 March terrorist attack, we led the Christchurch call, a commitment by Governments and tech companies to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

We made great headway on trade, for example we signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, concluded the upgrade of the China Free Trade Agreement, strengthened our bilateral cooperation with the EU on emissions trading systems, launched FTA negotiations with the European Union and launched free trade negotiations with the UK.

We also launched the ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’ (ACCTS) initiative, an agreement with Norway, Iceland, Costa Rica, Switzerland and Fiji – which affirms the importance of developing international trade rules that support and advance climate and broader sustainable development objectives.

We initiated the Pacific Reset, our commitment to build deeper partnerships with Pacific nations and the expansion of our development programme there. We have increased aid and support to combat climate change, and are bringing other nations on board too. This means supporting projects like a desalination plant in Kiribati, a water storage facility in Tuvalu, and renewable energy generation in Niue.

Since we came into Government, we’ve also:

  • Made an historic increase to the annual quota of refugees, lifting the quota from 1,000 to 1,500 within three years
  • Held a Pacific Conference on Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in line with our proud history of being nuclear-free
  • Adopted the most significant statement on regional security by Pacific leaders in a generation
  • Supported the development of a plan for the regeneration of Scott Base in Antarctica