Our COVID-19 recovery and rebuild plan is working
When COVID-19 arrived on our shores, we went hard and early to protect New Zealanders. We closed the borders to keep people safe, rolled out the Wage Subsidy to save jobs, and launched additional support for our small businesses. Now, as we look to the future, we’re focused on ensuring we continue to contain any new resurgence of COVID in the community, and that our economy has the stability and resilience it needs to bounce back.
If re-elected, we’re committed to keeping New Zealand moving. Our plan to recover and rebuild is already underway - now’s not the time to put on the brakes. Read more about our plan for recovery here.
Free apprenticeships and trades training
We’re focussed on getting people into jobs. That’s why we’ve made all apprenticeships free, along with trades training in key areas. This means people of all ages, not just school leavers, can get the skills they need to get to work and support New Zealand’s rebuild and recovery.
If re-elected, we’ll implement a major support package to assist businesses in hiring at least 40,000 New Zealanders whose employment is impacted by COVID-19. We’ll also continue targeting funding in areas such as trades training and apprenticeships in the post-COVID environment, supported by the Reform of Vocational Education.
We’ve built more houses than any Government in decades - and we’re not slowing down
We believe everyone deserves a warm, dry place to call home. That’s why we’ve made it a priority over the past three years to build more houses. We funded an additional 8,000 new public and transitional homes through Budget 2020, helping more Kiwi families put a roof over their heads. But we know there’s more to do, and we’re committed to getting even more New Zealanders into homes over our next term.
If re-elected, we’ll continue to deliver 18,000 additional public and transitional houses by 2024, support first home buyers with First Home Grants and Loans, and work with the construction industry to make life easier for builders and developers to get on with the job. That’s in addition to making sure our homes are warm, dry and healthy to live in. Read more about our housing policy here.
Our strong economic management
Going into COVID-19, our economy was growing, unemployment had fallen to its lowest levels in decades, and we had reduced Government debt down to around 19% of GDP. This debt level was much lower than most OECD countries. We also looked out for New Zealand’s future by restarting contributions to the SuperFund, invested in our regions through the Provincial Growth Fund, and entrenched the concept of wellbeing into future Government Budgets. Our careful economic management, including our planning for the future, put us in a strong position to weather the storm of COVID-19.
If re-elected, we’ll continue rolling out our five-point plan for economic recovery, which includes investing in our people, backing small businesses and creating jobs.
Better mental health support, more cancer drugs and cheaper doctor’s visits
We want everyone to be able to get quality care, when and where they need it. We’ve started fixing up our rundown hospitals after years of neglect, made doctor’s visits cheaper for more than half a million New Zealanders, and boosted funding for PHARMAC so they could supply more cancer drugs. We’ve also committed to taking mental health seriously, which is why we’re rolling out a new universal, frontline mental health service, ensuring more people can get the support they need.
If re-elected, we’ll roll out mental health support in every state primary and mental intermediate school, and expand the nurses in schools programme in secondary schools. We’ll boost PHARMAC funding, reduce waiting lists in hospitals, and improve access to dental care. We’ll also double the number of adult cochlear implants and modernise our health and disability system. Read more about our health policy here.
We’re looking out for working Kiwis
We’re making sure all Kiwis get a fair deal at work and helping the economy, by boosting the minimum wage to $18.90 an hour and by restoring meal and rest breaks. We’ve also protected jobs and incomes through COVID-19 through the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme.
If re-elected we’ll also increase the minimum wage to $20 per hour by 2021. This will support economic recovery, while taking care of our lowest paid workers. We will also increase minimum sick leave entitlements, and make it easier for women to gain pay equity in their organisation or across their industry. Read more about our workplace relations policy here.
We’re making sure children don’t go hungry at school
Making sure our kids aren’t hungry at school is just one, immediate way we can make a difference to child poverty and help our tamariki get a great education. Along with rolling out free, healthy lunches in schools around New Zealand, we’re upgrading almost every single state school in the country, building hundreds of new classrooms, and increasing school funding so most parents don’t have to pay donations.
If re-elected, we’ll help keep our kids healthy by driving down the rates of rheumatic fever. This includes expanding the Healthy Homes initiative for housing basics like heaters, curtains, bedding and flooring. Read more about our policy and record on child poverty here.
Bold action on climate change and the environment
We’ve done a lot over the past three years to help make New Zealand cleaner and greener. We passed the landmark Zero Carbon Act, banned single-use plastic bags, put in place the strongest ever protections for our waterways, started planting one billion trees, put an end to new offshore oil and gas exploration, and boosted protection for Māui dolphins. Now, we’re creating thousands of jobs protecting our native species and getting rid of pests to support our economic recovery.
If re-elected, we’ll bring forward the target of 100 percent renewable electricity generation five years to 2030, phase out coal-fired boilers, decarbonise public transport buses, and boost funding into agricultural climate change research. Read more about our plan for climate change action here.
The Families Package and extending paid parental leave
We can’t accept families sleeping in cars and children growing up without enough to eat - it’s not who we are in New Zealand. But that was the reality for many Kiwi families under the previous Government. That’s why one of the first things we did when we came into Government was introduce the Families Package. This is boosting incomes of 384,000 families by $75 a week, and helping us to lift thousands of children out of poverty. We also extended paid parental leave to up to 26 weeks, so parents can spend more time with their baby in those precious early days. We also boosted payments by $20 a week, and introduced BestStart, to help with the costs of a newborn.
If re-elected, we’ll continue to strive for New Zealand to be the best place in the world for children and young people.
Jacinda Ardern and the strong Labour team
A vote for Labour is a vote for Jacinda Ardern and the strong team around her. Through a terrorist attack, a volcanic eruption, and a global pandemic, the Labour team has shown they’re capable of leading New Zealand through the toughest of times, while making progress on the long-term challenges facing our country.
If re-elected, we’ll continue to be a Government of strong, stable leadership with a clear plan for recovery that’s already underway.
We think these are ten great reasons to vote Labour, but if you want to share even more with your friends and family, check out 100 things we’ve achieved in our first term here.
Want to know more about Labour’s policies? Find all the information you need to cast your vote on 17 October, and back us on Election Day with two ticks for Labour here.
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