How Labour’s team is leading New Zealand

During our time in Government, the Labour team has worked hard to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders while making progress on the long-term challenges facing our country. There’s still more to do, but our track record shows that our team is leading New Zealand in the right direction.

Read more about our Ministers and their work to support New Zealanders and our COVID recovery below.

As Minister of Corrections, Kelvin Davis has played a key role in getting more addiction treatment into prisons across the country. He stopped planning for the US-style mega prison at Waikeria, and has safely reduced the prison population. He’s also worked to reset the Māori-Crown relationship, boosted funding for Kōhanga Reo, and oversaw the creation of Te Haeata, the first searchable record of Treaty of Waitangi settlement commitments.

Grant Robertson has led our work to recover and rebuild from the economic impact of COVID-19. As Finance Minister, he’s proven to be a responsible manager of the Crown accounts, while overseeing both our record investment in infrastructure and our world-leading Wellbeing Budget.

By passing the Healthy Homes Standards, Phil Twyford has ensured New Zealanders will have warm, dry homes that don’t make them sick. He is responsible for the largest investment in transport infrastructure in decades, upgrading roads and rail around the country to make our transport network safer and more sustainable, while creating much-needed jobs for our COVID recovery. He also oversaw the most fundamental change to urban planning since the RMA was introduced, freeing up planning laws and ensuring our communities can continue to thrive.

Megan Woods has taken charge of our managed isolation and quarantine system, one of the strictest systems in the world. This has seen New Zealand keep COVID-19 contained at levels only few countries have managed to achieve. As Minister of Energy and Resources, she’s led our transition to a low-carbon future, including stopping all new offshore oil and gas exploration permits. Now, as Minister of Housing, she is overseeing the KiwiBuild reset and spearheading the largest public housing programme in decades. And, as Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, she oversaw the resolution of 1,000 insurance cases, through the Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service.

As Education Minister, Chris Hipkins is delivering new classrooms and schools for thousands of students, and overseeing the reform of vocational education and training. He’s reduced costs for parents by scrapping NCEA fees and increased funding so decile 1-7 schools don’t have to ask for donations. Through COVID-19, he ensured students could continue learning from home with education packs and devices, and is now leading our COVID-19 health response.

Andrew Little has managed a number of incredibly difficult issues over the past three years, drug law reform, preparation for the cannabis referendum, abortion law reform, Treaty settlements and the re-entry to Pike River. As Minister of Justice, he’s made significant changes to family violence legislation, and is taking a new approach to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice and break the cycle of offending. Unlike the previous Government, he did not give up on Ngāpuhi and is working hard to help them achieve their settlement aspirations.

Carmel Sepuloni oversaw the roll-out of the Families Package, which has provided a much-needed income boost for thousands of lower income families. She is responsible for leading the culture shift at Work and Income, to ensure everyone seeking assistance is treated with respect and dignity, and has been at the forefront of the Ministry of Social Development’s COVID response as they’ve supported people back into work.

As Minister for the Environment, David Parker has delivered landmark freshwater reforms, starting work to clean up New Zealand’s waterways. He was responsible for cracking down on overseas speculators, banning foreign buyers from purchasing existing homes to support more first-home buyers into the market. He also managed the inquiry to Operation Burnham.

Nanaia Mahuta has overseen the three waters reform, which will ensure all New Zealanders have safe drinking water and help to protect our waterways, while also creating infrastructure jobs. She has led work on revitalising te reo Māori, along with working on Whenua Māori reforms and helping Māori to use their land through Papakāinga developments and the Whenua Māori PGF fund.

Police Minister Stuart Nash is responsible for over 2,300 new Police officers on the beat, and has invested in initiatives like fog cannons in dairies to make our communities safer. Following the 15 March terrorist attacks, he also led gun law reform and the buyback scheme that took over 62,000 illegal firearms out of circulation. More recently he’s also been supporting small businesses through COVID-19.

Jenny Salesa has worked to cut red tape to get the construction sector moving and support jobs by reforming the Building Act. She worked with the construction industry to develop the Construction Sector Accord, helping to ensure New Zealand has the workforce it needs to build back better. She’s also helped to strengthen the voice of ethnic communities in Government.

Over the past three years, Damien O’Connor has taken the lead on our M. bovis and fruit fly biosecurity responses. He has provided ongoing support for our rural communities as they’ve dealt with floods and drought, and re-opened Taratahi to support workers impacted by COVID-19 into primary sector jobs. As Agriculture Minister, he has worked closely with the sector to progress the Fit for a Better World agreement and our wider environmental goals.

As part of our work to ensure New Zealanders are getting a fair deal, Kris Faafoi has cracked down on loan sharks, regulated wheel clamping fees, and overseen the Commerce Commission’s fuel market study. He’s also responsible for the COVID-19 response package for the media, and the Government’s wider programme to strengthen public media.

Peeni Henare led the Government’s response to the Whakaari/White Island eruption, and supported communities through COVID-19 as the Minister responsible for Civil Defence. He rolled out a COVID-19 response package to support Māori health and wellbeing, and made a record investment in Whānau Ora to support their essential work.

As Employment Minister, Willie Jackson has helped young people get the training and skills they need for work through programmes like Mana in Mahi and He Poutama Rangatahi. Before COVID-19, he oversaw record low levels of unemployment, and has since assisted in launching redeployment initiatives to support people affected by COVID-19 into new jobs.

Aupito William Sio has driven our Government’s Pacific health and wellbeing work, and launched a targeted support package to support the recovery and rebuild of Pacific communities through COVID-19. He has also worked to reduce the backlog of cases before the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Poto Williams has supported the community sector through COVID-19, backing community and voluntary organisations doing vital work through the alert level four lockdown and investing in locally-led solutions as New Zealand’s rebuild and recovery gets underway. As Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, she’s also helped to fast track the Christ Church Cathedral reinstatement.

If you want to learn more about Labour’s track record in Government, check out our full list of achievements here.