Release: Hipkins sets out plan to grow NZ economy

Labour leader Chris Hipkins has set out his top five priorities for growing the economy which include ambition for New Zealand to be a global leader in sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.

Labour’s economic priorities for the next term are:
1. Grow an export-led economy with a strong global reputation
2. Turn New Zealand into a Centre of Excellence for sustainable agriculture and agricultural technology
3. Be a global leader in renewable energy
4. Harness New Zealand’s digital creativity and expertise, and
5. Boost our premium tourism offering

These priorities will be underpinned by:
1. High paying jobs
2. Building infrastructure that lasts
3. Better skills and practical education for better jobs, and
4. A balanced fiscal plan

“My vision is for a smart, modern and green economy that profits from our brand and natural offerings as well as our leadership on climate,” Chris Hipkins

“By seizing strategic advantage globally in areas we have existing strengths we can grow our economy and create well paid jobs that help Kiwi families get ahead.

“These priorities reflect my values as a Kiwi. I’m proud of what this country stands for in the world and how the rest of the world looks at us. These values will drive how Labour supports Kiwis to get ahead.

“We’ll build on where we are already strong – in our primary industries, our renewable energy sector and tourism – to present a modern, sustainable economic base that provides new opportunities for ourselves and our children.

“Free trade agreements now cover almost three quarters of New Zealand’s exports. A key focus next term will be to expand those opportunities further.

“After securing trade deals with the UK and EU this year, my next priority will be to lead a Prime Ministerial delegation to India within the first 100 days of a new Government.

“Our ambition is to grow the agritech sector to $8 billion by 2030. To achieve that goal Labour will inject $100 million into the Venture Capital Fund to support this objective.

“This fund will invest in agritech businesses, including through their joint investment fund with Finistere Ventures developed through the Agritech ITP.

“New Zealand also has a huge opportunity to be a renewable energy powerhouse – using our position as near 100 percent renewable generator to sell our expertise and know-how to the world as countries seek to reach energy independence and build security against oil price shocks and global conflict.

“A strong digital economy allows us to leverage what Kiwis have to offer - no matter our geographic location, the time or place.

“I believe we can really drive export value across science, space, gaming, information technology and biotech.

“New Zealand will always be a beautiful place that people want to explore and visit. But a high volume strategy puts at risk the attractiveness of our offering.

“The Government is working with the industry through the Tourism Industry Transformation Plan to build a more sustainable and higher value tourism industry that doesn’t overstep its social license.

“These investments – backed by solid Government finances – will underpin the opportunities of the future and for New Zealand to be the best country in the world to raise a family and get ahead through decent jobs,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Our plan will help the Government continue providing targeted cost of living support to Kiwis, like free prescriptions and public transport, support for parents with young children, and importantly, allow us to keep providing free education and healthcare to all New Zealanders, no matter their background,” Grant Robertson said.

“Unlike National’s dodgy numbers, Labour’s plan doesn’t require billions of dollars of Kiwi homes to be sold off overseas year-on-year. We’re going to focus on selling our goods and services to the rest of the world, not selling ourselves like Christopher Luxon wants to do – that’s a road to ruin and loss of control.”

“Labour will focus on supporting our primary sector to become more productive and profitable through increased use of technology. This will be led by a $100 million investment to the Venture Capital Fund. This will this help our farmers and growers and broaden the job opportunities in our primary sector for our kids,” Barbara Edmonds said.

Under Labour: 

  • The economy is 6.7 percent larger than before COVID. Since the depths of the COVID recession, New Zealand’s economy has grown by 10.2 percent compared to compared to 8.8 per cent for Australia, 7.6 per cent for the US, 7.1 per cent for the Euro Area and 6.1 per cent for the UK, according to the IMF
  • Unemployment below 4 percent for eight consecutive quarters
  • Strong Government finances: Affirmed last week by Fitch. Net debt of 18.9 percent of GDP, below Australia, the US, and the UK according to the IMF
  • Seven trade agreements singed or upgraded; FTAs now cover almost three quarters of New Zealand’s exports