Week That Was: Last week of Parliament
This week was the last of the 52nd Parliament: a major milestone for our Government and a great opportunity to look back at all the progress we've made for New Zealanders. This week, we increased support for businesses to take on apprentices, improved access to hospital care in Northland, and made rental tenancies more secure - and that's only the start.
Backing Māori to succeed
Last weekend Labour held our Māori Campaign Launch, which was a great chance to reflect on everything our Government has achieved with and for Māori.
This includes how we’ve expanded Whānau Ora to support more whānau, and invested $200 million in growing Māori job opportunities and skills training through He Poutama Rangatahi, Mana in Mahi and Māori Cadetships.
We've also put over $200m into recognising Kōhanga Reo, so kiako are paid fairly and facilities are in good condition, rolled out targeted support for Māori businesses through COVID-19, and worked on making sure New Zealand history is taught in all schools and kura by 2022.
Supporting businesses to take on apprentices
This week saw the start of our Apprenticeship Boost scheme. The Apprenticeship Boost means businesses can receive up to $16,000 to take on or keep on their apprentices, paid out over the first two years of training.
This boost is on top of our free apprenticeships scheme - a scheme which has doubled the number of construction apprenticeship enrolments since it was announced.
It's clear our plan to get New Zealanders into work and boost our skilled workforce is well underway, with free apprenticeships, trades training in targeted areas, and more jobs. Let's keep moving!
We saw unemployment drop to 4%, showing that our response to go hard and go early is working.
We moved quickly to keep New Zealanders safe, protect jobs and cushion the economic blow on businesses and households through schemes like the Wage Subsidy – and these numbers show that was the right thing to do. We know there are still tough times ahead, but we've got a plan to create more jobs and keep New Zealand moving.
Making rental tenancies more secure
We passed residential tenancy reforms this week, to make rentals safer and more livable, and tenancies more secure.
This included providing better support for victims of family violence, allowing tenants to hang pictures and quake-safe furniture, and stopping no-cause terminations.
Investing in Auckland infrastructure
We’ve given the go ahead for eight shovel-ready projects within Kāinga Ora large-scale developments, and the Unitec residential development in Auckland, this week.
The Unitec project alone is estimated to create 250 jobs while the Auckland Council estimates over 400 jobs may be created across the other projects.
But it's not just jobs - the funding will also help to improve local infrastructure and support additional housing in the region.
Funding better hospitals
We funded new paediatric facilities and up to 50 more beds for Whangarei Hospital, so Northland babies and their whānau can get better hospital care.
The package of investments also includes funds for an IT system that will support better mental health and primary care throughout the Northland region.
Improving our hospitals and medical infrastructure is a key part of this Government’s plan to tackle the long term issues in health - that's why we’ve set aside a record $3.5 billion for this important work over the last three years.
Tomorrow is our official 2020 Campaign Launch! Stay up to date by signing up to our mailing list at www.labour.org.nz/im-in and watch the livestream of Jacinda’s speech over on our Facebook page.
Look out for the next edition in this weekly series next Friday.