Week that was: Health, housing and early voting

It was a big week of policy announcements as Jacinda and the Labour team hit the road to let New Zealanders know about our plan to keep New Zealand moving. From snow down south to our day of action, here are this week’s highlights from the campaign trail.

On Monday, we were on the ground in snowy Invercargill, where we announced our plan to support Southland jobs in the wake of Rio Tinto’s decision to close the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter.

Southland has a proud history as a productive region and we know they have a productive future ahead of them as well. That’s why we’ve set out our intention to support a locally-led, just transition for Southland, as part of our goal to move to a more sustainable economy, while creating new jobs and developing a high skill workforce.

Hello from snowy Invercargill! Quick stop to say thanks to our volunteers who were out sign waving in 2 degree weather (so dedicated!) then off to community meetings!

Posted by Jacinda Ardern on Sunday, September 27, 2020

On Tuesday, we set out the next steps in our plan for health, which will give New Zealanders confidence that Labour will not take shortcuts or cut vital services, while building on the progress we’ve already made to improve our health system after National’s years of neglect. 

Our plan includes: 

  • Putting mental health support in every state primary and intermediate school
  • Boosting funding for PHARMAC, which will mean more publicly-funded medicines for more New Zealanders
  • Doubling the number of adult cochlear implants undertaken each year
  • Boosting funding to reduce hospital waiting lists
  • Removing barriers to dental care, making it easier for people on the lowest incomes to access urgent care
  • Modernising the health and disability system

We’re really proud of the progress we’ve made for our health system over the past three years, but we know there’s still more to do. You can read more about our health policy here.

Wednesday was the NewsHub Leaders’ Debate, and Jacinda absolutely nailed it. She brought incredible energy to the debate stage, where she outlined Labour’s plan to keep New Zealand moving and held Judith Collins to account on National’s shambolic economic plans. She demonstrated the strong leadership and decision-making that New Zealand has to come to expect from her, and that it needs going forward, as together we continue our COVID recovery and rebuild.

Overseas voting also opened on Wednesday, meaning Kiwis living abroad are now able to officially give their two ticks to Labour. If you are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident currently overseas, make sure to visit to find out if you're eligible to vote.

On Thursday, Jacinda Ardern was in sunny Nelson, where she visited Pic’s Peanut Butter factory. Pic’s is a great example of how Kiwi businesses are supporting our economic recovery and rebuild, by exporting into markets like Australia, China and Singapore.

Kris Faafoi and Grant Robertson joined Jacinda Ardern in Nelson to announce Labour’s plans to initiate market studies into supermarkets and building supplies. This will help ensure Kiwis are paying a fair price for their groceries and market conditions are appropriate.

Groceries are a major weekly expense for all households which is why we will initiate a market study before the end of...

Posted by New Zealand Labour Party on Wednesday, September 30, 2020

We also released our fiscal plan on Thursday. Our plan is responsible, balanced and costed, protects vital services like health and education, and keeps a lid on debt. In contrast, National’s error-ridden, bungled budget puts health and education at risk during a global pandemic and economic recession. You can read more about our plan here.

Labour is committed to ensuring that every New Zealander has a safe, warm, dry home to call their own whether they rent or own. That’s why, on Friday, we announced that, if re-elected, we’ll continue to build on our progress over the past three years with our plan to support new housing during the economic uncertainty of COVID-19. 

Our housing plan includes a commitment to delivering an extra 18,000 public and transitional houses by 2024, supporting first home buyers with First Home Grants and Loans, progressive home ownership and KiwiBuild, replacing the RMA to remove planning barriers, and regulating property managers to protect landlords and tenants. You can read more about our housing policy here.

On Saturday, early voting opened, and Jacinda Ardern was one of the many New Zealanders who took advantage of this year’s extended advance voting period to cast their vote ahead of Election Day.

There are now hundreds of places right around the country open for advance voting. If you’d like to find a voting place close to you, check out our handy, interactive map here.

Saturday was also our first-ever day of action, which saw volunteers and supporters around the country take part in phone banks, door knocks, street corner meetings and a takeover of Labour’s Instagram account. This was a chance for the Labour team to reach thousands of voters and let them know about our plan to create jobs, grow the economy, and support people through COVID-19, and encourage them to get out and vote.

Check back next week for the next installment of this weekly series, and back us on Election Day with two ticks for Labour.

Want to know more about Labour’s policies? Check out all the information you need to cast your vote on 17 October.