Our Plan

Countries around the world, including many of our key trading partners, are facing challenging economic conditions right now. While the global outlook remains uncertain, New Zealand is ready for whatever lies ahead.

Thanks to our strong economic management, New Zealand is in a good position. Unemployment is low and wages are growing, which makes both families and our economy strong. Exports are up, tourists are returning, and our economy is larger now than before the pandemic.

Now, we’re taking the next steps in our plan. We’re targeting investments to keep debt low, backing businesses to grow jobs and wages, and supporting families with the cost of living. Together, these measures will provide greater economic security for New Zealanders, now and into the future.

Securing our economy

The latest economic indicators give real reason to feel optimistic about the future, and the opportunities before us.

Graph of NZ unemployment rate 2017-2022, currently at 3.3%

We're creating jobs

More Kiwis are in work, with low unemployment, including the lowest Māori unemployment rate on record.

Graph of comparative percent change in GDP between UK, US, EU, Canada, Japan, Australia and NZ, June 2022 quarter

We're growing a strong economy

Bucking the global trend, our economy is growing as a result of our strong economic management.

Graph showing comparative government debt as a percent of GDP 2023 for NZ, Canada, Australia, UK and US

We're keeping a lid on debt

Our debt levels are far lower than most other countries', meaning we're able to invest in key services like health and education.

New Zealand is in a good position

  • Across the key economic measures of growth, unemployment and debt, our economy is in a better or similar position to the likes of Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
  • Thanks to Labour’s economic management, New Zealand’s economy came through the pandemic better than the Global Financial Crisis – despite the COVID economic crisis being more severe.

Check out the latest statistics

  • New Zealanders incomes are growing at the highest rates since records began
  • Kiwi exports are in demand, with a record $53 billion in agricultural exports
  • More homes have been built in the past year than since records began
  • Unemployment is at a near record low of 3.3%
  • The size of our economy is larger now than pre-pandemic, following a 1-in-100 year economic shock

These positive results show that we’re in a good position to make the most of New Zealand’s unique opportunities and secure our economy against global challenges. A strong economy also means that we can continue making investments into what matters most to New Zealanders. You can check out our priorities here, and our record here.

Our cost of living package

As countries around the world face challenges like inflation and rising fuel prices, we’ve delivered further cost of living support to help New Zealanders through this tough time.

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We’ve extended half price public transport for everyone, along with our fuel tax cut and reduced road user charges, until January 2023.
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We’ve rolled out a short-term Cost of Living Payment to help New Zealanders through the worst of global inflation.
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We’ve provided extra support for around one million people with the annual Winter Energy Payment
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We’re taking action on supermarkets to make sure you’re paying a fair price for your weekly shop.
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We’ve lifted incomes by boosting Working for Families, Superannuation, student allowance and main benefits

These measures build on all the work that we’ve done since taking office in 2017, to lift incomes and make everyday life more affordable for New Zealanders.

How we’re easing the pressure on Kiwis

  • We’re delivering 1 million free, healthy school lunches every week.
  • We’ve steadily increased the minimum wage, with this year’s increase worth $2,500 per year to a full time worker.
  • We’ve delivered cheaper doctor’s visits for half a million New Zealanders, including free visits for all children under the age of 14.
  • We’ve boosted thousands of families’ incomes through the Families Package, which has helped to lift 66,500 children out of poverty.
  • We protected a million people’s jobs with Wage Subsidies during the pandemic.

Next stages of our plan

  1. Keeping debt down.
    As the world faces further economic volatility, now is the time to continue with our balanced economic approach. To secure our economy, we will continue tracking a careful path back to surplus and targeting investments into what matters most to New Zealanders.
  2. Backing businesses to drive the recovery.
    By making all apprenticeships free, we’re training New Zealanders with the skills businesses need, and making it easier to fill gaps by hiring highly-skilled people from overseas. We’re also backing businesses to grow jobs and wages, and with initiatives like the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund, we’re supporting industries to reach their full potential.
  3. Moving people off the benefit and into jobs.
    We’re continuing to support more New Zealanders into work, with more than 100,000 people moving off a benefit and back into work in the past year. We’re also focused on creating jobs, including through investment in much-needed infrastructure projects.
  4. Continuing action on supermarkets.
    To further support Kiwi households with the cost of living, we will continue our work to fix the supermarket sector to make sure that people pay a fair price at the supermarket checkout.

You can find out more about how we’re easing the pressure on Kiwis, here.

Together, these measures will provide greater economic security for New Zealanders, now and into the future.