Our Priorities


Creating a strong economy

Labour is focused on growing a strong economy that supports every New Zealander to get ahead.

The latest figures show that our plan is working. Despite the most challenging economic conditions in a generation, we have record numbers of people in work, wages are growing faster than inflation and our public debt levels remain among the lowest in the world.

To position New Zealand’s economy for the future, we are targeting investment in infrastructure, skills, science and innovation. We are securing new trade deals to support businesses to grow jobs and wages. And we are improving competition in the market and moving away from volatile fossil fuels, to bring down the cost of living now and into the future.

Our plan will create an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few – a New Zealand in which all of us can thrive.



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Fixing the cost of living

As global inflation drove up the cost of living, Labour has provided practical support to make everyday life more affordable for New Zealanders.

We are in an economic cycle and things will get better. In the meantime, we are focused on reducing costs and putting more money in people’s pockets. We have reduced or removed some of the core costs facing families – including scrapping prescription fees, making public transport cheaper for young people, and helping with heating bills over winter. We have also lifted the minimum wage, kept people in work and created jobs.

Despite the most challenging economic conditions in over a generation, we have made sure that Kiwi kids did not go backwards. Initiatives like our Families Package, historic boosts to main benefits and free lunches in schools have ensured 77,000 fewer children living in poverty since Labour took office.

There is more that can be done to support New Zealanders with the cost of living, and we will move forward with our plan to ease the pressure, including by removing GST from fruit and vegetables, and more.

Labour will continue to be there for people, and we will keep working to deliver much-needed cost of living relief now, as we build an economy that works for all New Zealanders. Now is not the time to put that at risk.



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Making housing more affordable

New Zealand’s housing crisis has been decades in the making, and there is no quick fix – but we are making good progress.

To make housing more affordable for both renters and first-home buyers, we are ramping up housing supply. Our Infrastructure Acceleration Fund is speeding up the scale and pace of building and we are removing red tape with an overhaul of the RMA. We are building more public and transitional houses than any Government since the 1950s, and we have grown the construction workforce through free trades training and apprenticeships.

We have also made big changes to help more families into homes, including by curbing unfair practices that drive up house prices – like overseas speculation, introducing first home loans and grants, and putting in place a progressive home-ownership scheme with rent-to-own options.

There is no single solution to fixing the housing crisis, but the measures we have put in place are making a real difference. Now, we need to keep going.



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Meeting the climate challenge

Labour has taken more action to tackle climate change in the past six years than all other governments combined. Because of this work, New Zealand is now bending the curve of our climate emissions down for the first time in history.

We passed the Zero Carbon Act, banned new offshore oil and gas exploration, made electric vehicles more affordable, backed businesses to switch away from fossil fuels, invested in clean technology, and lots more. But the extreme weather events New Zealand experienced this year highlighted why we need to keep moving forward.

Now, we are building on our comprehensive plan to tackle climate change across energy, transport, agriculture, forestry, waste and our construction sector. As we transition New Zealand towards a cleaner, greener future we are creating new jobs, securing our export brand, and making sure our economy thrives.



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Keeping communities safe

Every community should be a safe place to live, work and raise a family. Labour is working harder and smarter to keep New Zealanders safe, break the cycle of offending and tackle root causes of crime.

We have delivered the country’s largest ever Police workforce – putting 1800 extra officers on the frontline, introduced tougher consequences of crime, taken more than 60,000 guns off the street, and established a firearms register. We are addressing the complex causes of crime, including by reducing poverty and delivering better mental health and addiction services. And we are supporting people back on the right track with wrap-around support, and a focus on education and training.

We have also taken action to better support and empower victims of crime. We have tripled the funding to the Victim Assistance Scheme, introduced greater protections, and we are improving the court system.

There is still more to do. Labour’s record stands in stark contrast to the previous National government, which saw over 30 community police stations shut and reduced the number of frontline workers – and we cannot put our progress at risk.

We will continue to put in place practical solutions that are proven to keep New Zealanders safe.



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Building up our health system

Labour believes that every New Zealander should be able to access world-class healthcare, no matter where they live. In 2017, we inherited a health system that was under serious pressure after years of underinvestment, and since then we have worked hard to turn it around.

Right across the country, we are upgrading hospitals and health centres, delivering thousands more doctors and nurses, and cutting waiting lists. We have boosted Pharmac’s funding by more than 50% so more New Zealanders can access life-saving medicines, extended free GP visits to kids under 14, scrapped the $5 prescription charge, and reduced the cost of going to the doctor for around 600,000 people.

We were the first ever government to take mental health seriously. We have built an entirely new mental health and addiction service from the ground up – and it has delivered more than a million sessions already.

We cannot take this progress for granted. New Zealanders deserve accessible, well-funded healthcare and we will keep moving forward with our plan to deliver this – for everyone.



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Building up our education system

Education is at the heart of Labour’s plan to make sure that every New Zealander can reach their full potential in life.

Cuts under the previous National government starved schools of the funding they needed to deliver a world-class education. Schools had to cut corners, teachers were undervalued, and kids had to learn in hallways because not enough classrooms were being built. We have worked hard to turn this around.

We are building more schools and classrooms, and we have upgraded almost every state school to make sure kids have fit-for-purpose spaces to learn in. We are delivering more teachers and reinforcing the basics like reading, writing and maths alongside the teaching of our own New Zealand history.

We are working hard to make school more affordable for families. Our free and healthy lunches in schools programme is delivering a million lunches a week, and we have removed school donations and NCEA fees.

It is crucial that we support New Zealanders to upskill and retain over their lifetimes, and we have already seen more than more than 240,000 people take up our free trades training and apprenticeships.

There is more work to do, and Labour is committed to creating an education system that gives everyone the best chance to succeed and get ahead.



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Working in partnership with Māori

Labour is committed to improving the intergenerational wellbeing of our whānau by working in close partnerships with Māori. Together, we have made changes to support our communities, including establishing the Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti, supporting more rangatahi into work and training, and unlocking the potential of whenua Māori.

We are continuing this mahi as we continue with our recovery, tackling inequality through initiatives like the Māori Health Authority, partnering with iwi to accelerate housing developments and more support for Māori medium education.



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