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Our achievements

From creating jobs, protecting our environment, fixing hospitals, making homes healthy, warm, and affordable – we've been busy. We know that solutions to our big problems don't happen overnight – but we are determined to keep making progress towards a better New Zealand for everyone. Here is just a selection of the government's achievements for New Zealanders.

Up to date as of September 2019. 

Children & Family

  • Boosted the incomes of 384,000 families by $75 a week through our Families Package, when fully rolled out
  • Widened Working for Families eligibility to include 26,000 more families
  • Helping families with our BestStart payment, making life easier for parents with new-born babies with extra $60 a week, for up to the child’s first three years
  • Extended Paid Parental Leave from to 22 weeks, further increasing to 26 weeks in 2020
  • Increased Paid Parental Leave payments by an extra $20 a week
  • Extended Nurses in Schools to cover decile 4 and 5 secondary students and almost 30,000 extra students
  • Passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act and confirmed child poverty reduction targets
  • Rolling out the free lunch in schools programme to all Year 1-8 children in 30 schools, extending to 21,000 children in 120 schools by the beginning of 2021
  • Scrapping the discriminatory sanction that cuts benefit income to women and their children who have not declared the name of the child’s father
  • Provided an across-the-board funding increase to Early Childhood Education – the first increase in ten years
  • Developed New Zealand’s first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy to help make New Zealand the best place in the world to grow up
  • Lifting standards at Oranga Tamariki, including focusing on early intervention to ensure children are safe and stay with their families and whānau, and ensuring the needs of Māori children are better met
  • Banning smoking in cars with children
  • Began Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions
  • Helping seniors stay connected by funding Digital Literacy training
  • Improving seniors’ financial position through upgrading and enhancing the SuperGold card
  • Largest-ever investment in preventing, and responding to, family and sexual violence

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Health

  • Taking mental health seriously, with the biggest investment in mental health in any Budget, ever. In the future everyone will be able to access free mental health support, when, where and how they need it
  • Funded a new universal frontline mental health service, expected to help 325,000 people with mild to moderate mental health and addiction needs
  • Boosted funding for suicide prevention services and those who are bereaved by suicide
  • Setting up a Suicide Prevention Office to coordinate action to reduce New Zealand’s high rate of suicide
  • Developed a Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • Made doctors’ visits cheaper for 540,000 people
  • Extended free doctors' visits to all children under 14
  • Changed the law to provide legal access to medicinal cannabis, and are asking for the public's views on extending this access further
  • Made free mental health care available for over 10,000 people aged 18 to 25, with mild to moderate mental health needs - through the Piki programme
  • Launched the Mana Ake programme, putting mental health support in every primary and intermediate school in Christchurch and Kaikoura
  • Working to reduce the incidence and improve management of rheumatic fever among Māori and Pacific people
  • Boosted funding for air ambulances
  • Establishing a National Cancer Control Agency
  • Developed a Cancer Action Plan
  • Largest ever investment in radiation therapy, to ensure New Zealanders have access to quality cancer care, wherever they live
  • Rolling out the National Bowel Screening Programme to more DHBs
  • Lifted the cap on gender reassignment surgeries
  • Fixing our hospitals, including by addressing major infrastructure challenges at Auckland City Hospital and Greenlane Clinical Centre
  • Addressing longstanding problems at Middlemore Hospital and the Manukau ‘Super Clinic’
  • Fast-tracked the much-needed redevelopment of Dunedin Hospital
  • Boosted funding for Pharmac to ensure Kiwis have access to the best medicines.
  • Funding District Health Boards better so they can keep pace with population growth
  • Paying our carers and Mental Health and Addiction workers fairly
  • Holding a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at the 2020 general election

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Housing

  • Helped more than 2000 families into public housing this year
  • Increased the state house building programme nine-fold, with 2,700 currently being built – 900 of those in the regions
  • Helping homeless people into homes through Housing First. 1,064 households have been accepted into the programme and 720 housed so far, with 1044 more places funded in Budget 2019
  • Added 979 more transitional housing places
  • Ensuring rental properties are healthy and warm with the Healthy Homes Standards
  • Introduced the Winter Energy Payment that helps about a million New Zealanders stay warm each winter
  • Fixing the building and construction sector to deliver more houses with better, fit-for-purpose building standards
  • Addressing construction skills shortages and training the workforce of the future
  • Banned unfair letting fees
  • Cracked down on speculators by closing tax loopholes and banning foreign buyers.
  • Established the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development and Kāinga Ora - Homes and Communities to take a joined up approach to tackling the housing crisis
  • Building the most homes since the 1970s, including through offsite manufacturing

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Employment & business

  • Unemployment is at its lowest level in over a decade, and wages are up 4.4% in the last year alone
  • 92,000 new jobs have been created under this Government
  • Increased the minimum wage to $17.70 per hour from 1 April 2019
  • Backed Kiwi innovators with a tax credit aimed at lifting research and development spending to 2 percent of GDP over 10 years
  • Extended research and development tax credits to new businesses yet to make a profit
  • Brought business to the table, establishing an expert Business Advisory Council
  • Introduced the Equal Pay Amendment Bill so more people are paid fairly
  • Restoring the rights for screen sector workers, with legislation giving them back collective bargaining rights
  • Regionalised our skills shortage list, helping us build thriving and sustainable regions
  • Helping businesses get the workers they need with a new streamlined temporary work visa process
  • Changed the law to make sure multinational companies pay their fair share of tax
  • Restored rights for Kiwi workers by reinstating meal and rest breaks, strengthening collective bargaining, restoring protections for vulnerable workers and scrapping 90-day trials for big businesses
  • Hiring 263 more frontline MSD staff to help people into meaningful work
  • Lifted abatement thresholds so people on a benefit are incentivised to also work and keep more of what they earn

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Economy

  • Restarted contributions to the Super Fund, to help keep the cost of NZ Super affordable
  • Announced a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, to back creativity and productivity
  • Primary export revenue have soared to record highs – up over $9 billion in the last year
  • Balanced record levels of investment to resolve the long-term challenges facing New Zealand, while managing the books responsibly and continuing to meet our Budget Responsibility Rules
  • Delivered sustainable surpluses, growth well ahead of the OECD average, and low debt
  • Focused on how we’re improving health, generating skills and knowledge, defeating poverty, and being responsible guardians of the environment, not only economic success
  • Addressing long-term economic challenges like building a sustainable economy and preparing for the jobs of the future
  • Pursuing ambitious trade policy to help New Zealand businesses succeed overseas

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Environment

  • Introduced our landmark Zero Carbon Bill as part of our plan to safeguard the planet and the future the next generation will inherit
  • Acknowledged that climate change is bigger than politics – by holding cross-party meetings and welcoming support for a Climate Commission
  • Banned single-use plastic bags and microbeads; helping to ensure we protect our marine life, and live up to our clean, green reputation
  • Given the Department of Conservation its largest funding boost in almost two decades
  • Making it easier for New Zealanders to choose cleaner cars, with a feebate scheme for low emissions vehicles
  • Stopped new offshore exploration permits for oil and gas, while making sure we continue to support the people who work in those fields
  • Funded the National New Energy Development Centre in Taranaki, which will create jobs while helping New Zealand move away from reliance on fossil fuels
  • Established an Interim Climate Change Committee, which is considering how we can reduce our emissions and meet our goals for renewable energy production
  • Commissioned a new 100 megawatt wind farm in Taranaki
  • Launched large predator control projects in areas including Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Waiheke, and Dunedin, in collaboration with industry, iwi, and communities
  • Launched our Essential Freshwater plan to improve the quality of our rivers and lakes, as around 30% of our rivers and lakes aren’t safe for swimming
  • Supporting community-led programmes to clean up our waterways
  • Established the $100 million Green Investment Fund to invest with business to reduce emissions and tackle climate change while making a profit
  • Set out a $229 million Productive and Sustainable Land Use Package to help farmers and growers clean up our waterways and tackle climate change
  • Supported farmers to improve freshwater quality
  • Reached historic consensus with farmers on reducing emissions
  • Announced our plan to recharge New Zealand’s resource recovery and recycling sector
  • Advanced New Zealand’s performance in waste minimisation through the Waste Minimisation Fund
  • Announced our work programme to take action on New Zealand’s waste through a circular economy approach
  • Invested record amounts in cleaner public transport
  • Kicked off the One Billion Trees programme, planting trees to take polluting gases out of the air
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s ETS, so that it’s fit for purpose
  • Resolving the conservation crisis by enhancing biodiversity, and controlling and eradicating predators
  • Expanding and strengthening the protection for endangered Māui and Hector’s dolphins
  • Protecting New Zealand’s elite soils, because as a proud food producing nation, we cannot afford to lose our most highly productive land
  • Proposed a new way to deal with environmentally harmful products before they become waste, such as plastic bottles, as part of a wider plan to reduce the amount of rubbish ending up in landfills
  • Overhauling New Zealand’s Resource Management Act, as it’s unacceptable for this cornerstone law to be underperforming in a country that values protection of the environment
  • Launched Te Koiroa O Te Koiora – Our shared vision for living with nature, to help shape our biodiversity strategy for the next 20 years

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Education

  • Building new schools and classrooms for 100,000 students, with a plan to make sure we work with schools and communities to address increasing demand before it happens
  • Rolled out 623 Learning Support Coordinators to ensure children with diverse learning needs get the support they need to learn, supporting kids more than 1,000 schools and kura
  • Launched Mana in Mahi, supporting employers to take on apprentices, and He Poutama Rangatahi, to tackle youth unemployment
  • Funded an additional 2,000 places in the Mana in Mahi programme through the Wellbeing Budget
  • Scrapped National Standards, after listening to teachers and principals
  • Transitioned all charter schools to the state school system, to ensure the education system meets the needs of every student
  • Taking the financial pressure off parents by increasing funding to decile 1-7 schools if they don’t ask parents for donations
  • Removed fees from NCEA and NZ Scholarship, helping more than 145,000 households and around 168,000 secondary students
  • Supported Kiwis into study through our Fees-Free first year of tertiary education and training programme
  • Addressed the teachers shortage, by training and supporting thousandsmore teachers over the next four years
  • Funded hundreds of new places for a new employment-based teacher training programme and expanded the existing Teach First NZ programme, which enables teachers to earn while they work towards their teacher professions
  • Rolling out a school lunch programme, making sure 21,000 children in 120 schools will have lunch by the start of 2021
  • Making sure New Zealand history is taught in all schools and kura by 2022

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Regions

  • Investing in New Zealand’s long-neglected regions through the Provincial Growth Fund
  • Planting one billion trees by 2028, through the One Billion Trees Programme
  • Boosted KiwiRail, with a $1 billion investment in Budget 19 to improve our rail connections, which will help to get freight off the roads
  • Introduced an International Visitor Levy to support our regional tourism infrastructure and conservation projects
  • Backing Māori landowners by creating new opportunities to drive growth in their regions
  • Backing farmers to lower emissions and protect waterways while growing the value we get from our primary sector
  • Protected the productivity of the country’s vital beef and dairy sectors with a thorough and ongoing response to eradicate Mycoplasma Bovis
  • Upgrading the safety of roads and highways throughout the country through The Safe Network Programme will make 870 kms of high-volume, high-risk State Highways safer with things like median and side barriers, rumble strips, and shoulder widening
  • Boosted support for veterinarians in the regions

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Justice

  • Banned military-style semi-automatic weapons, magazines and parts, with over 21,000 fewer firearms in circulation from gun buy-back and seizures
  • Passed the Family Violence and Family Violence (Amendments) Acts, and delivering the largest ever investment in support services, to break the cycle of family violence and sexual violence
  • Recruited to achieve the largest, and most diverse, Police workforce in history – over 13,000 employees
  • Took action to reduce court backlogs, and improve the experience for all parties, through better resourcing and processes
  • Introduced the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill
  • Made our funding increase for Community Law Centres permanent, helping more than 25,000 people every year
  • Re-entered the Pike River drift to help families get closure and justice
  • Set up Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata – the Safe and Effective Justice programme
  • Reduced the prison population for the first time in a decade, without compromising public safety
  • Launched Māori Pathway initiative, taking action on the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending rates
  • Boosted funding to increase offenders’ access to mental health and addiction support
  • Cracking down on illicit drug manufacturers and suppliers while making it easier for those with substance addictions to get treatment
  • 7,240 fewer people were victims of crime in 2018, as victimisations of crime fell by 2.7%

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Māori

  • Established Te Arawhiti - The Office for Māori Crown Relations to make the Crown a better Treaty partner and have better on-going relationships with Māori
  • Recognising the importance of Kōhanga Reo and the revitalisation of te reo Māori, by lifting the wages of Kaiako, and investing in building repairs and new technology.
  • Supporting marae to strengthen our whanau, hapu and communities by investing an extra $12 million for whānau-led marae development projects.
  • Working with iwi to carry out joint projects, such as the partnership between Porirua City Council and Ngāti Toa to build thousands of homes and build warm, safe, healthier homes with Te Rūnanga o Whaingaroa and Te Hau Awhiowhio o Otangarei Trust
  • Expanding Whānau Ora to support more whānau
  • Progressed completing the final stages of Treaty settlements with Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga Tamatea, Ngāti Tai ki Tamaki, Ngāti Tamaoho, Ngāti Tūwharetoa and Te Wairoa
  • Getting more people using te reo Māori in their daily lives, with a vision of one million New Zealanders speaking at least basic te reo Māori by 2040
  • Launched Maihi Karauna (the Crown’s Strategy for Māori Language Revitalisation) 2019 – 2023 at Te Matatini earlier this year
  • Investing into Papakāinga development and rural housing repairs for better whānau wellbeing

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International

  • Increased New Zealand’s refugee quota to 1,500 a year from 2020
  • Enhancing our role in the Pacific through the Pacific Reset: boosting disaster aid and financial support; and implementing measures to prevent and address the effects of climate change.
  • Adopted the most significant statement on regional security by Pacific leaders in a generation
  • Opened diplomatic posts in Stockholm and Dublin
  • Upgraded our free trade agreement with Singapore, so Kiwis can now visit Singapore, visa-free, for up to three months
  • Held a Pacific Conference on Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in line with our nuclear-freehistory
  • Strengthen our bilateral cooperation with the EU on emissions trading systems
  • Leading the “Christchurch Call”, along with France, to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online
  • Boosting funding and support to counter child sexual exploitation across New Zealand’s cyber and physical borders
  • Increased the funding to combat organised crime trafficking drugs in the Pacific region
  • Made drug smuggling in international waters an offence under New Zealand law
  • Allocated a Defence budget capable of addressing the commitments and neglect of the previous government

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