Our Progress

Since 2017, Labour's made significant progress addressing the challenges facing our country.

Here's just some of what we've achieved together so far!

Cost of living

We're taking action to cushion the pressure on families and secure our economy.

  • Brought in short-term cost of living payment for around 2 million Kiwis to help with the impact of rising prices.
  • Cut 25¢ off the fuel excise duty.
  • Halved public transport fares until January 2023.
  • Taking action on supermarkets to boost competition and get lower prices.
  • Closely monitoring the fuel market to make sure savings are being passed on.
  • Tackling the soaring cost of building materials.
  • Reducing our dependence on volatile global oil markets by decarbonising our transport fleet, through things like the clean car discount and investments in public transport.

Economic development & finance

We’ve taken action to build a high wage and low emissions economy that provides security in good times and bad.

  • Our economy is larger than it was pre-pandemic.
  • New Zealand now has the highest levels of money being invested in Research & Development expenditure in our history.
  • Delivered Free Trade Agreements with the United Kingdom and European Union, and CPTPP and RCEP – 73.5% of our exports are now covered by an FTA.
  • Invested in road, rail, public transport, and walking and cycling infrastructure to get our cities moving, keep New Zealanders safe, unlock housing, and boost productivity.
  • Established the $200m Regional Strategic Partnership Fund.
  • We’re promoting our Tourism sector as we open our borders, and working with the sector to restart and reimagine a more sustainable tourism industry.
  • Established eight Industry Transformation plans.
  • On a comparative measure produced by the IMF, our debt position as a percentage of GDP is roughly half the level of Australia, a quarter of the UK, and a fifth of the US.
  • Established a new tax rate of 39% on incomes over $180,000 to help fund the public sector, including our COVID-19 Response.
  • Contributed to the New Zealand Superfund and protected the rate and entitlement age for New Zealand Superannuation.

Comparison to the GFC

COVID caused a 1-in-100 year global economic shock, but our economy has come through the pandemic better than the Global Financial Crisis.

  • The economy is 4.8 percent larger than it was pre-pandemic. It took five years to increase by the same level after the GFC.
  • Unemployment has fallen by 0.8 percentage points, with record low unemployment for Māori and near record low for Pasifika. After the GFC unemployment was 3.4 percentage points higher.
  • Wages are up 17% since June 2019. It took nearly six years after the GFC for median weekly earnings to increase by a similar level.
  • Fewer working age New Zealanders are on a benefit now than following the GFC, as a share of New Zealand’s population.
  • Building consents halved during the GFC. We’ve achieved record building levels.
  • Infrastructure spending is two and a half times higher now than it was in the aftermath of the Christchurch Earthquakes and GFC.
  • And all this with a similar increase in net debt, a similar amount of spending, and no cuts to core public services.

Child poverty

  • We’ve lifted 66,500 children out of poverty.
  • All nine poverty indicators are trending down under our Government.
  • Introduced the Winter Energy Payment and Best Start Payment.
  • Increased the Family Tax credit and Accommodation Supplement.
  • We’ve increased income support putting an average of $175 a week into the pockets of more than 100,000 families since 2017.
  • Served more than 63 million free, healthy lunches in schools, feeding more than 220,000 students through Ka Ora, Ka Ako.

Education & skills

  • Over 215,000 people in free apprenticeships and targeted trades training – a 61% increase in apprentices since the pandemic started.
  • Removed school donations for around 70% of schools, and removed NCEA fees.
  • Reintroduced the Training Incentive Allowance for 2,892 people in 2022 alone.
  • Over 2,900 additional teachers since we took office.
  • Over 1,300 more classrooms since 2018.
  • First Year Fees Free for post secondary education.
  • Reformed the struggling vocational education system that we inherited.
  • Increased student support rates by $50 a week in 2018 and $25 a week in 2022.
  • Healthy school lunches are being delivered to over 220,000 kids at 950 schools every day.
  • Free period products to young people in 2,074 schools and Kura, providing assistance to 98% of those who need them.
  • Working to refresh our curriculum to ensure that kids are getting the education they deserve.
  • Set clear targets to ensure our kids are getting to school.
  • Established Te Mahau a new regionally based education service agency.
  • Reinstated the ‘100% funding band’ for ECEs from 1 January 2021.
  • Made significant progress towards pay parity for education and care centre teachers.


  • The largest annual increase in new homes since records began.
  • 10,600 new public homes and 4,020 new transitional homes – more than 10% of all of NZ’s public homes have been added since 2017.
  • Established a Progressive Home Ownership Scheme.
  • Reformed planning laws to enable more affordable housing.
  • Reforming New Zealand’s drinking and waste water system to enable better water infrastructure, job creation and more housing.
  • 90,000 heat pumps and insulation installed through Warmer Kiwi Homes, delivering healthy homes and lower power bills to low-income families.
  • Invested in the infrastructure necessary for new housing.
  • Set the Healthy Home Standards.
  • Reformed Tenancy laws.
  • Directed the Commerce Commission to carry out a market study into building materials.


  • Lowest Māori unemployment on record at 5.5% (Q2 2022).
  • We’ve boosted funding for te reo Māori initiatives in schools and kōhanga reo, while growing the number of te reo Māori teachers.
  • Established a fund for Māori boarding schools.
  • Introduced a progressive procurement policy to encourage Māori business.
  • Built more papakāinga housing.
  • Established Matariki as a public holiday from 2022.

Health & disabilities

  • Increased Pharmac’s funding by 43%.
  • Over 500,000 free primary mental health sessions.
  • 2.5 million people are now covered through primary care providers in an entirely new system set up since 2019.
  • Expanded free and low-cost doctors’ visits to children under 14, and expanded school-based health services to over 96,170 students across 300 schools.
  • More than 4,200 more nurses since 2017.
  • Nearly 2,000 more doctors since 2017.
  • Increased graduate nurse salaries by 21% since 2017.
  • 713 more psychologists since 2017.
  • Funded a portable paediatric retinal camera for every health district.
  • Funded an extra 20 mobile dental clinics.
  • Doubled the number of publicly-funded cochlear implants.
  • Established Te Aka Whai Ora Māori Health Authority.
  • Established Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand.
  • Established a rheumatic fever register.
  • Counsellors are now in 164 schools.
  • Expanding Mana Ake to Northland, Counties Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Lakes, and the West Coast.
  • Expanded nurse family partnerships and increased the number of respite beds.
  • Expanded the Healthy Homes Initiative.
  • Expanded ACC to cover maternal birth injuries benefitting approximately 28,000 birthing parents.
  • Introduced an Accessibility for New Zealanders Act.

Employment & workplace relations

  • Increased the full-time minimum wage by an extra $218 a week from 2017.
  • Record low unemployment and more than 140,000 fewer people receiving a main benefit than the Treasury forecast at the start of the pandemic.
  • Expanded sick leave entitlements to 10 days.
  • Increased Paid Parental Leave to 26 weeks.
  • Required the living wage for all employees of core Government agencies and all contracted cleaners, caterers and security guards.
  • 18,500 people have been placed in employment through the expansion of Flexi-wage.
  • Increased abatement thresholds.
  • 5,200 people have been supported into work through Mana in Mahi.
  • Reinstated the Training Incentive Allowance.
  • Updated the settings of partnership visas and reduced barriers to the parent category visa.
  • Passed and are implementing the Fair Pay Agreements Act.

Climate change

  • Tripled the number of electric vehicles coming into New Zealand.
  • Reduced the emissions of newly imported cars by 15% in six months – it previously took eight years for the same decrease of CO2.
  • Helped 53 businesses save money, reduce 1m tonnes of emissions, and switch to clean energy.
  • Phasing out fossil fuels in process heat by preventing installation of new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers.
  • Replaced more than 100 coal boilers from schools and hospitals.
  • Required only zero-emissions buses to be purchased for the public bus fleet by 2025 and targeted decarbonising the fleet by 2035.
  • Made Greenstar 6 the minimum build standard for all new state homes.
  • Since December 2020 the number of purely petrol and diesel cars the Government owns has decreased by 16.8 per cent.
  • Increased EECA’s Energy and Decarbonisation support for businesses.
  • Increased funding for the EECA Low Emission Transport Fund.
  • Created a Plastics Innovation Fund.
  • Expanded the Just Transitions Unit to regions and communities beyond Taranaki.
  • Launched the Climate Emergency Response Fund.


  • Reversed declining Police numbers, added 1,500 more Police Officers, and invested $1.1b more for Police.
  • Introduced Firearms Prohibition Orders legislation.
  • Rolled out the Te Ara Oranga meth harm pilot to support more communities impacted by high meth use.
  • Banned harmful conversion practices.
  • Established an Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court in Hawke’s Bay.
  • Repealed Three Strikes and passed the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill.
  • Banned military style semi-automatic weapons.
  • Cracked down on organised crime.

Primary industries

  • Growing primary sector exports.
  • Established a single Farm Plan process.
  • $380m to help get new tools, technology, and practices to support farmers to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions. This includes $339m through the establishment of a new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions.
  • Established $60m infrastructure fund to boost digital connectivity in regions.
  • Enhanced protection for our most-productive land through the National Policy Statement on Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL).
  • Developed the Fit for a Better World roadmap with the food and fibre sector, to add $44b to primary sector export earnings across the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs.

Small business

  • Legislated to reduce Merchant Service Fees.
  • Accelerated and strengthened business support, including for mental wellbeing.
  • Established a Unit within MBIE to work with SMEs to minimise compliance costs.
  • Established Digital Boost, a new digital training course for SMEs.
  • Extended the Small Business Cash flow Scheme for a further three years and extended the interest-free period.
  • Establishing the Business Growth Fund to support smaller businesses to access finance.
  • Requiring Government departments to pay 95% of invoices within 10 days and legislating to require large companies to report their payment times to their smaller suppliers.