Our achievements

We’re proud of everything we’ve achieved over the last three years. Led by Jacinda Ardern, our strong, stable government has delivered results and put people first every step of the way.

Now, we’re continuing to put people first with our decisive response to COVID-19. We’re focused on protecting the health of New Zealanders and setting up a strong economic recovery. We know there are still challenges ahead – but there are also big opportunities.

With our five-point plan to recover and rebuild already in motion, we are well on our way to making New Zealand even better. Now’s not the time to put on the brakes. Let’s keep building on our success, and let’s keep moving.

Updated 21 September 2020.

COVID-19: Respond, recover and rebuild

  • Established a $500 million COVID-19 health response fund, for primary care, public health, intensive care and hospital equipment, mental health support, telehealth, and Healthline
  • Introduced a four-stage COVID-19 alert level system and followed up with our five-point economic recovery plan
  • Joined the global search for a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Introduced some of the most strict border controls in the world to help keep COVID-19 out of our communities
  • Required people coming into New Zealand to enter managed isolation for 14 days, with tests around days three and twelve
  • Launched the annual Influenza Immunisation Programme early to ease pressure on hospitals
  • Worked hard to repatriate thousands of New Zealanders stuck overseas, while helping foreigners stranded in New Zealand return home
  • Temporarily removed tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports for COVID-19 response
  • Strengthened our national contact tracing system, and introduced the NZ COVID-19 Tracer app
  • Supported GPs and pharmacies with additional funding to respond to COVID-19-related demand, and boosted funding for PHARMAC to cover increased pharmaceutical costs
  • Provided additional funding for the aged care sector
  • Funded the COVID-19 Māori Response Package, delivering a boost for 132 Māori health providers, over 86,000 care and hygiene packages, tens of thousands of flu jabs, and a social media campaign providing health and social sector support
  • Established an essential workers leave scheme, to ensure those who take leave from work to comply with public health guidelines continue to receive income
  • Secured more than 1,000 motel units for homeless and vulnerable people during lockdown
  • Acted quickly to ensure personal protective equipment was getting where it was needed most

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Children & Families

  • Extended Paid Parental Leave from 18 to 26 weeks, and increased Paid Parental Leave by up to $20 a week
  • Boosted the incomes of around 384,000 families by an average of $75 a week through our Families Package
  • Lifted 18,400 children out of poverty, as part of our commitment to reducing child poverty
  • Expanded the free lunches in schools programme, expecting to benefit around 200,000 children by the third term of next year, creating thousands more jobs
  • Permanently increased main benefits by $25 a week to support Kiwi families
  • Banned smoking in cars with children, to protect young people, and passed legislation to regulate vaping products and heated tobacco devices
  • Extended the Nurses in Schools programme to cover decile 4 and 5 secondary students
  • Helping families with our Best Start payment, making life easier for parents of young children with an extra $60 a week for up to the child’s first three years
  • Largest-ever investment in preventing and responding to, family and sexual violence
  • Passed the Child Poverty Reduction Act and confirmed child poverty reduction targets
  • Providing free period products in schools for those who need them, beginning at 15 Waikato schools and expanding to all state and state-integrated schools on an opt-in basis next year
  • Scrapped the discriminatory sanction that cuts benefit income to women who have not declared the name of their child’s father, affecting around 24,000 children
  • Delivered a funding boost over four years for early learning services to improve the pay of up to 17,000 qualified teachers working in education and care services
  • Developed New Zealand’s first Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy to help make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child
  • Continued to expand the Tupu Aotearoa programme to provide sustainable employment and tertiary education pathways for Pacific communities
  • Widened Working for Families eligibility to include 26,000 more families, as part of the Families Package

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  • Re-establishing the Mental Health Commission to provide independent insight and leadership on mental health and addiction policies
  • Made visiting the doctor cheaper or free for nearly 600,000 New Zealanders
  • Launched a new Cancer Action Plan, created the independent Cancer Control Agency, and made the largest ever investment in radiation therapy
  • Boosting funding for PHARMAC to make sure New Zealanders continue to get the medicines they need despite global pressure on supply chains
  • Rolling out frontline mental health services, like Piki, which provides free mental health and wellbeing support to 18-25 year olds, benefitting more than 300,000 people
  • Strengthened our health workforce by adding more doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health workers
  • Established a $500 million COVID-19 health response fund, including funding for: primary care (including community-based assessment centres, equipment and logistics); public health (focusing on contact tracing); intensive care and hospital equipment; help for GPs and community health providers to use technology for remote consultations; and Healthline
  • Taking mental health seriously, with the biggest investment in mental health in any Budget, ever
  • Made record investments in DHBs to relieve some of the pressure they’ve been under
  • Investing significantly in new and existing neglected mental health and addiction facilities, including in Hamilton, Tairāwhiti, Palmerston North and Christchurch
  • Made record capital investments to rebuild our rundown hospitals and health facilities
  • Breaking the cycle of family and sexual violence and better supporting survivors, making the biggest-ever investment in family violence and sexual violence support services, including the Integrated Safety Response teams and 24/7 sexual violence crisis support services
  • Boosted funding for suicide prevention services and those who are bereaved by suicide, and set up a Suicide Prevention Office to coordinate action to reduce New Zealand's high rate of suicide
  • Rolling out the National Bowel Screening Programme to more DHBs
  • Fast-tracked the much needed rebuild of Dunedin Hospital
  • Changed the law to provide legal access to medicinal cannabis
  • Boosted funding for air and road ambulances
  • Lifted the cap on gender reassignment surgeries
  • Paying our carers and Mental Health and Addiction workers fairly
  • Delivering the largest ever funding boost for disability support services

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Housing & Urban Development

  • Funded an additional 8,000 new public and transitional homes through Budget 2020
  • Scrapped the need for consents for low-risk building work, such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports saving homeowners $18 million in consenting costs each year, unclogging the building consent process, and making it quicker and more affordable
  • Banned offshore speculators from our housing market
  • Helped to keep Kiwi’s warmer with our Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, ensuring an estimated 9,000 additional houses will be warmer and healthier, and supporting hundreds of jobs
  • Expanded Housing First to help long-term homeless people into homes
  • Banned unfair letting fees and no-cause tenancy terminations
  • Balanced the rights of renters and landlords by reforming the Residential Tenancies Act
  • Created a $350m Residential Development Response Fund to support the construction sector through COVID-19
  • Increased number of transitional housing places
  • Changed the law so all private rentals have to meet minimum standards to be warm and dry
  • Supported Kiwis through the COVID-19 crisis to remain in their homes with our six-month freeze on residential rent increases
  • Paused tenancy terminations during the COVID-19 lockdowns
  • Implemented a mortgage holiday for homeowners affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, now extended to March 2021
  • Worked with community organisations, iwi and councils to urgently provide spaces for over 1,000 vulnerable people with a place to stay, to keep them safe from the potential spread of COVID-19
  • Launched the Progressive Home Ownership scheme, supporting more New Zealanders into Home Ownership
  • Building consents at a 45-year high

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Employment & Business

  • Increased the minimum wage to $18.90 per hour from 1 April 2020
  • Passed the Equal Pay Amendment Bill to ensure that people who perform work of the same value are paid the same, simplifying the process for making a pay equity claim
  • Backed Kiwi innovators with a tax credit and funding boost to lift research and development spending
  • Established a $300m Venture Capital Fund to foster innovation and to help start-ups
  • Brought business to the table, establishing an expert Business Advisory Council
  • Restored collective bargaining rights for screen sector workers
  • 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 limiting 90-day trials to businesses with fewer than 20 employees
  • Made changes to better protect migrants from exploitation
  • Funded 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
  • Delivered unemployment to around its lowest level in over a decade, and lifted wages up 4.4%, before COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Supported more than 1.7 million people through the initial lockdown with the Wage Subsidy, and hundreds of thousands through the Wage Subsidy extension
  • Provided interest-free loans of up to $100,000 to help more than 50,000 businesses stay afloat
  • Announced the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme, investing in roads, rail, hospitals and schools, and our regions to future-proof the economy. This gives a $10 billion boost to New Zealand’s economy over the first five years; includes transport projects to boost productivity and long-term growth; will upgrade and modernise land, air, and sea assets throughout regional New Zealand
  • Restarted contributions to the Super Fund, to help keep the cost of NZ Super affordable
  • Introduced the Winter Energy Payment – and doubled it for 2020
  • Supported incomes for the hardest hit with the 12-week COVID-19 income relief payment of up to $490 a week for people made redundant due to COVID-19
  • Fast-tracking key development and infrastructure projects to help get New Zealand moving
  • Rolled out further support for small and medium-sized businesses, including $3.1 billion tax loss carry-back scheme, the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, changes to the tax loss continuity rules, and business consultancy support to help businesses respond to COVID-19
  • Protecting people in financial hardship from high-cost loans that trap them in debt
  • Froze charges at the border to help export and import businesses and protect jobs from the impacts of COVID-19
  • Provided support to hard-hit sectors with packages for: tourism; screen production; aviation; arts, culture and heritage; sport and recreation; and the social sector and community groups
  • Rolling out our COVID-19 worker redeployment package to keep more people in work
  • Made significant business tax changes to reduce cashflow pressure, including lifting the provisional tax threshold, reinstating building depreciation, writing off interest on the late payment of tax, and providing greater flexibility for businesses to meet their tax obligations
  • Supported workers through the COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme to take leave to comply with public health guidance and encourage people to get tested
  • Announced a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, to back creativity and productivity
  • Primary export revenue has soared to record highs
  • Balanced record levels of investment to resolve the long-term challenges facing New Zealand, while managing the books responsibly
  • Delivered sustainable surpluses, growth well ahead of the OECD average, and low debt that enabled a strong response to COVID
  • Injecting $3 billion to support our regions through the Provincial Growth Fund
  • Focused on wellbeing alongside economic success: improving health, generating skills and knowledge, defeating poverty, and being responsible guardians of the environment
  • 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
  • Signed the CPTPP, potentially delivering exporters $222 million tariff savings and launched free trade negotiations with the EU
  • Introduced measures to stop predatory lending that often impacts low-income families
  • Backed Kiwi research and development innovators, entrepreneurs, and Crown researchers with a $401 million funding boost through Budget 2020
  • Established a $400 million targeted Tourism Recovery Fund, assisting the industry to recover and restart
  • Acted on the Commerce Commission Fuel Market Study recommendations to give Kiwis a fairer deal at the pump

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  • Banned single-use plastic bags and committed to phasing out more single-use plastics
  • Passed the landmark Zero Carbon Act, with a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050
  • Delivered the strongest ever protections to clean up our rivers and lakes
  • Creating almost 11,000 new jobs in our regions to restore and protect our environment by upgrading walking tracks, restoring wetlands, eradicating pests and more
  • Stopped issuing new offshore oil and gas permits
  • Overhauling the Resource Management Act, because it hasn’t properly protected our environment
  • Provided the largest funding boost for the Department of Conservation since 2002
  • Taken action to protect the future of New Zealand’s endangered Māui and Hector’s dolphins
  • Started planting one billion trees by 2028, with 248 million already in the ground
  • Investing in local projects to improve the health of our waterways, restore mini wetlands and stabilise riverbanks
  • Investing in recycling infrastructure, including a recent boost of $124m for a number of initiatives across New Zealand
  • Started upgrading schools and hospitals to ensure they run on clean energy
  • Launched Te Mana o te Taio – Aoteoroa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy 2020, which sets a direction for the protection, restoration and sustainable use of our biodiversity
  • Addressed food waste by redirecting food to those in need
  • Reached an historic consensus with our farming sector to implement farm-level pricing of climate change emissions from the agriculture sector by 2025
  • Acknowledged that climate change is bigger than politics – by holding cross-party meetings and welcoming support for a Climate Commission
  • Established the $100 million New Zealand Green Investment Finance Ltd – a commercially-focused investment company which will work with business to reduce emissions while making a profit
  • Launched the Predator Free 2050 strategy

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Education & Training

  • Making trades training in critical industries, and all apprenticeships, free from 1 July to get people into work and get key infrastructure built
  • Launched and expanded Mana in Mahi, supporting employers to take on apprentices, and He Poutama Rangatahi, to tackle youth unemployment, increasing support and job opportunities for those most at risk in the labour market
  • 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
  • Removed fees from NCEA and NZ Scholarship, helping more than 145,000 households and around 168,000 secondary students
  • Making sure New Zealand history is taught in all schools and kura by 2022
  • Giving almost every state school a one-off capital injection of up to $400,000, the biggest capital injection for school maintenance funding in at least 25 years
  • Funding 623 Learning Support Coordinators to ensure children with diverse learning needs get the support they need to learn, supporting kids in more than 1,000 schools and kura
  • Scrapped National Standards, after listening to teachers and principals
  • Delivered a funding boost over four years for early learning services to improve the pay of up to 17,000 qualified teachers working in education and care services
  • Taking the financial pressure off parents by increasing funding to decile 1-7 schools if they don’t ask parents for donations
  • Brought back government funding for adult night classes, investing in Adult and Community Education to help providers meet the increased needs for training and upskilling and give more than 11,000 New Zealanders more opportunities to learn
  • Made targeted vocational training courses free for all ages over the next two years, which will help people who have lost their jobs retrain and also allow new employees in some essential services to train on the job
  • Increasing the volume of Trades Academy places in secondary schools by 1,000 places a year from 2021, helping to build up our future skilled workforce
  • Established the Workforce Development Councils to strategically plan for the recovery of industries and jobs from the impact of COVID-19

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  • Backing Māori landowners by creating new opportunities to drive growth in their regions
  • Installed 100 rural mobile broadband towers, as part of our rural broadband roll-out, to get our regional communities and businesses digitally connected
  • Launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs
  • Investing in New Zealand’s long-neglected regions through the Provincial Growth Fund
  • Protected the productivity of New Zealand’s vital beef and dairy sectors with a thorough and ongoing response to eradicate Mycoplasma Bovis
  • Protecting New Zealand’s most fertile and versatile land, to ensure it’s available for future primary production and is protected from inappropriate subdivision, use and development
  • Maintaining the viability of fresh vegetable production, through our new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management
  • Ramping up pest control programmes to protect farmers from costly pests like wilding pines and wallabies
  • Removed the cost of trades training in critical industries, including in agriculture, horticulture and viticulture, aquaculture and forestry
  • Backing the horticulture sector to seize new opportunities for growth and stay ahead of international competitors, including with funding to secure new imported plant varieties and breeding material
  • Introduced new regulations to strengthen our animal welfare system
  • Strengthen the National Animal Identification and Tracing system to ensure it’s an easy-to-use, world-class traceability system that keeps our primary sector safe
  • Invested $232 million to boost jobs and opportunities in the primary sector and rural New Zealand

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  • Removed abortion from the Crimes Act, rightly treating it as a health issue
  • Safely reduced the prison population
  • Passed the Family Violence and Family Violence (Amendments) Acts, sending a strong signal that New Zealand is committed to tackling family and sexual violence
  • Passed the Arms Legislation Bill, further strengthening gun law
  • Banned military-style semi-automatic weapons, magazines and parts. Around 62,000 prohibited firearms have been taken out of circulation through gun buy-back and seizures
  • Established the Criminal Cases Review Commission, to independently investigate alleged miscarriages of justice
  • Recruited to achieve the largest, and most diverse Police workforce in New Zealand history, now at over 13,000 employees
  • Strengthened the Family Court to give New Zealanders a platform that is safe for participants, sensitive to their needs, and where every party has their voice heard fairly and appropriately
  • Set up Hāpaitia te Oranga Tangata – Safe and Effective Justice, bringing together Government, sector agencies, community workers, Māori leaders, victims, and offenders
  • Restored the right to vote to all eligible prisoners serving less than three years
  • Launched Māori Pathway initiative, taking action on the long-term challenge of Māori reoffending rates
  • Cracking down on illicit drug manufacturers and suppliers while making it easier for those with substance addictions to get treatment
  • Increased funding to Customs to employ more staff to expand border surveillance, further strengthening the Government’s defence against COVID-19
  • Secured a public referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis
  • Brought in the 105 Police number, improving service for the public, while taking pressure off the 111 number
  • Began a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions
  • Re-entered the Pike River drift to help families get closure and justice
  • Made it easier to vote by allowing people to enrol on the day

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  • During COVID-19, our Māori Response Package helped Māori health providers support hard-to-reach and vulnerable whānau
  • Supported Māori communities in the face of COVID-19 with a targeted package for Maori businesses
  • Boosted Whānau Ora to support more whānau need on the ground and in the communities who need it most
  • Made sure New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura by 2022
  • Established Te Arawhiti – The Office for Māori Crown Relations to make the Crown a better Treaty partner and improve partnerships with Māori
  • Supported over 3000 rangatahi going on to full employment through He Poutama Rangatahi
  • During COVID-19, our Māori Response Package helped Māori health providers support hard-to-reach and vulnerable whanau
  • Provided significant support and investment to unlock the potential of whenua Māori and support whānau aspirations around their whenua
  • Supporting Kōhanga Reo, to ensure kaiako are paid fairly and facilities are in good condition, as part of our ongoing commitment to Māori education
  • Expanded the Oranga Marae repair and development fund to support the physical and cultural revitalisations of marae
  • Improved access to healthy, affordable homes through investing in papākainga and housing repair programmes
  • Set a goal for one million New Zealanders speaking te reo Māori by 2040
  • Launched a new Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Fund
  • Invested in iwi projects through our commitment to revitalise the regions
  • Progressed changes to council rates to allow councils to wipe rate arrears on whenua Māori

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  • Backed New Zealand exporters during COVID, including providing on-the-ground support to help local businesses connect with overseas markets and global partners
  • Joined the global search for a COVID-19 vaccine, enabling New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts
  • Led the Christchurch Call in the aftermath of March 15, committing Governments and tech companies to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online
  • Launched our Trade Recovery Strategy, to help get businesses through the disruption of COVID and recalibrate our trade policy to navigate a turbulent environment
  • Boosted aid to support our Pacific neighbours to tackle COVID and rebuild their communities and economies
  • Worked alongside other countries to keep trade open in the wake of COVID-19, ensuring the free flowing trade of medical supplies and other essential services
  • Supported Air New Zealand to secure and maintain freight links with important markets
  • Mobilised 400 MFAT staff to provide emergency response services to help stranded Kiwis return home amid COVID-19 border closures
  • Made an historic increase to the annual quota of refugees, lifting the quota from 1,000 to 1,500
  • Initiated the Pacific Reset, our commitment to build deeper partnerships with Pacific nations and the expansion of our development programme there
  • Adopted the most significant statement on regional security by Pacific leaders in a generation
  • Pursuing ambitious trade policy to help New Zealand businesses succeed overseas
  • Upgraded our free trade agreement with Singapore, so Kiwis can visit Singapore, visa-free, for up to three months
  • Held a Pacific Conference on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in line with our proud nuclear-free history
  • Strengthening our bilateral cooperation with the EU on emissions trading systems
  • Led the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS), a first-of-its-kind agreement that will use trade rules to tackle climate change and other environmental issues

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  • Made an unprecedented investment in public transport and walking and cycling improvements, to help tackle climate change
  • Building $6.8 billion worth of transport projects across the country as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme
  • Investing over $700 million for shovel ready transport projects such as cycleways, walkways, ports and roads, to help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild
  • Kicked off the rollout of 3,300kms of common sense road safety upgrades to save lives after years of the road toll rising, with over 2,500kms done so far including rumble strips, safer speeds, and side and median barriers
  • Committed co-funding for over 1,000 Emission Vehicle chargers nationwide, with more than 600 already installed
  • Started getting rail back on track after it was left in a state of ‘managed decline’, through investing $4.6 billion this term
  • Negotiated the landmark Let’s Get Wellington Moving package and quick wins like safer speeds in the CBD have already been rolled out
  • Plugged the $5.9 billion hole left in Auckland’s transport budget, and construction has started on the Eastern Busway, extra lanes on SH20B, Puhinui Interchange, Old Māngere Bridge replacement project, K Road Cycleway, Matakana Link Road, and Constellation Bus Station
  • More than doubled the funding for New Zealand Search and Rescue, recreational boating safety and safety awareness receives to save lives
  • Secured $196 million for our Wellington rail package, which includes important upgrades for the Wairarapa line; without them, the line would have deteriorated with more and more disruptions to services
  • Extended the expiry of driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications this year to help ease pressure off families and businesses during the pandemic
  • Delivered sustainable surpluses, growth well ahead of the OECD average, and low debt that enabled a strong response to COVID-19
  • Saved and funded the refurbishment of 15 electric trains that run between Hamilton and Palmerston North
  • Started planning for the Future of Rail with a ten year plan that lays out our Government’s vision to revitalise rail
  • Making it easier for New Zealanders to choose active transport with investment in new cycleways, shared paths, and expanding the Bikes in Schools programme
  • Upgrading the safety of 870 kms of high-volume, high-risk State Highways and roads throughout the country, through the Safe Network Programme

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