Our plan to keep New Zealand moving

The whole world is battling with COVID-19, and no country is immune. In New Zealand, our focus is getting the latest resurgence under control and making sure we put in place immediate financial supports to cushion the economic blow.

As before, the best economic response is a strong health response. We know that protecting health and stamping out the virus means our economy gets going again faster.

In addition to a strong health response, we have a detailed plan to help New Zealand bounce back faster – and it’s already in motion.

Our plan is built around five key principles: investing in our people, jobs, preparing for the future, supporting our small businesses, and positioning New Zealand globally.

Our plan puts people first. We went hard and early to keep New Zealanders safe, and now, we’re investing in our communities to protect jobs, support our people, and rebuild together.

Our initiatives:

  • Free apprenticeships and trades training in key areas for people of all ages, not just school-leavers
  • Wage subsidy supporting around 1.7 million workers and 250,000 businesses
  • COVID Income Relief Payment, supporting over 11,000 New Zealanders who have lost their jobs due to the global pandemic
  • Expanding Lunches in Schools to 200,000 children, creating 2,000 local jobs
  • Increased main benefits by $25 per week and doubled the Winter Energy Payment 
  • Extra mental health and wellbeing support, including targeted support for at-risk groups – on top of the free mental health services we launched last year
  • Boost for Warmer Kiwi Homes, making an extra 9,000 homes healthier and supporting 1,300 jobs
  • Rent freeze and protections for tenants to help families stay in their rental homes through COVID, and safe accommodation with wrap-around services for homeless people
  • Boost for Whānau Ora so it can continue to support whānau on the ground

Our recovery and rebuild will create jobs, get New Zealanders back to work, and ensure people who find themselves out of work, or are entering the labour market for the first time, can get the skills and knowledge they need. 

Our initiatives:

  • 11,000 new jobs all across the country to protect our environment and clean up our waterways
  • Creating over 20,000 jobs by investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects across New Zealand
  • Upgrading roads, rail, hospitals and schools in every town, which will create thousands of local jobs, through the New Zealand Upgrade Programme
  • Fast-tracking infrastructure projects to deliver more jobs, sooner 
  • Adding 1,000 more Trades Academy places to equip young New Zealanders with practical skills and experience, and expanding initiatives to get rangatahi work ready and support them into jobs
  • Supporting local redeployment opportunities so people impacted by COVID-19 can get back to work sooner on transport and water projects.

We have the opportunity to emerge stronger by investing in the long-term challenges in front of us. Our plan will create much-needed jobs and economic stimulus now, while also helping ensure New Zealand is an even better place for our children and grandchildren.

Our initiatives:

  • Upgrading neglected local infrastructure, such as flood protection projects, housing developments, rail electrification, waste management, and under-pressure water services
  • Getting our construction sector moving with 8,000 extra public or transitional homes, to help more Kiwi families into houses
  • Record investment to upgrade our hospitals and health services, so they can keep up with population growth
  • Creating jobs while boosting predator control efforts, restoring wetlands, and improving tracks, huts and other assets on public conservation land through the Jobs for Nature fund
  • Major investment in environmental projects, such as the restoration of Kaipara Harbour, and boost for biosecurity to create new jobs in our regions.

Small businesses are at the heart of New Zealand’s economy. We’re backing our businesses with practical support to get through COVID-19, and to continue to innovate and grow.

We’ve announced our small business policy to be implemented upon Labour’s re-election. It includes extending the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme for three years, regulating debit and credit card fees charged by banks to retailers, and growing businesses through digital technology. Head here to find out more about our SME policy, and here to see five ways this plan will help small businesses.

Our initiatives:

  • Interest-free loans of up to $100,000 to help small businesses stay afloat
  • Tax changes to free up money for business, including more than $3b in tax refunds – the biggest ever Government support package to businesses via the tax system
  • Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, to help businesses with cashflow and operating expenses
  • Tourism Recovery Fund, to help businesses weather the worst of the storm, protect jobs and shift to the domestic market
  • Innovation support and loans to help Kiwi firms grow, including R&D loans and funding to help businesses move into e-commerce
  • Significant aviation relief package, to keep critical air freight flowing and our exports moving.

We’re continuing to position New Zealand globally as a place to trade with and invest in, so we can take full advantage of our economic headstart.

Our initiatives:

  • On-the-ground support to help Kiwi exporters reconnect with overseas markets and global partners
  • Negotiating free trade agreements with the EU and UK
  • Practical support and advice for firms looking to export for the first time
  • Roadmap to boost primary sector exports by $44 billion over the next decade