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Week That Was: Helping you into a home

This week we’ve made more progress, announcing our plans to help more first-home buyers into homes, clean up our rivers, deliver better cancer care and more!


1.

We made saving for a house deposit easier

We know saving for a house deposit is a massive hurdle for first home-buyers. That’s why we’ve announced a new plan to lower the deposit required for a government-backed mortgage from 10% to 5%.

We’ve also changed things up so family and friends can each use their $10,000 First Home Grant and their KiwiSavers to buy their first home together.

Our housing reset will also help thousands more New Zealanders into homes, with a fund that will let hopeful home owners buy a house over time.

Our plan will help struggling families buy a share of a house, reducing both the deposit needed to get a mortgage, and their repayments.

New Zealand’s housing crisis has been decades in the making, and is one of the biggest long term challenges our country faces. There’s no silver bullet, but we’re making good progress.


2.

We're cleaning up our rivers

All New Zealanders should be able to swim in their local rivers, putting their heads under the water without fear of getting sick.

Water quality is a long-term challenge - it’s one of the main issues New Zealanders elected us to deal with. We know clean water is crucial to our economy and to who we are as a country. We know our primary exports and tourism rely on our clean, green image.

But after nine years of neglect, our rivers are under serious threat. Many of the places we used to swim are now unswimmable. So we’re taking the lead, working together with farmers, councils and the community to start cleaning up our waterways.

If we don’t start to fix things now they’ll only get worse and be more expensive to fix.

Read more here

People on a river


3.

Better cancer care with Labour

We’ve announced our Cancer Action Plan – so everyone battling cancer in New Zealand can get the best possible care, no matter where they live.

We know our health system is under serious pressure after years of neglect and underinvestment.

Our Government is changing that. We’re taking action to ensure Kiwis living with cancer have access to high quality care delivering:

  • Five new cancer drugs funded through PHARMAC
  • A Cancer Control Agency, to provide leadership on cancer care
  • More investment in prevention and early detection
  • Expanding access to radiation treatment, by funding twelve new Linear Accelerator machines in our regions.

Improving cancer survival rates in New Zealand is a long-term challenge. Cancer is our greatest killer, with about 10,000 deaths each year. That won’t be solved overnight. But this plan will deliver earlier detection, and better treatment. It will save lives.


4.

Investing in new classrooms and schools

We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms.

The previous Government didn’t adequately plan for growth and for too long schools have had to make do by using libraries and school halls when their school rolls increased.

Labour will make sure families in our fastest growing areas can be confident their local schools will have enough space for their kids.

This week we announced:

  • A new school and new classrooms at five schools for 840 extra students in Southland and Otago.
  • A new primary school by 2022 for the rapidly growing residential area of Drury in South Auckland
  • A new school for Tauranga and 50 new classrooms for the Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatū and Whanganui.

Information about the National Education Growth Plan can be found here.


5.

We’re cracking down on loan sharks

We’re protecting consumers from punishing debt at the hands of loan sharks.

We campaigned on tough laws to tackle loan sharks and their predatory behaviour and in government we’re delivering.

This week we added new rules around high-cost, short-term lending. Our plan will ensure people taking out high-cost loans never have to pay back more than twice the amount they originally borrowed.

Our plan to cap interest rates at 0.8 per cent per day will strengthen protections for vulnerable borrowers.

We’re also strengthening the law regulating mobile traders, such as ‘truck shops’, who often sell goods on credit at inflated prices, especially in low-income areas.

We know that many consumers are trapped in a cycle of debt, causing extreme hardship – and often, intergenerational poverty – for them and their families. We’re breaking that cycle of debt where it starts.