It may have been the first sitting week of 2020, but our Government is already in full-swing - managing a strong economy, investing in infrastructure, and working to break the cycle of homelessness. Read below for all that, and more...
We set out our agenda for the year.
Parliament resumed for 2020 this week, with the Prime Minister delivering her opening statement. She used the opportunity to highlight all the progress we’ve made on those long-term challenges facing New Zealand – in health, housing, infrastructure, child poverty, the economy, the environment, and more.
She also took the chance to set out our agenda for the year ahead: “Our agenda for 2020 is based on where we started, the circumstances and context under which this Government took office; it is based on where we are now, the environment that we are operating in, and the experience of New Zealanders; and it is focused on where we need to go”.
Watch a short clip of the statement below, or head here for a video of the full speech.
We stepped up our approach to tackling homelessness.
This week we announced we're increasing transitional housing places by the end of the year, adding 1,000 to the over 1,300 places already created since we took office. By increasing the supply of transitional housing, we're further reducing the reliance on motels for emergency accommodation.
It's yet another thing we're doing to break the cycle of homelessness, alongside expanding Housing First, building more state houses, and creating over 4,000 public housing places, to name just a few.
We're also investing in programmes, proven to work, that offer wraparound support services to help New Zealanders at risk of homelessness stay in their homes and not end up on the streets.
For more information about how this extra funding will help us break the cycle of homelessness, head here.
When we took office, we inherited a homelessness crisis decades in the making. Not only did the previous Government leave us with a chronic shortage of houses, but they were also selling off the state houses that people desperately needed. That legacy will take time to fix - but we campaigned on tackling housing and homelessness and we are delivering.
We kept the economy in good shape (and announced Budget Day).
Treasury released the Crown accounts this week, for the six months to December 2019. The accounts paint a great picture:
- We're in surplus, with the operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) above forecast;
- Our net core Crown debt remains low, coming in slightly below forecast at 21%, and expenses were $100 million lower than forecast; and
- We're outperforming our peers, with our economic growth above the OECD average, the UK, Canada, Japan and Australia.
With the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, it's clear that our books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds.
The Big New Zealand Upgrade will provide further support for our economy through a massive infrastructure investment.
We also announced that Budget 2020 will be delivered on the 14th of May. It will continue our focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while keeping the economy in good shape for the future.
We paid tribute to Rt Hon Mike Moore
Former Prime Minister and Labour Party Leader Rt Hon Mike Moore passed away earlier this month, aged 71. On Tuesday, the first sitting day of the year, party leaders and MPs paid tribute to Moore with stories and anecdotes about his life and legacy. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led the tributes, describing Moore as a "true working class Prime Minister"