Welcome to a special edition of our Week that Was series - celebrating 365 days in Government!
One whole year. And what a year it’s been.
We’ve certainly achieved a whole lot.
Right off the starting block, we were keen to get stuck in and make some real positive change for New Zealand.
We moved quickly to do something about our housing crisis – stopping foreign speculators from buying into the New Zealand housing market.
We announced first year fees-free for tertiary study and training, we restarted contributions to the SuperFund, and we set up the Pike River Recovery Agency.
And – something we’re hugely proud of – we extended paid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks by 2020.
With December came the release of our Families Package in the mini-Budget. The Package included a much needed boost for Working for Families, and a Best Start for all parents with new babies.
It also included the Winter Energy Payment, which helped with heating costs over winter – meaning people could stay warm and healthy, without worrying about the bill.
At our first Cabinet meeting we began establishing the Inquiry into Mental Health and Addiction – a major step to real progress for mental health in this country.
We put forward a Child Poverty Reduction Bill – to give us the ability to set targets and measures to reduce child poverty and to reach our goal of making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child.
That goal became just that little bit more sentimental for Jacinda and Clarke, when they shared some news of their own….
Waitangi Day is a special day for our country, and we were lucky to spend a whole five days up north to be part of the Waitangi commemorations.
Later in the month, our Government launched the Provincial Growth Fund, rolling out major investment around the country.
The Pacific Mission was a great opportunity to keep building on our relationship with our Pacific neighbours – and we definitely made the most of our time there – visiting Samoa, Niue, Tonga, and the Cook Islands.
March was a huge month for housing – we launched the first major KiwiBuild project, right in our PM’s Mt Albert electorate.
Jacinda also got to experience her first Premier House Easter Egg Hunt – a long held tradition!
At the start of April we revealed a transport plan that prioritised road safety, public transport, and investing in neglected roads.
We also took a huge step for our environment, ending any new bids on offshore oil and gas exploration.
The Prime Minister headed overseas to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, meeting other world leaders and promoting New Zealand’s stance on important issues such as trade and climate change.
May saw us heading into winter – and we still had way too many people living and sleeping rough. We launched an emergency push for temporary housing.
May also meant Budget Day – a big day in politics – so it was very important that our PM and Finance Minister stayed well-fed with some delicious cheese rolls.
In June, the Deputy Prime Minister did a fantastic job while our Prime Minister was on maternity leave.
We began establishing Fair Pay Agreements, and we prepared for the roll out of our Families Package in July. We were delighted to see our hard work make a real difference in the lives of 384,000 families.
August meant the launch of Mana in Mahi – Strength in Work programme, which is all about getting young people into training while supporting their employers.
Another major announcement stemmed from the hundreds and hundreds of letters our Prime Minister received from kids around the country, upset about the amount of plastic washing up in our oceans. We decided to phase out single-use plastic bags – for our environment, for our marine life, and for our future generations.
We also announced much-needed rebuilds to classrooms and school facilities, and long-overdue upgrades to the neglected hospitals.
September was the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage – which saw celebrations up and down the country.
Jacinda attended the United Nations General Assembly, where she had the opportunity to talk about what we’re doing in our small part of the world – with a real focus on climate change.
And that leads us right back to October – a full year in Government! This list only touches on a few things – there’s so much more work that happens each and every day.
It’s been a whirlwind – but we’re proud of all we have achieved to make New Zealand a better place. And we’re just getting started.
To all our supporters, our volunteers, friends and family that have been with us each and every step of the way – we thank you.
Let’s keep doing this.