Led by Jacinda Ardern, our strong, stable government has delivered positive results in the face of global downturn, started to reverse the effects of the previous government’s neglect, and implemented policies to protect our people, environment, and economy. In health, housing, education and more, we've got a strong track record of delivering for New Zealanders. People are at the heart of all we do. Labour wants to make New Zealand a better place to live in by providing opportunities for all, jobs, strong public services, quality education, and affordable healthcare. We believe this can be achieved by keeping assets in Kiwi hands, taking care of our environment, and ensuring we support New Zealand businesses without compromising the wellbeing of hardworking Kiwis.
Three top priorities for young people from Ōtautahi
Priority 1: Support our young people through our response to COVID-19. From investing in health and education, to creating jobs, we’re proud of our record in Canterbury. We know there’s still more to do, but we’ve made a good start. Our COVID recovery infrastructure projects for Canterbury include funding major cycleway routes, the YMCA Christchurch Central City Development, and the Christchurch Youth Hub. Priority 2: Wellbeing. We’re providing free mental health support in primary and intermediate schools across Canterbury through the Mana Ake – Stronger Together programme, which has supported more than five and a half thousand children so far. We’ve made it cheaper or free for people on low incomes and children under 14 to go to the doctor. We’re putting legislation in place to make rental properties warmer, drier, and more secure and we got rid of no-cause evictions and unfair letting fees. Priority 3: Futures. With free trades training in select fields, free apprenticeships, and the first year of tertiary study fees-free, we’re supporting people into the workforce. We’re following this up with thousands of new jobs across areas like construction, teaching, and social services. We’re ensuring people are paid fairly, and continuing to support Kiwisaver and Superannuation schemes. Labour is also taking care of new families, with extended parental leave and the Families Package to give kids the best start in life. And we’re protecting and restoring our environment for future generations, along with strong commitments and actions to address climate change.
Three priorities to address inequity in education
Labour is committed to making New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child. A large part of this is making sure every child can get a great education. That’s why we’re committed to ensuring that great education opportunities and outcomes are within reach for every learner. Priority 1: Make education affordable. Priority 2: Recognise the importance of Māori culture and reo in education Priority 3: Increase support for children with diverse learning needs
Three priorities to address inequity in healthcare
Priority 1: Fix the system. We’ve made record investments in our hospitals and health services, including the biggest ever funding increase for DHBs, to ensure all New Zealanders can access quality care. We will also implement changes recommended in the Health and Disability System Review report, released in June 2020.
Priority 2: Affordable healthcare. We’ve made visiting the doctor cheaper or free for nearly 600,000 New Zealanders. We’ll increase dental health grants up to $1000 for those on low incomes and providing 20 additional mobile dental clinics for people who live in remote areas. We’ve also put more nurses into secondary schools. Priority 3: Māori-focus. We’re assisting Māori-led programmes to meet the specific needs of Māori communities, including community outreach and healthcare (particularly for kaumātua and kuia). We’ve also committed to establishing a Māori Health Authority to be the principal advisor on all hauora Māori issues, and to lead the development of a strengthened Māori workforce and the growth of a wider range of kaupapa Māori services across the country.
Three priorities to address high youth suicide rates
We are taking mental health seriously with the biggest investment in mental health, ever. Priority 1: Lay strong foundations. We announced a Suicide Prevention Office will be established to coordinate action already underway to reduce New Zealand’s historically high rate of suicide. This will tie into Every Life Matters - the Suicide Prevention Strategy 2019-2029 and Action Plan 2019-2024 for Aotearoa New Zealand.
Priority 2: Make services available. We will build entirely new services, train hundreds of new staff and building new facilities across Aotearoa, transforming our approach to mental health and addiction with significant and sustained investment. We’re increasing suicide prevention services in DHBs, including more post-discharge support, and have provided funding to improve support for 15,000 people who turn up at hospital emergency departments experiencing a mental health crisis or at risk of suicide. We’re making free counselling available for 2,500 people (per year) bereaved by suicide, whom research shows can be vulnerable to suicidal thoughts themselves. Priority 3: Provide appropriate support. We launched a new Māori Suicide Prevention Fund, because we want to stop Māori being over-represented in suicide statistics.
Three priorities to address mental health issues
Priority 1: Make mental health support available when and where people need it. We’re taking mental health seriously by making record investments to make it easier for people to get help early. This work includes our free frontline mental health and addiction service, which we are rolling out in every community over the next five years, to support people who haven’t yet reached crisis point, but who want help. We’re also investing in new and existing neglected mental health and addiction facilities, like in Hamilton, Tairāwhiti, Palmerston North and Christchurch.
Priority 2: Taking care of our young people. We’re going to make free mental health support available in all primary and intermediate schools in the country. We’re also rolling out frontline mental health services, like Piki, which provides free mental health and wellbeing support to 18-25 year olds in the Wellington and Wairarapa regions.
Priority 3: Ensure an enduring and effective response. We’re re-establishing the Mental Health Commission to provide independent insight and leadership on mental health and addiction policies.
Three priorities to address climate change
Priority 1: Cut down carbon. We’ll continue working to ensure we meet our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. We’ve already stopped issuing new permits for offshore oil and gas exploration and restored the Emissions Trading Scheme to make it an effective price tool for reducing emissions. We’re on track to plant one billion trees by 2028, which will capture carbon and help clean up waterways, with 150 million already in the ground. We are bringing forward our 100 percent renewable electricity generation target by five years to 2030; and we are investing in the development of alternative energy sources such as pumped hydro and green hydrogen. We’ll be accelerating electrification of the transport and industrial sectors. We’ll require fuel efficiency standards for newly imported light vehicles and decarbonise the public bus fleet; and prevent the installation of new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers, including in dairy factories and wood processing. And under our Zero Carbon Act, we will be preparing emissions reduction and adaptation plans and carbon budgets. Priority 2: Less waste in landfills. Labour has a waste action plan for preventing, reducing and recycling waste, consistent with a zero waste circular economy approach where waste and pollution are designed out. This will create jobs, grow the economy and protect our environment. We’ll prevent unnecessary waste by phasing out single use and hard to recycle plastics and by creating a $50m Plastics Innovation Fund to develop alternatives. This builds on the success of our single-use plastic bag ban. We’ll also reduce waste by investing in waste infrastructure and projects, including high-tech recycling plants, and by establishing mandatory product stewardship schemes. We will reduce the amount of plastic waste sent overseas. And we’ll standardise kerbside recycling throughout the country, to prevent confusion as to what can recycled, and to reduce the amount of recyclable material going unnecessarily to landfill. The waste levy paid for using landfills is expected to be generating $276 million per year by 2024. Half of that revenue will go to local councils, and the other half will be ring fenced for waste reducing initiatives by the Government. Priority 3: Support work caring for nature in the regions. Continue working with farmers and boost funding across agricultural climate change research. Before COVID-19, Labour had significantly increased conservation funding. As we recover, we’re investing $1.1 billion in creating almost 11,000 new jobs in regional New Zealand to accelerate our economic recovery and restore our environment – including through riparian planting, ramping up predator control to protect our native wildlife, removing wilding pines, planting the right tree in the right place, improving infrastructure on public conservation land, and cleaning up our waterways and wetlands.
Three priorities to address racism in Aotearoa
Priority 1: Encourage understanding. The 2019 Wellbeing Budget invested $42 million over three years in Te Hurihanganui – a new initiative which builds on the Te Kotahitanga programme. Te Hurihanganui will boost the capability of the education workforce to better support Māori achievement and transform the learning experiences of Māori students, helping to eliminate racism in our education system. New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura throughout Aotearoa by 2022. The curriculum will be developed by a wide range of experts and stakeholders, including Mana Whenua to ensure our history is accurately documented, with local relevance, and conveyed appropriately. Also contributing to our understanding and appreciation of our history will be the integration of te reo Māori into all early learning and schools by 2025. Integrating te reo into classrooms reflects our moral and Treaty obligation to protect te reo Māori. Priority 2: Take action to support our multicultural communities. After the 15 March terror attacks, we implemented urgent measures to support ethnic communities, including adding $1 million to the Ethnic Communities Development Fund and funding additional staff for the Office of Ethnic Communities - a conduit between the Government and ethnically diverse communities - to directly provide culturally appropriate support to victims and families in Christchurch. We showed that the Terrorist’s brand of hatred has no place in New Zealand. Priority 3: Promote diversity. In December 2019 we further increased the Ethnic Communities Development Fund from $520,000 to $4.2 million each year, supporting groups to: do more work promoting ethnic diversity, understanding, and inclusion; develop participation in employment and society; and support our ethnic communities to thrive. We also expanded the Welcoming Communities programme, which helps to make sure our diverse communities are places where everyone feels included, has a sense of belonging, and opportunities to succeed. Building a thriving New Zealand means all of us having a seat the table. This year, for the first time ever, our Government is reporting on the ethnic makeup of our country’s state sector boards and committees. It is important members are representative of the communities they come from, to create a better, more inclusive democracy.
Three priorities to address child and youth poverty
Priority 1: Continue improving household incomes for low- and middle-income households. We started rolling out the Families Package that will see 384,000 families with children on average $75 per week better off and 50,000-74,000 children lifted out of poverty, we increased paid parental leave to 26 weeks, we’re on track to steadily increase the minimum wage to $20 an hour by 2021, we’ve indexed main benefits to wage growth, and lifted all benefits by $25. We’ve also removed Section192 that sanctioned Sole Parents on benefit for not naming their partner and committed to removing the punitive subsequent child policy which penalises women who have additional children whilst on benefit. Priority 2: Labour will continue to demonstrate commitment to child-centred policy. We passed legislation establishing targets and progress measures for reducing child poverty, amended the Public Finance Act so child poverty reporting would be required in the Budget every year, and set an ambitious ten-year target to halve the rate of child poverty in New Zealand. In our first term , we’ve also extended free GP visits to children under 14, rolled out free lunches in schools, removed the ‘hours test’ for the In Work Tax Credit, and committed additional mental health support and nurses in schools. Priority 3: Labour will ensure support for children in state care is fit for purpose. We are committed to ensuring that Oranga Tamariki take a holistic approach to supporting children and partner with community, iwi, hapū, and other Maori organisations to find appropriate solutions that safeguard and promote wellbeing. We are also committed to continuing to improve our oversight of the children’s system by ensuring advocacy, monitoring and complaints functions can work effectively to ensure the safety and well-being of all children.
Three priorities to address and support youth employment
Priority 1: Identify the jobs. We will continue to reform New Zealand’s vocational education sector to ensure it can respond well to skills shortages and prepare for the changing labour market, particularly as we rebuild from COVID-19. The world of work is changing, and the way we learn needs to adapt to stay ahead of these changes. It’s never been more important to have a system that is responsive to the future of work. We’re also creating jobs by supporting regions with local community projects around the country, developing a pipeline of projects with local councils, iwi, community groups and businesses. Priority 2: Train for the jobs. We boosted apprenticeship and trades training to help people upskill and retrain, often for free in the next two years, and will continue partnering with industry to fill skills gaps. We’ll also help young people gain entry requirements to access trades training and providing support for them to stay in training and employment. We’ll continue to encourage rangatahi into work and training through our Mana in Mahi scheme, already helping hundreds of young people get skills to kickstart their career. 82% of all participants are under 25 years of age. Our rangatahi skills and employment programme - He Poutama Rangatahi, has re-engaged over 3,400 young people who were not in employment education or training, with 1625 of those already moving back into skills training or employment; 44% of those are wahine. Priority 3: Look out for workers. Getting young people into jobs also involves making workplaces good places to be. We’re committed to helping working New Zealanders by raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, and setting good labour standards. We will progressively extend Living Wage guarantees to contractors to the public sector – such as our cleaners, caterers, and security guards, increase the minimum wage to $20 an hour in 2021, and increase minimum sick leave entitlements from five days to ten days a year. We’re helping address pay inequities across gender, ethnicity, and age, and we will make it easier for workers to receive fair wages and conditions, and avoid the 'race to the bottom' that occurs within competitive industries by implementing Fair Pay Agreements.
Three priorities to support the pacific nations
Priority 1: Support Pasifika in Aotearoa. We’re backing Pacific Peoples through the Pacific package. The Pacific package secured an unprecedented amount of $195 million in Budget 2020 to not only help Pacific peoples recover from COVID-19 but also to strengthen our commitment to our Pacific Wellbeing approach and to ensure they are not left behind and missing out on jobs and business opportunities. We also translated COVID-19 messages into 9 Pacific languages and made them available through all possible media, including TV, radio, print, online, and social media. Priority 2: Support our Pacific neighbours. We boosted aid to support our Pacific neighbours tackle COVID-19 and rebuild their communities and economies. We will also ensure our Defence fleet is fit for purpose to provide aid to Pacific nations affected by natural disasters and events caused by climate change. Priority 3: Represent the Pacific on the world stage. Labour will continue to strengthen New Zealand’s advocacy for the Pacific region, in international forum, on issues such as climate change. We live in the Pacific, and with that comes a huge duty to both act, and speak on, the threat that climate change poses to our region.
What are three things your party will do to ensure that young people engaging with politicians will be safe?
Priority 1: Labour supports the Parliamentary Code of Conduct, proposed by the Francis Review, to ensure a safe, healthy working environment at Parliament. We are also held to our bullying and harassment policy, and policy for sexual harm prevention and response. Priority 2: Ensure people can access the systems we have in place for reporting any inappropriate behaviour. Priority 3: Hold all our party members to our high expectations they will treat young people with courtesy and respect.