2020 Policies

Broadcasting, Arts, Culture and Heritage


The New Zealand media sector is under enormous stress and needs to be supported with fresh ideas, new policy and investment to ensure its ongoing viability. The guiding principle is to develop a broad range of interconnected policies that supports a diverse, sustainable and independent media sector that (i) keeps New Zealanders connected and informed; (ii) gives people a choice of outlets and sources of information; (iii) celebrates our unique arts, culture and languages; and (iv) supports a strong participative democracy


  • Establish a new stand-alone industry led journalism funding entity to manage a contestable "Public Good" journalism fund
  • Examine tax deductions for domestic news subscriptions, press patron subscriptions, and large corporate sponsorships of news outlets
  • Facilitate collaboration of media entities through simplifying competition rules for merger activities whilst protecting national interest
  • Require and mandate Radio New Zealand (RNZ) to support the health of the broadcasting sector by providing shared services, facilities, content, training and staff development, and infrastructure for the wider industry
  • Secure and futureproof RNZ Concert as an important entity in our public broadcasting stable noting the station plays a crucial and unique role within the arts sector in New Zealand
  • Strengthen RNZ Pacific’s role as an international service that connects New Zealand with our Pacific neighbours
  • Enable the broadcasting industry to get efficiency of scale through mandating that TVNZ and other Crown media entities work together in creating efficiencies and capabilities that provide greater value for the New Zealand public
  • Release TVNZ from its obligation to return a dividend to the government
  • Return Māori Television’s operation to Auckland CBD to enable all Crown media entities to work together and share resources, helping provide greater value for the New Zealand public while ensuring plurality is maintained across the 4th estate and Māori media
  • Future proof funding to enable Iwi radio to develop its full potential as valued community radio stations and integral community hubs including as a media training pipeline for rangatahi in provincial New Zealand
  • Consider a funding review for Access Radio 
  • Consider a review into extending the definition of community radio in recognition of the role these other community broadcasters play in New Zealand’s media landscape

Arts, Culture & Heritage

New Zealand already generates distinctive, powerful, and beautiful art. However, the continued ability to utilise our capacity for creativity will rest on the support we dedicate to Arts, Culture and Heritage. Through support and recognition, we greatly contribute to both New Zealand’s sense of self and areas of our economy that are often overlooked. Whether it be recognising the fundamental role Māori culture plays in our national identity, or preserving our historic sites and buildings, New Zealand’s arts, culture and heritage must be protected.


  • Guarantee sustainable and transparent funding for the arts
  • Ensure that all New Zealanders have the opportunity to participate and to feel immersed in the arts and culture our country offers through making sure it is accessible
  • Uphold the protection of culturally and historically significant places, buildings and churches. 
  • Promote and facilitate the development of New Zealand’s unique and dynamic arts industry in terms of trade and marketability.
  • Support the protection of intellectual property
  • Introduce a requirement for international streamers like Netflix and other international platforms with significant New Zealand subscriptions to contribute to the New Zealand production industry by commissioning local content production
  • Provide funding to establish a New Zealand Jazz Orchestra
  • Reduce the destructive impact of Building Legislation on New Zealand’s cultural heritage sites through developing a risk assessment approach to provide greater flexibility of compliance than is currently possible
  • Secure the future of the historic Christchurch Arts Centre
  • Provide funding support for Regional Heritage Museums
  • Legislate to gain an equity share of future productions in recognition of either direct subsidies or tax breaks provided to be reinvested into New Zealand’s art and film industry
  • Fund the New Zealand Wars Documentary Collection 
  • Fund specialist curriculum leaders to support schools to deliver on the Arts Curriculum throughout the compulsory school sector
  • Work with local government to support regional art and historical spaces ensuring access to sustainable arts infrastructure

Business & Enterprise 

New Zealand First believes that a fair balance must be maintained between small and big business, with neither one being given more rights than the other. Similarly, there must be a fair balance between employees and employers, with neither having the ability to exploit the other for monetary gain or neglect the safety and well being of the other.

Small Business

New Zealand First supports all aspects of small business. They are the backbone of growth, employment, and community in our country and New Zealand First believes that government should support them. The COVID-19 crisis hit small businesses the hardest, making them more vulnerable than during and after the Global Financial Crisis. That is why we believe government should be at the forefront of ensuring it is doing everything it can to support small businesses in becoming profitable once again. Providing opportunity and incentive to grow and improve productivity.


  • Continue to support the nation-wide roll-out of ultra-fast broadband and support initiatives for electronic learning and upskilling of vocational skills
  • Redefine small to medium enterprise from 19 employees to 50 full-time equivalent staff
  • Negotiate for the full reinstatement of the 90 day trial programme or at least expand its reach to more small businesses.
  • Provide further support for business linked internships helping bridge the gap between industry and training
  • Investigate the feasibility of a digital CV scheme to help employers and job-seekers during the hiring process
  • Continue to streamline the tax exemptions so that they are simplified
  • Convene a cluster to establish once and for all what the ‘red tape’ challenges are that hold all small businesses back and then work to remove them
  • Assist with the cost of staff training and apprenticeships in the workplace


New Zealand First believes that our tourism industry is an essential export earner and as such its ongoing survival is critical post COVID-19. 

To that end, while in government New Zealand First has and will continue to ensure that resources and funding are focused on the growth of domestic tourism. We are also committed to ensuring we can safely allow the return of international visitors.

We recognise that tourism is the livelihood of many New Zealanders and believe there is more to be done in helping Kiwi’s understand the career prospects and pathways in this exciting industry. That is why New Zealand First will continue to support initiatives such as the ‘Go with Tourism’ programme. New Zealanders must be put first when businesses are looking to employ. However, as we have already said, where we need foreign labour we will make every endeavour to ensure there are clear pathways to access foreign expertise. Some examples of this are those who work seasonally in rafting or ski fields.  

It is also important to acknowledge that environmental policy and the success of our tourism industry are closely related. It is clear that businesses benefit from our environment when it is healthy and sustainable. New Zealand’s environment gives us a strong competitive advantage over the rest of the world. Because of this, New Zealand First commits to ensuring that any efforts to grow the tourism industry must work in tandem with sustainable environmental policies. Doing this will have implications on productivity, but works toward the important focus of increasing beneficial long-term revenue as opposed to only aiming to increase the number of tourists coming into the country.

New Zealand First will work with the industry and ensure that funding remains at the levels required to maintain good industry outcomes. 


  • Utilise tourism to support thriving and sustainable regions
  • Explore ways to improve productivity within the tourism industry
  • Help New Zealand deliver exceptional visitor experiences
  • Use tourism to protect, restore and champion New Zealand’s natural environment, culture and heritage
  • Work towards tourism improving the lives of New Zealanders


In post-COVID New Zealand support for Kiwis to retain or regain employment will be vital. New Zealand First has always believed in the safety net of social welfare but also understands the desire of all Kiwis to have the mana of honest employment. Some members of our society will require more support than others to gain and retain employment – we need a system that acknowledges that and has the levers to provide that support locally. New Zealand First also recognises that members of our disabled community want to work and so we will provide better support to both the employer and employee to realise this aspiration. 


  • Negotiate for the full reinstatement of the 90 day trial programme or at least expand its reach to more small businesses. 
  • Re-establish Careers New Zealand as a separate entity but widen its target demographic to cover all New Zealanders regardless of age – currently no agency has responsibility for careers advice after secondary school – Careers New Zealand would assume this responsibility
  • Extend funding and professional development around career advice and job transition for librarians across New Zealand so they can better support their community, regardless of age or employment status, with employment and training advice
  • Enhance local workforce development councils and industry workforce planning to better target financial support for on and off job training
  • Through greater focus on and investment in both local and nationwide skills needs minimise the importation of labour
  • Streamline and target apprenticeship financial support to ensure a continual stream of skilled workers in New Zealand key industries as these change and grow to minimise reliance on imported skilled workers
  • Reinstate Workbridge as the primary employment agency for Kiwis who are differently abled and resource them to provide the appropriate level of pastoral support to both the employee and employer
  • Ensure the support put in place for the “newly unemployed” due to COVID-19 continue in both urban and rural communities to address the change in the future of work identified pre-COVID
  • Actively set up a seniors employment plan and support uptake of the employers toolkit for nature workers 


The New Zealand racing industry faced an unprecedented challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning we faced the threat of losing an integral part of our Kiwi economic wealth and lifestyle. In three short years New Zealand First has championed racing as we recognise that losing the industry would be devastating for both our economy, and the regions it actively contributes to. If our racing industry is to go beyond COVID relief packages and remain internationally renowned, recognising that now is the time for support, planning and collaboration to be paramount. New Zealand First is committed to supporting our racing industry and will continue to make the contribution it brings to our country known.


  • Complete implementation of Racing Legislation passed in this term of Government
  • Complete where appropriate the recommendations of Messara Report and continue consultation with all stakeholders
  • Complete the construction of the Cambridge, Awapuni and Riccarton all weather tracks
  • Recognise the regional economic potential of the Racing sector and support initiatives to enable its growth
  • Work with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to develop export channels and opportunities


New Zealand First believes that everyone living in New Zealand legally should be entitled to the same legal rights no matter how long their time in New Zealand has been.  

The size and suddenness of the pandemic has shaken the global economy - and as an open economy New Zealand is profoundly affected.  The end of the crisis is not in view yet but immigration, along with other aspects of the economy, will need a fundamental rethink.  New Zealand has had one of the fastest growing populations in the developed world because of high rates of immigration well above natural population increase.  There has been an immediate and dramatic drop in immigration as borders closed due to the pandemic.  But it is also becoming apparent that the scale of immigration that fed headline economic growth in both Australia and New Zealand now belongs to another era.  

New Zealand First is committed to a rigorous and strictly applied immigration policy that serves New Zealand’s interests. Immigration should not be used as a source of cheap labour to undermine New Zealanders’ pay and conditions. COVID-19 has presented a unique opportunity to reset New Zealand’s immigration policy settings, ensuring that they put New Zealanders first. 

There will be briefly a vacuum that essential workers must fill, with overseas seasonal workers until substitute training or retraining of New Zealander’s has occurred.   


  • Ensure that Kiwi workers are at the front of the job queue
  • Guarantee that immigration policy is based on New Zealand’s interests such as meeting critical skill gaps 
  • Maintain parent category visa cap at 1000 and ensure that sponsors can adequately support and fund their family during and after migration 
  • Continue to develop strategies that encourage regionally dispersed immigration so that it lessens the burden on already overloaded urban cities
  • Investigate a ‘skills of absolute shortage’ visa category to replace the incumbent skills shortage list 
  • Ensure that regionalised skills shortage lists reflect and are consistent with COVID-19 recovery efforts
  • Introduce a ‘rural visa scheme’ that will apply to communities of less than 100,000 residents, while placing into law an obligation for migrants to stay in their specified place of settlement until they have secured permanent residency

Population Plan:

  • Have a nationwide review to set a 30 year ‘Population Plan’ to gain a majority view on the level of future population numbers. This will enable government to plan infrastructure with consideration for natural population growth, immigration, and attrition via death or emigration

Democracy & Government

Parliament must be a responsive and accountable institution that works for communities. New Zealand First believes that the best approach to ensure this is smaller and more effective government, coupled with direct democracy through referenda. We also recognise the important role that local government plays in our democracy, and believe its actions must achieve the best return for ratepayers.


  • Where practical timelines permit remove the use of personal votes by Members of Parliament on all conscience issues and replace them with citizens binding referenda
  • Continue to advocate for binding referenda in political decision making
  • Ensure greater contestability of policy advice and make social impact a necessary component of the economic cost and benefit analysis in government decision-making processes
  • Conduct a nationwide study into the relationships between regional councils, community boards, and local councils
  • Review the legislative burden that central government has placed on local government to remedy the impact this has on ratepayers
  • Integrate emergency services into a Ministry of Emergency Services
  • Establish an independent firearms authority (IFA)
  • Continue to safeguard our state and local government assets through restricting their sale or use that is outside of New Zealand’s national interest
  • Ensure the future of Maori seats is a decision for the people to make having examined the significant increase in representation numbers of Maori MPs under MMP
  • Bring greater value to New Zealand citizenship through revoking the ability for non-citizens to vote in general elections
  • Continue to oppose the establishment of separate Maori Wards at the local and regional government level

Education & Training

New Zealand First recognises that social development is an integral aspect of our country’s ability to prosper. We believe in ensuring every part of society advances, as this ultimately benefits the entirety of New Zealand.

Adult and Community

An opportunity to access second chance learning for New Zealanders of any and all ages is one of the keys to our nation’s economic recovery in a post-COVID world. New Zealand First is committed to ensuring that quality lifelong learning opportunities are available in all communities, are responsive to the needs, wants and interests of those communities and include intergenerational learning.

It has never been more important, in recent history, that New Zealanders have multiple opportunities to build on the skills they have or develop new skills that not only provide greater opportunity for employment but keep communities connected.  Research shows that people engaged in learning experience greater wellbeing and remain connected to their communities.


  • Ensure that goals within the ACE (Adult and Community Education) Strategy have a sufficient budget attached.
  • Review student support systems to ensure they are fit for purpose and have adequacy for life-long learning. 
  • Ensure that the ACE sector is constantly considered in the discussions around New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19. 
  • Work with the ACE sector to develop and implement an appropriate and affordable quality assurance process for ACE programmes and activities. 
  • Investigate full funding for co-ordinators inside school clusters to once again open our schools facilities up for community use outside compulsory school hours.

Compulsory Sector

New Zealand First believes that we have a quality public education system and acknowledges the importance of principals, teachers, support staff, parents, boards of trustees and the community in the delivery of a full and rich education for our young people.

New Zealand First is committed to a quality public education sector where the principles, values and key competencies of our New Zealand curriculum documents are at the center of all teaching and learning.


  • Deliver the final and full tranche of Learning Support Coordinators (1200) across New Zealand to all schools.
  • Build on the recent pilot of access to counsellors for primary students and progress counsellor/student ratios at secondary schools.
  • Review the representation on the Teachers Council in line with requests from sector representatives and remove certain tasks that have increased costs and should be the responsibility of Government.
  • Review Section 156 Designated Character Schools in the Education Act 1989 to recognise schools such as Hohepa and the education they deliver for a certain number of our students.
  • Continue the work required to shift from the decile system to better address equity challenges and ‘outside of school’ factors that impact on student achievement.
  • Complete the creation of consistent School Entry Assessment tools and practices that teachers and school leaders use to identify those students with learning needs.
  • Continue the work with the sector to develop screening tools, funding and resourcing models to best meet the needs of children challenged by dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger’s and autism.
  • Continue to advocate for increases in the Ongoing Reviewable Resource Scheme (ORRS) to cover the 3 percent of the school population identified by the Ministry of Education as high needs.

Early Childhood

New Zealand First is committed to inclusive early childhood education (ECE) that is accessible to all within safe, nurturing and stimulating environments. We would urgently review the funding model for Playcentre and their dual role as early childhood education role models and as centres that can make parents better parents. New Zealand First is most concerned about the loss of access to education providers for our rural and isolated communities.


  • Review the adult to infant (under 2s) staffing ratio in ECE centres as an urgent health and safety matter.
  • Work with the sector to amend relevant criteria to ensure an increased ability of isolated rural communities to participate in early childhood education such as Playcentre and Mobile Kindergartens.
  • Support the HIPPY organisation in their provision of early childhood education opportunities for 4 and 5 year olds and their families.
  • Establish a fund for research into best practice and innovation in New Zealand early childhood education.
  • Work to bring more ECE Centres into the Learning Support Delivery Model so as to better support those children needing early learning support.
  • Build on the pilots to shift from a “refer out and wait” early intervention system for young children who need learning support to a “send in the experts and deliver” model of early intervention.
  • Pursue the opportunity to bring ECE Centres into local clusters or Kahui Ako to better support the transition of all students into the compulsory sector.
  • Work with Playcentre to recalibrate their funding model to recognise that they provide support around parental education while also teaching how children learn through play.
  • Seek to partner with Playcentre in rural communities so that Justice can use their facilities during weekends and after hours for supervised parent / child visits to address the lack of these facilities in small towns.

Learning Support

New Zealand First’s vision for all children in education is for them to receive the support they need, as early as possible, for them to be their personal best. It is a vision based on identifying each child’s strength in the first instance and then resourcing the support they need for their fully rounded success. We acknowledge that success means more than just academic success – soft skills are vital in the society of the future. We know that a flexible model of delivery is required as our children’s needs are diverse. New Zealand First has a strong vision of the future for learning support and we intend to build on the foundation New Zealand First has established over the last three years in the years ahead.


  • Fully fund and implement the second and final tranche of Learning Support Coordinators across the rest of the compulsory sector, then enhance this support into the Early Childhood Education sector
  • Complete the nationwide implementation of the Learning Support Delivery Model and the Learning Needs Register to enhance workforce planning and network support
  • Recalibrate Early Intervention Support so that specialists come to the child rather than the “refer out and wait” current model. Where there are specialist shortages we will pursue a “Specialists Without Regions” policy of sending in teams of specialists one week per month to address children’s needs
  • Complete and roll out the nationwide Universal Screening Tools for the early identification of neurodiverse students with dyslexic, dyscalculic and autism like traits
  • Pursue the concept of a workforce of “health aides” (funded from health) and “teacher aides” (funded from education) to better support both students and teachers 
  • Look  to secure sustainable funding for gifted children and build on the provision of gifted identification and education for Maori and Pacific gifted children
  • Implement and resource the redesign of Alternative Education as developed by the sector in 2019
  • Implement and resource the redesign of the Attendance Service as per the trial in 2020
  • Continue to build on true choice for parents of “differently abled” students through a mix of ORS funding enhancements, learning support units inside local schools and specialist schools
  • Continue the roll out of the Managed Moves model of intervention for younger students with behavioural needs with a goal to have one in every school cluster over time

Tertiary and Vocational

New Zealand First will implement upfront investment in post-secondary education. This policy will remove the financial burden of student loans, particularly on our young people and replace this with a payable skill debt to the country. The Up Front Investment Tertiary policy will reduce both the human and financial waste currently created by inadequate workforce planning and under resourced careers advice. 

Our post-secondary study suite of policies, which includes a universal student allowance, will remove current lurching from skill shortage crisis to individual profession oversupply. In a post-COVID New Zealand now more than ever we must ensure that workforce planning is done and directly linked to our education system.  Now is our opportunity to train our own for the skilled workforces needed before we look offshore.


  • Implement the Up Front Investment Tertiary Policy as quickly as possible so as to remove student debt from the next generation and to ensure that workforce planning is used to remove our dependence on the importation of skilled labour as a norm.
  • Move to introduce a universal living allowance which is not subject to parents means testing as a priority for all full-time students.
  • Immediately introduce a dollar-for-dollar debt write-off scheme so that graduates in identified areas of workforce demand may trade a year’s worth of debt for each year of paid full-time work in New Zealand in that area.
  • Work with the sector to reset the international student market so that when it is safe to restart this sector it is done safely and is rebuilt to provide quality education and experiences to these students but also provide high quality income for our nation.  International Education must not be used as a back door to immigration. 
  • Continue to support the resourcing of apprenticeships and on-job learning to develop a skilled workforce and address unemployment across all ages.
  • Work alongside the sector, including NZUSA, to establish a project to build capacity for enhancing student engagement so students have a say in how, what and why they learn. This would be based on the implementation of the Student Voice for Quality Enhancement report and by funding a long-term programme to build capacity for the student voice in the sector ($2m over 5 years).
  • While respecting institutional autonomy and diversity, require through the external review processes that institutions can demonstrate that they have independent, autonomous and well-resourced systems of student advocacy services for genuinely engaging, through student representatives, with students.
  • Work with NZUSA and the sector to establish an expert reference group with a view to implement two thousand ‘First in Family’ scholarships per year. These will create a step-change in educational aspiration by promoting fee-free education with wrap-around support from secondary, through transition and to completion for those who would be the first in their immediate family to achieve a degree. ($68m over first 3 years 2015 to 2017).
  • Review funding and attendance models that create barriers to achieving recognized NZQA qualifications through flexible individual training agreements and workplace internships. (see our Business Linked Internship Policy under Small Business)
  • Minimise the “opportunity costs” (administration and compliance) and financial barriers for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to employ apprentices and provide flexibility for provincial and rural New Zealand students.
  • Encourage strategic alliances between industry crown research institutes and tertiary institutions to increase the number of scholarships and government funded research grants available to graduates, universities and employers.
  • Re-establish Teachers Training Colleges to address the deficiencies in many Initial Teacher Training courses.

Environment & Conservation

As New Zealanders, we should be proud of our natural environment and treat it with the respect it deserves. New Zealand First believes the government must strike a fair balance between environmental stewardship and utilizing our natural resources. It is when this is done properly that good environmental policy becomes sound economic policy, helping New Zealanders get the most out of our environment while ensuring its longevity.

Climate Change

New Zealand First supports the necessity for a transition to a zero carbon future where people and planet and business can all thrive. We recognise that climate change is interconnected with many other environmental and social sustainability issues.

Responding to Climate change means responding together, across sectors, including transport, industrial heat, electricity, agriculture, forestry, waste, and water. We will work to prioritise actions across these areas.

We want to encourage a platform in which businesses feel safe and encouraged to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions, assist with setting public emissions reduction, and working within their own sectors to reduce their emissions.

This includes enabling members to measure, report on, and reduce their emissions, particularly on New Zealand’s key transition opportunities. We also support our members to build the resilience to adapt to a changing climate.

New Zealand First recognises that a healthy planet, means restoring nature, including biodiversity, water ecosystems, forests and soil. As Business NZ has said, “This is particularly critical in New Zealand, as so much of our economic success relies on nature, including agriculture.”

Successfully addressing these issues means NZ has a competitive advantage with its exports into the rest of the world. Customers place a high value on sustainability, so as much as this is the right thing to do for our planet, it also makes economic sense. 

As New Zealand introduces national carbon budgets, New Zealand First will work with Business to ensure it is proactively part of shaping a shared plan to transition New Zealand to a zero carbon economy. 


As New Zealanders, we should be proud of our natural environment and treat it with the respect it deserves. New Zealand First believes the government must strike a fair balance between environmental stewardship and utilizing our natural resources. It is when this is done properly that good environmental policy becomes sound economic policy, helping New Zealanders get the most out of our environment while ensuring its longevity.


  • Support an evidence based approach to complex environmental issues where it is often challenging to achieve the correct balance
  • Advocate that government and industry work together to achieve better environmental outcomes 
  • Support the 1 billion trees strategy while ensuring that native species play an important part in the planting strategy
  • Address pollution of streams, rivers, and beaches
  • Halt creation of any new landfills and urgently advance work on the development of rubbish disposal alternatives through conducting a nationwide recycling and recovery strategy
  • Develop a nationwide Waste-to-Energy strategy.
  • Develop an easy to use, uncomplicated recycling labelling regime for food and drink packaging. 
  • Seek higher Crown levies on minerals extracted and return 25 percent of royalties to the regions of source
  • Work towards ensuring that the right to take and use water is available only to New Zealand people (citizens and permanent residents) and New Zealand owned companies
  • Ensure developers are responsible to the community when avoiding, remedying or mitigating adverse environmental effects


Our country has a unique ecosystem of international significance meaning it must be protected from potential threats, and be preserved for future generations. New Zealand First advocates for conservation policies that are proactive, create employment, and engage with local communities.


  • Investigate the feasibility of a ‘New Zealand Native Tree Seed Bank’ and the greater use of ‘Native Tree Sanctuaries’ 
  • Fund the Kauri dieback response to include more monitoring, research, compliance staff, and disease control
  • Support threatened species recovery programmes while also protecting and restoring their natural habitat
  • Continue on our 2017 commitment to support scientific research into 1080 alternatives through the likes of National Science Challenges
  • Expand the poison free pest trapping zones and ensure pest control on Crown land is effectively implemented
  • Support coordinated development of the possum fur industry and continue to support pest eradication and the trapping industry
  • Support new initiatives for community groups, iwi, and conservation groups to participate in conservation projects
  • Protect our waterways through supporting riparian planting, creating wetlands, and fencing off waterways to improve river quality
  • Enhance and protect the rights of all New Zealanders to access their cultural heritage sites through clarifying and amending legislation associated with protecting these heritage sites, buildings and objects
  • Require effective coordination between relevant government agencies to ensure appropriate deterrents exist to the poaching and trafficking of threatened species
  • Rationalise pastoral leases, where grazing of value exists, to promote ecologically sustainable land use with strong attention to special natural areas
  • Provide financial support and aid the development of water harvesting schemes such as storage dams where appropriate 
  • Give the West Coast access to the Department of Conservation held stewardship land for sustainable and environmentally approved mining
  • Ensure the Department of Conservation survey all stewardship land within 10 years and remove those parts of it from the Conservation Estate that should not be so designated.

Finance & The Economy

New Zealand First believes in economic policy that will improve the lives of ordinary Kiwis and put New Zealand on a pathway to prosperity. Our approach involves capitalizing on the natural assets, the local talent, enterprise and climate that New Zealand is endowed with. A new economic direction is needed now more than ever as worldwide economic uncertainty has become the norm in the post COVID-19 world.

Finance and Revenue

New Zealand First believes that protecting our financial interests must operate in tandem with the calculated use of our nation’s revenue. That is why we continue to promote policies that ensure New Zealand has a level playing field against international competitors, while investing in the areas needed to facilitate our own financial growth. Finance and revenue policies must be stable and not focused on short term gain.


  • Continue to improve the penalty framework for tax evasion
  • Initiate a review into the double-taxation of ‘tax like’ instruments such as removing GST on rates
  • Explore the feasibility of introducing a lower business tax rate for exporters and import substitution manufacturers
  • Introduce a 100% depreciation rate for business equipment worth up to $20,000 for each item and further for approved capital outlay (exclusive of GST)
  • Amend Capital Limitation Rules in the Income Tax Act to treat seismic strengthening as “repairs and maintenance” 
  • Support local procurement policies that encourage government departments, state-owned companies, and local government bodies to give weighting to domestic service providers or products
  • Upgrade KiwiBank’s capabilities so that it may better compete with commercial and wholesale lending competitors
  • Aim to increase KiwiBank’s market share by targeting specific lending portfolios such as Agri-lending
  • Encourage the consolidation of sub-prime lenders including co-ops and community banking to better compete against offshore banks
  • Continue to promote a simple taxation system by opposing complicated tax initiatives such as a comprehensive capital gains tax

Economic Development 

Economic policy must work to improve the lives of ordinary Kiwis and put New Zealand on a pathway to prosperity. Our approach involves capitalizing on the natural assets, local talent, enterprise, and environment New Zealand is endowed with. New Zealand First believes that a new economic direction is needed now more than ever as worldwide economic uncertainty has become the norm in the post COVID-19 world.


  • Support the primary industries sector and help it grow sustainably by supporting value driven innovation and enterprise
  • Prioritise maintaining and building New Zealand’s manufacturing sector
  • Further improve government procurement policy with an emphasis on working with New Zealand firms
  • Reform the Reserve Bank Act to reflect that New Zealand has an export dependent economy while creating a sensible exchange rate regime that serves New Zealand’s economic interests
  • Support initiatives to grow KiwiBank’s market share to 10% by supporting lending segments such as Agri-lending
  • Provide assistance in the marketing of new or innovative products and provide improved lower cost intellectual property protection for New Zealand based innovators
  • Continue to advocate for a comprehensive compulsory savings plan
  • Continue investing in regional New Zealand through the Provincial Growth Fund
  • Work with industry to develop strategies for productivity gains as a way to move towards improved productivity
  • Support and develop the ‘Buy New Zealand Made’ campaign and where practicable place ‘Buy New Zealand’ purchasing requirements on tax-payer and rate-payer owned businesses and state owned enterprises

Regional Economic Development

For decades Regional New Zealand has been overlooked and neglected by successive governments. However, during our time in government New Zealand First has delivered the greatest per capita regional investment platform – the Provincial Growth Fund. Investing in our regions has long been a focus of our party as we look to unleash the economic potential of provincial communities and industries. Primary Industry and the role that the regions play is an essential part of our Covid-19 recovery. The Provincial Growth Fund will continue to be a core part of our role in government as we further address regional neglect.


  • Continue the $1 billion per annum Provincial Growth Fund
  • Relocate government agencies and functions to regional New Zealand
  • Support rural communities, businesses and exporters with continued investment in regional roads, rail, ports, airports and freight facilities
  • Continue to resource vital rural infrastructure such as schools, healthcare, reliable electricity supply, internet and mobile coverage
  • Commit to moving Ports of Auckland operations to Northport
  • Seek higher Crown levies on minerals extracted and return 25 per cent royalties to the source regions
  • Support the pilot of ‘regional banking hubs’ and seek to expand their use including amalgamation with other services such as post offices
  • Encourage internal tourism through a ‘See New Zealand First’ campaign
  • Implement policies such as a ‘National Interest Test’ to keep key strategic assets and New Zealand farmland in New Zealand hands
  • Improve rural connectivity through funding smaller local internet service providers to fill in remote area gaps
  • Continue to support regional marine facilities such as Tarakohe Wharf, Sugarloaf Wharf, and the Opotiki Harbour
  • Ensure that there is clear reference to infrastructure continuing to back Water Storage outcomes for those areas affected by adverse weather
  • Commit to developing a dry dock facility for international, domestic and Defence shipping needs in Northland

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence

New Zealand is a trading and internationally driven country. New Zealand First believes our approach to international relations should focus on independence, resilience, and cooperation with a diverse group of trading partners so that we cannot be economically devastated by one trading partner.

Foreign Affairs and Trade & Exports

New Zealand First believes that our country must have an active role to play in international politics. We believe in promoting New Zealand’s interests and facilitating cooperation and trust between other nations. It is through our foreign policy that New Zealand gains fair free trade agreements, cooperation on pressing issues such as climate change, and sound representation of our citizens living abroad.


  • Explore the feasibility of introducing an exporters tax of 20% for new business or product lines
  • Remain strongly committed to New Zealand’s anti-nuclear policy
  • Further develop relationships within the greater Asia-Pacific region in recognition of its growing importance to New Zealand’s security and wellbeing
  • Continue to support the “Pacific reset” so money spent wisely now is money saved on any repairs and rebuilding in the future
  • Continue with the progress made on the free trade agreement with the United Kingdom as a larger part of advocating for closer Commonwealth Economic Relations
  • Work to advance trade relationships to ensure certainty of our supply chain and to establish agreements such as a ‘Commonwealth Connection’ trade agreement with the UK and commonwealth countries post Brexit
  • Encourage businesses to engage in import substitution 
  • Broaden the role of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to better enhance exporting prospects where we have a competitive advantage
  • Continue work towards establishing a full free trade agreement with the United States
  • Maintain our strong Foreign Affairs links to collaborate with our partners on border policy that is responsive to the economic and health needs of New Zealand.


New Zealand First believes that our Defence Force holds an extremely important position in the longevity of our nation. Whether it be safeguarding our territory and sovereignty, aiding our neighbours in the Pacific, or even supporting our nation during a civil emergency, our Defence Force plays a great role in keeping us safe. That is why policy must reflect and enable this, so that our Defence Force can adapt to the changing landscape of our modern world.


  • Progressively increase real Defence spending by the equivalent of at least 0.1% of GDP each fiscal year over ten years, so it reaches 2% of GDP by 2030
  • Establish a permanent, ring-fenced Defence Capital Fund as part of the Budget process to fund defence capability and estate procurement, which would have the ability to forward purchase foreign currency
  • Fully implement the Coalition Government’s Defence Capability Plan 2019 and Defence Estate Regeneration Plan 2019, as minimum
  • Double the size of the Reserve Forces, and put the Defence Force on a growth path to reach an overall strength of 20,000 personnel
  • Accelerate the introduction into service of the Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles capability that was included in the Defence Capability Plan 2019
  • Enhance the combat effectiveness of the Defence Force by re-establishing an air combat capability, and introducing precision strike and heavy lift helicopter capabilities
  • Respond to the findings of the national conversation on establishment of a Kawenata, or Covenant, between service people, the Government and the people of New Zealand
  • Continue to pursue the objectives of the 2017 Coalition Agreement commitment regarding the Youth Education, Training and Employment initiative
  • Continue to support the role the New Zealand Defence Force plays in youth development
  • Undertake a fundamental review of military medals and honours
  • Establish the New Zealand Border Protection Force combining functions of the New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Customs Service and Immigration New Zealand to coordinate the protection of our borders from pandemic and biosecurity incursions
  • Introduce a 5% pay increase to all military personnel (cost $50.5 million).


New Zealand First places great value and recognition on the service and sacrifice made by our veterans. We believe that policy must reflect this as our nation has a special obligation to our veterans, especially those who have suffered as a result of their service.


  • Respond to the findings of the national conversation on the establishment of a Kawenata, or Covenant, between service people, the government and the people of New Zealand
  • Investigate the establishment of a Ministry for Veterans, as a separate statutory entity from the New Zealand Defence Force
  • Establish and resource a dedicated research capability to study matters of concern to veterans and their wellbeing
  • Explore ways of supporting emerging, contemporary veterans support organisations
  • Continue to implement the recommendations of the independent report Warrant of Fitness (an independent review of the Veterans’ Support Act 2014)
  • Working with the Veterans community, investigate the establishment of a Veterans’ Day
  • Respond to the recommendations of the Veterans’ Advisory Board that the definition of a veteran be expanded so that all who have served are considered veterans


Primary Care and Services

New Zealand First believes in ensuring quality healthcare for all New Zealanders. That is why we are proposing a suite of policies that help equip communities with the resources they need to improve health standards. Through doing this, we can address some of the longstanding health issues in our country and improve patient health. New Zealand First believes that policies must help address problems at their root, while adequately resourcing our public health system so it can handle the stress of future health problems.  


  • Expand free dental care through a yearly free check-up, x-ray and clean for 18 - 25 year olds, Community Service Card holders and Super Gold Card Holders to halt preventable dental disease. This would be funded and provided at community based dental facilities rather than overloading hospital services
  • Continue to implement certain recommendations of the Health and Disabilities System review except that halving the number of DHBs is not an adequate response to ensure equity of access for all New Zealanders without using poor Māori health statistics to advocate for separatism.  New Zealand needs no more than 7 DHBs while having regard to the serious geographic isolation of the West Coast where a separate DHB is warranted.  The remaining 6 DHBs should be population-related to the remainder of the South Island and for all the North Island.
  • Engage with the sector stakeholders to ensure that a complete stocktake of paramedic equipment, staffing and services to ensure that they are fit for purpose across the country.
  • Introduce top sliced funding for paramedic equipment and infrastructure to bring it up to an agreed standard for all regions. This includes the training and skill mixing of paramedics to provide a wider provision of first responder services across the country
  • Allocate funding to settle longstanding paramedic pay disputes and also encourage paramedic training
  • Expand the range of services delivered in general practice (including allied health and mental health services).
  • Incentivise DHB and hospital-based services to support community medicine and general practice, which will facilitate the move to functioning as one system
  • Rework the capitation model to reflect ethnicity, complexity, comorbidity, and age
  • Discretionary DHB funding to be bulk funded with long-term certainty so practices can plan and direct services to the needs of their unique patient population, with a focus on proactive and long- term care.
  • Ensure that the additional DHB funding announced in the 2020 Budget is, at a minimum, proportionally allocated to community based medical care
  • Fund mobile health buses to take specialists and specialist services to the people
  • Incentivise more General Practitioners to become Rural GPs by an adequately funded GP capitation formula that takes into account social determinants including rural isolation.
  • DHB’s take responsibility to provide primary care staff (rather than just fund) for rural practices with staffing shortfalls with shared urban-rural GP’s.
  • Fund capital development of community medical facilities and fund new technology within practices to facilitate virtual care.
  • Universal vision screening by trained optometrists for year 5 and year 6 primary school students, and, for those who need it, a follow up full eye exam and to be fitted with glasses as required
  • Provide mental health programme ‘Gumboot Friday’ with $10m over three years to go toward administering and delivering free counselling services for young people.
  • Support ASH (Action for Smokefree 2025) in their policy to divert tobacco and cigarette smokers to much safer products, as in Japan, and stop attacking the low-incomed with exorbitant taxes ($2 billion) whilst claiming to support Smoke-Free by 2025.

PHARMAC and Medicines

New Zealand First recognizes health as a critical and essential investment that reflects how New Zealand values its people. The existing inequalities in terms of access to healthcare, clinical outcomes and long-term care are unacceptable and the health system must ensure that all New Zealanders are treated equally. Access to conventional, natural products and dietary supplements must be enhanced while also meeting the same clinical standards to ensure an efficient health system. Investment into health is more important now than ever as COVID-19 has highlighted the failures in both our underfunded public health systems and profit driven private health systems in their treatment of the crisis. 

A recent Medicines New Zealand report found that New Zealand ranks last out of twenty comparable OECD countries for access to modern medicines. Too many of our medical experts have expressed concern at Pharmac having only one supplier of a medical product.  In contrast the Australian model is assessment-led, it is not based on costs, finding the cheapest supplier of one single brand, as New Zealand does.


  • Establish a transparent annual medicines budget that includes new investment in community and hospital medicines to meet the OECD average of up to 1.4% of GDP by 2023. This new investment includes establishment of a specific rare disorder medicines fund of $30 million per annum
  • Fund new Diabetes medicines which have been proven to reduce the negative side effects that diabetics experience
  • Establish a clear and transparent process with a 1-year timeline for technical review (health technology assessment) by the Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee (PTAC) of medicines and establish a 90-day time limit for PHARMAC assessment of new medicines after a positive technical recommendation from PTAC
  • Increase funding for Arthritis early intervention programmes to develop awareness and education workforce programmes for treatment and management of arthritis.
  • Establish a $100 million rapid access scheme for innovative medicines 
  • Major clinical conditions to be funded for further research and investment to ensure they are managed effectively include Arthritis, Crohn’s, Colitis, Diabetes, Dementia and Depression.
  • Establish a $50 million new medicines industry development partnership programme to match industry investment in local R&D, data analytics, manufacturing.
  • Support the redevelopment of a New Zealand based pharmaceutical manufacturing industry
  • Establish a New Zealand quality standard for New Zealand manufacturers and exporters in the Natural Health industry and other stakeholders to ensure that there is an appropriate regulatory regime for complementary medicines.

Accident Compensation Corporation

New Zealand First believes that the Accident Compensation Corporation is a state responsibility and should be maintained as such. We oppose any concept of privatisation, although private providers may be contracted in selected areas of treatment or retraining at the discretion of ACC. We will strongly oppose any attempt to undermine the scheme.


  • Investigate legislative changes to free ACC from strict requirements when considering income when paying compensation for victims of serious crime
  • Review the operations of dispute processes at ACC to ensure that claims are client centred and resolved within a timely manner
  • Amend rules for victims of serious crime and those who have ongoing life debilitating injuries from having to continually supply documentation to ACC for their annual compensation and entitlements
  • Ensure that ACC contributes to Kiwisaver when workers are receiving weekly compensation 
  • Amend the way backdated compensation is taxed so claimants are not subject to pay tax at a higher rate when receiving lump sum payments. 
  • Review the changes to the work-related gradual process test for injury cover 
  • Ensure the Dean Report recommendations regarding the cost to review are lifted to address the barriers to review for those on modest incomes 
  • Amend legislation so that ACC claims can be challenged in the Supreme Court 
  • Provide certainty to claimants by ensuring that review decisions are enforceable
  • Update and review the list of Occupational Diseases to provide financial support to those who have been exposed to carcinogens through their work and have developed cancer as a result
  • Require ACC to recognise occupational cancers among Firefighters


New Zealand First recognizes that the building of this country will never stop, and when it does stop it results in long term issues that negatively affect all of New Zealand. Cost or lack of private investment is not an excuse for the lack of infrastructure works that take place in our country. Failure to build roads, rail, airports, housing and power plants is detrimental to the long term prosperity of this nation. New Zealand First will continue to build this country to ensure we do not play a game of catch-up, but instead play the game of staying ahead.

Energy & Resources

New Zealand First is committed to ensuring that our energy sector is sustainable because our environment and decarbonisation must be at the forefront of our country’s thinking. Businesses that operate within the sector must be given surety. This includes consumers of energy. Long term planning is required across diverse sectors and industry to ensure energy and electricity costs do not increase for all users. It would be disingenuous of New Zealand to simply move the problem of carbon offshore. 


  • Promote policies that actively move New Zealand towards energy sovereignty
  • Investigate a hedge market structure to encourage a greater number of genuinely independent retail operators in the New Zealand retail electricity market
  • Remove the Electricity Authority and give their operations to the Commerce Commission. Ensuring that high electricity users are given confidence in pricing. Ensuring that commercial and regional New Zealand are not paying more for their electricity than they should be
  • Conduct a national review on our natural resources, exploring their full potential and what can be done with them
  • Explore the option of including hydro generation within the new water storage schemes that are being developed and implemented in our regions
  • Continue to support and encourage options of including hydrogen as a domestic and exportable fuel source with a focus on green hydrogen
  • Investigate other potential storage options for ensuring electricity supply security in a 100% renewable electricity system
  • Set an aspirational goal of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2035. Whilst acknowledging the exponential marginal cost as we move closer to 100%
  • Continue to draw natural gas from New Zealand gas fields both existing and new. New Zealand must not lock out the opportunity that is presented in the Great South Basin or Canterbury Basin, as they provide surety for future gas options in New Zealand
  • Continue to support domestic electricity generation policies such as “net metering” and provide incentives for household solar panels and generators
  • The retention of Tiwai will require government involvement to set out the facts as to why the smelter should be able to continue with its world leading production and the retention of thousands of jobs in Southland and its more than $450 million contribution to the New Zealand economy


New Zealand First supports land, air, and sea links that build an integrated transport system while improving regional connectivity. Transport funding and planning can no longer be urban focused only, due to its importance as an enabler of economic growth in the regions. Considerable work has already been done to ensure transport is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable while also being fit for future use.


  • Utilise New Zealand’s coastal shipping capabilities through championing initiatives such as “Blue Highways” and expanding our Merchant Fleet 
  • Build an inshore fishing vessel industry further capitalising on New Zealand as a maritime nation with emphasis on establishing these industries in our regions (Whanganui, Taranaki)
  • Continue to develop infrastructure and projects that help incentivise the use of electric vehicles in New Zealand
  • Create incentives that encourage businesses to electrify their vehicle fleets as well as depreciation measures to support a second-hand electric vehicle market in New Zealand
  • Not allow our roads to be privatised or corporatized 
  • Further support policies that ensure our whole road network is properly funded so that regional New Zealand does not lose out in favour of our main centres 
  • Ensure access to quality, affordable public transport for people in all major population centres, and in regional areas where there is a need
  • Continue to support regional rail initiatives and complete geotech research on re-opening the Wairoa to Gisborne rail line
  • Secure funding to build a rail spur from Puhinui station to Auckland airport
  • Build and complete the Marsden spur linking Northport to the Northland rail-line 
  • Full rebuild and improvements to the Christchurch-Picton rail corridor


Before the pandemic struck New Zealand faced an acute housing crisis marked by rapidly rising rents and house price escalation.  High immigration was fueling demand for housing.  A reduced demand for rentals and housing will alleviate housing pressures.  Those people struggling to rent or purchase a home will welcome this development.  More broadly, a rebalancing of the economy away from speculation on housing would be socially and economically beneficial.  

Home ownership and quality of housing is a fundamental component of ensuring that our nation can excel. It is an essential tool for ensuring equality in our society. New Zealand First believes that through direct government intervention, home ownership can become an integral part of each New Zealanders life. That is because regardless of circumstance, all New Zealanders should be able to live in a healthy, first-world home and have the opportunity to become home-owners. 


  • Encourage direct and long-term government participation in the housing market by establishing a Housing Commission to ensure a non-political approach in solving New Zealand’s housing issues
  • Continue to encourage the use of New Zealand expertise in prefabricated houses
  • Encourage private investment in high quality rental housing through options such as the tax system
  • Continue to build more social housing
  • Ensure the Resource Management Act is responsive to the needs of housing initiatives and not restricted by bureaucracy 
  • Provide low cost government funding to local authorities for new elderly persons housing and public rental housing projects through which long term 2% loan finance would be made available
  • Continue to implement, develop and refine New Zealand’s Housing Plan
  • Align the Residential Tenancy Act 1986 with the Building Code to ensure there is one standard for installation requirements of photo-electric smoke alarms
  • Investigate the option of families to capitalize on the Universal Family Benefit as a deposit on their first family home
  • Promote and implement innovative housing solutions on Maori title land using relocatable dwellings and appropriate changes to the Building Act
  • Support the retention of the 90-day ‘no cause’ eviction notices for landlords


New Zealand First strongly believes that investments in infrastructure must facilitate long-term benefits and be able to adapt with the fast-paced nature of our modern world. New Zealand should not be unnecessarily restricted by a lack of Government action or bureaucratic red tape. That is why we have and will continue to commit to investing in infrastructure in New Zealand beyond roads and bridges. New Zealand First will continue to support the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission to work through challenges such as skill and labour shortages, unclear regulations, and poor risk management. We will ensure that New Zealand has a visible, coordinated pipeline of infrastructure projects well into the future. 


  • Continue to support and resource the Infrastructure Commission
  • Investigate an infrastructure fund to ensure we have the long-term capital funds needed to address our infrastructure needs, especially in regional cities 
  • Establish a ‘Defence Infrastructure’ fund 
  • The Resource Management Act needs a radical urgent, overhaul to ensure that it’s fit for purpose.  The removal of unwarranted costs and delays must be at the forefront of this radical overhaul
  • Cut red tape by increasing the fast-track approval process from 2 years to 5 years and review the RMA to increase the number of shovel ready projects
  • Establish a Ministry for Works to address skill and labour shortage gaps 
  • Continue to support the Provincial Growth Fund in recognition of its ability to deliver infrastructure investment where it is most needed
  • Support moving ports of Auckland's operations to Northport

Law & Order


The continued safety of our communities rest firmly on the capabilities and resourcing of our police. New Zealand First has and continues to advocate for a police workforce that has the necessary funding, training, and personnel so that our police can meet the challenges of our growing population, and adapt to the many needs of our communities in the modern age.


  • Commit to recruiting a further 1000 new frontline police alongside the 2335 new frontline police we have already trained since the last election
  • Review Police pay and conditions with the goal of achieving parity with the Australian Police
  • Ensure that there is staffing available to eliminate sole charge police stations
  • Focus on crime prevention and working with the community
  • Adequately resource community policing including Maori and Pasifika wardens, and Neighbourhood Watch
  • Conduct an independent review on arming the police
  • Provide minimum mandatory prison terms for assaulting Police Officers
  • Double the number of Youth Aid officers
  • Introduce a ‘Youth Justice Demerit Points’ system to provide structure and early intervention for youth offenders. There must be accountability, an offender needs to know there will be consequences but also every opportunity to change their behaviours
  • Review fleeing driver legislation and ensure adequate resourcing to curb the exponential increase in fleeing driver incidents

Justice, Courts and Corrections

New Zealand First proudly believes that keeping society safe should be the priority of law and order policies. Every New Zealander deserves to feel safe, secure, and have their properties respected in the communities they live. That is why New Zealand First has and continues to fix the flaws in our justice system, while ensuring that victims of crime are prioritised over offenders.


  • Prioritise the principles of the Sentencing Act to focus on the needs of the victim, then the community, and lastly the offender
  • Adopt New Zealand First’s Protection for First Responders and Prison Officers Bill as a Government Bill
  • Introduce harsher penalties for fleeing drivers
  • Increase the use of mandatory minimum sentences for serious violent and sexual offenders
  • Introduce a degrees of murder regime that utilises ‘life for life’ for 1st Degree Murder
  • Review and work to increase the fines for lower level crimes such as texting while driving and shoplifting
  • Introduce an enforcement law for dangerous littering
  • Implement a ‘Youth Justice Demerits’ system to provide accountability and certainty of support for youth offenders, youth aid officers and law enforcement
  • Introduce a greater range of non-custodial sentences such as the confiscation of specific property, larger and long term reparation payments and fines.
  • Remove concurrent sentences for those who commit offences while on parole, on bail, or whilst in custody
  • Investigate the applicability of operational funding to equip corrections officers with body cameras and appropriate protective equipment
  • Provide consistency in legislation and replace the term ‘prison officer’ and ‘prison guard’ with ‘corrections officer’
  • Provide a minimum mandatory cumulative prison term for assaulting Corrections Officers

Social Development

New Zealand First recognises that social development is an integral aspect of our country’s ability to prosper. We believe in ensuring every part of society advances, as this ultimately benefits the entirety of New Zealand.

Strengthing Communites

New Zealand First believes in the strength of family and community. Over the last 30 years early support for families and communities has been systematically eroded by Government policies. We believe in sustainably resourcing those in the Community and Voluntary Sector so that they are able to offer assistance early to those in need. New Zealand First believes that by investing in prevention and early intervention – “front end the spend” that we will be able to start to turn down some of the negative statistics we lead the world in (family violence, sexual violence and child abuse). New Zealand First wants our nation to be a home owning nation again, we want our families to be able to purchase a home and the security that provides.


  • Introduce the Children and Families Package (previously known as the Universal Family Benefit) by repurposing current spending and streamlining the system thereby also freeing up administration costs to reinvest in families
  • Introduce the ability of families to capitalise on their first child’s family benefit payments for the purchase of their first home
  • Dedicate Housing New Zealand case managers to work with those in social housing to plan their way to home ownership 
  • Fund pilot programmes such as Hokonui Huanui in Gore and the Wairoa Community Partnership Group to create resilient communities by providing prevention and early intervention services 
  • Resource the Minister of Community and Volunteer sector so that the Office of Community and Volunteer Sector can expand resilient communities throughout New Zealand
  • Look to implement the recommendations of the WEAG report around increasing financial support balanced with employment support that incorporates incentives for employers to take on trainees, apprentices and new employees
  • Resource and support better initiatives with those seeking employment through Work and Income New Zealand so that they all receive a Personalised Employment and Education Plan and support to achieve it – reducing their time on the benefit
  • Re-establish Workbridge as the leading employment agency for New Zealanders with a disability to provide greater support for both the employer and employee

Child and Youth Wellbeing

New Zealand First knows that the health of children and young people is a predictor of their future health. We also know that health is holistic and that wellness encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Too many of the issues facing families and parents directly affect our young people who of course do not live in isolation.


  • Continue with the reforms of the Ministry for Children – devolving where appropriate resourcing and responsibilities to Iwi, Maori organisations, and NGOs to better support families earlier to lower the number of children requiring the care of the State
  • Direct the Joint Venture to address the wider mandate of Child and Youth Wellness – with a focus on developing community prevention and early intervention programmes to address family violence and sexual violence recognising that over 90% of children in care have experienced family violence – develop a more practical response across government agencies to address the five major areas that bring children into the care of the state
  • Begin a nationwide public conversation on the development of a national strategy to address Family and Sexual Violence
  • Develop solutions through the Community and Volunteer Sector to move from crisis intervention to prevention and early intervention
  • Break down the silos of funding and using the Matua Whangai model empowering local community ‘joint ventures’ to identify what success looks like and the feasibility to decide how they will achieve it
  • Expand on access to counselling for all school aged children and their families
  • Investigate the funding of nutritionist advice in GP offices for those families with extra needs
  • Investigate the establishment of ‘KiwiSaver at Birth’ to encourage birth registration and long term saving habits
  • Develop a ‘demerit point’ system as a requirement for support of young people who come to the attention of police 
  • Review the practicality of a ‘Universal Family Benefit’ to acknowledge and support families into their first home and to care for their children

Seniors and Superannuation

When previous governments have attacked the status of our seniors only New Zealand First has steadfastly defended them. From the surtax of the 1980s and, 1990s, or more recent attempts to increase the age of entitlement it has been New Zealand First that has championed their cause and will continue to do so. During COVID-19 it became obvious that our seniors were only seen by Government departments as “vulnerable” and told to “go home, stay home”. With Kiwi’s over the age of 65 expected to grow to 1.2 million by 2034, we believe that they deserve a stronger voice in all government decisions.


  • Shift all services for seniors out of WINZs office to newly created ‘Seniors Hubs’ in recognition that Superannuation is an entitlement not a benefit
  • Develop a Seniors Housing plan to address the increasing number of Seniors in rental accommodation and requiring Accommodation Supplement support

Primary Industries

New Zealand’s primary industries sector and the regional communities that support it are vital to the New Zealand economy. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture directly or indirectly contribute billions to our export earnings, while also showcasing to the world that our products are some of the finest. New Zealand First recognises our primary industries and our regions are of the upmost importance to our economy. We believe in supporting the sector that lies at the centre of our communities, through policies that foster its growth and advancement.


Agriculture continues to be one of the main pillars of the New Zealand economy. We believe that value, not volume, is the philosophy that will keep our farmers and growers in an innovative, sustainable business environment, working for and not against New Zealand’s economic and environmental future. New Zealand First will continue to support our agriculture sector and ensure that the ‘New Zealand Brand’ remains prestigious on the world stage.


  • Build the New Zealand First Farms initiative to assist qualified new entrants toward farm ownership by leveraging Landcorp’s balance sheet
  • Facilitate water storage and irrigation schemes while working in tandem with local groups and Government to fund and build water storage capacity and capability, so that they meet the needs of modern aquaculture and horticulture
  • Provide government co-funding for primary sector ‘New Zealand Brand’ value add initiatives, such as Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s “Taste Pure Nature” or protecting the term of ‘Manuka Honey’
  • Increase funding and capacity for primary production research
  • Introduce accelerated depreciation for wintering sheds
  • Dedicate funding for riparian planting and fences
  • Update the Sharemilking Act (1937)
  • Investigate stock agent licensing reforms
  • Enable domestic testing of rye grass for methane reduction
  • Explore the feasibility of wool carpets and insulation in all Government funded buildings
  • Consider the total overhaul of strong wool marketing models
  • Support the National Animal Welfare Advisory Council (NAWAC) in formulating animal welfare standards
  • Support research into regenerative farming models
  • Help unify the Manuka Honey industry to add value to our export products
  • Support agricultural training institutions such as Telford in Balclutha


Forestry holds immense future potential and we understand its importance for our regions. Throughout the last three years New Zealand First has championed forestry through establishing Te Uru Rakau Forestry Service and the One Billion Trees programme. New Zealand First will continue with the right tree, right place, right time vision and ensure the forestry sector is supported as we upscale training, professional development, nursery production, planting profiles, ancillary and support industries, processing, manufacturing, and exports.


  • Continue to support and fund the One Billion Trees programme
  • Ensure that New Zealand has the appropriate amount of nurseries to promote the One Billion Trees programme 
  • Increase the use of mapping technology so that low value, low productive land is prioritised in planting efforts
  • Support biodiversity by encouraging native tree planting targets through methods such as native tree nurseries 
  • Properly fund research to counter bio-security threats such as Kauri die-back and Myrtle Rust
  • Investigate the feasibility of a ‘New Zealand Native Tree Seed Bank’ and the greater use of ‘Native Tree Sanctuaries’ 
  • Continue to support Wood First initiatives as a way to further encourage the use of New Zealand wood in government and local government procurement 
  • Further promote training and pathways for careers in forestry through trades training, programmes, and scholarships


Keeping our environment safe means protection at every possible avenue of risk. Unfortunately, we have already seen how devastating pests and invasive species can be for our environment and economy meaning we cannot treat these matters lightly. New Zealand First has and will continue to champion proactive policies that ensure our border and environmental protection agencies are well resourced to weather the storm of possible biosecurity risks.


  • Ensure that Biosecurity NZ and other border protection agencies have adequate resourcing
  • Increase offshore port capacity to prevent Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and similar invasive pests from entering the country
  • Conduct an independent review into the Myco-Plasma Bovis response
  • Ensure that the appropriate agencies are involved before and at the border as well as post-incursion 
  • Facilitate greater international cooperation on matters regarding the control and eradication of animal and plant diseases 
  • Provide the necessary funding and technology needed to combat biological and other threats at our border
  • Require effective coordination between relevant government agencies to ensure appropriate deterrents exist to the poaching and trafficking of protected species
  • Update instant fines and other means of providing effective deterrents against border breaches
  • Establish a New Zealand Border Protection Force combining functions of the New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Customs Service and Immigration New Zealand to coordinate the protection of our borders from pandemic and biosecurity incursions.

Aquaculture and Fisheries

New Zealand First regards the fisheries and aquaculture sector as an important part of our regional economy, and a key contributor to export earnings. We favour a smart regulatory approach which recognises the critical role our primary sector will play in our post-COVID recovery. The quota management system is at the core of a robust framework for the ongoing management of this valuable resource.


  • Undertake a review of recreational catch limits and how we can improve our coastal fisheries to ensure we have quality inter-generational fisheries in the future
  • Investigate the establishment of a separate Fisheries and Aquaculture Service to be located in regional New Zealand.
  • Make $100m available to provide capital to Aquacorp as a way to de-risk ocean based marine farming
  • Deliver a fast-track statutory process for aquaculture consents with modest costs
  • Support initiatives to require all vessels fishing in New Zealand territorial and economic zone waters to be New Zealand flagged
  • Encourage maximum achievable crewing rates of fishing vessels through employing New Zealand citizens and permanent residents as a priority
  • Work towards ensuring that all fish caught in New Zealand waters are landed and processed in New Zealand. This includes territorial waters and the EEZ, applying to both local and foreign charter vessels
  • Continue to work towards a respectful and fair agreement with industry leaders and stakeholders such as Te Ohu Kaimoana for the creation of a Kermadec Reserve
  • Work closely with industry to establish a programme for fleet renewal using a mixture of tax depreciation and other fiscal measures
  • Support sectoral vocational training and trades, with preference to training on the job incentives
  • Focus and prioritise our trade advocacy efforts in fisheries and aquaculture
  • Ensure that any customary permits issued are regularly published to improve decision-making processes and promote confidence in the permit system
  • Support more fisheries officers in isolated rural areas
  • Invest $25m toward a Marine Biology Facility located in Tauranga