New Zealand First is the third largest party in the New Zealand Parliament. The Party was formed in 1993 to represent those New Zealanders concerned about the social and economic direction of our country, and who were seeking pragmatic, common-sense representation in Parliament.
Following the 2017 General Election, the Party retained 9 seats in the House of Representatives and formed a Coalition Government with the New Zealand Labour Party. Party Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, became Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Party secured three other Cabinet positions and an Undersecretary role.
At the core of New Zealand First's policies are our "Fifteen Fundamental Principles", which emphasise accountable and transparent government, common-sense social and economic policy, and the placing of the interests of New Zealand, and New Zealanders, at the forefront of Government decision-making.
Our Fifteen Fundamental Principals
The party was founded on its ’Fifteen Fundamental Principles’, which still inform the party’s policy and its approach to governance today.
- To put New Zealand and New Zealanders First
Open accountable Government with less government
- Parliament will be reduced to 80 Members and the numbers of consultancies and Government Advisors will be cut by over 50%. Only on a vote of confidence in a Government (in which New Zealand First is a member) will New Zealand First's Members of Parliament be required to vote with the party. On all other issues not covered by party policy, an MP's first duty is to the Electorate and the Nation.
- Economic policy will comprise a strategy for export-led economic development to add value to our resources, relying on independent business expertise with Government support to encourage economic success.
- The employment of New Zealanders is our first planning priority. High unemployment is not acceptable. We regard such human and economic waste as a blight on this country's productivity.
- Money spent on Education will be treated as an investment, not as expenditure. Educational advancement is both in the national and in the individual interest. Educational investment is critical for economic and social recovery.
- Health will cease to be a balance sheet item. Health will be a critical investment in New Zealand's human resource. Our policies will rebuild New Zealand's public health service.
- Our long-term objective is New Zealanders paying less tax. We intend to simplify and enforce the tax laws so that they apply equally to all taxpayers. Incentives for increased research and development and export growth are the priorities.
- Whilst this country, with such a small population, will continue to require an infusion of overseas skills and expertise, immigration will cease to be used as an excuse for our failure to train, skill and employ our own people.
The Welfare State
- The Welfare State must be an umbrella to meet genuine and deserving need. Government has a duty to properly determine those needs and respond to them. That said, social welfare must no longer neglect assisting recipients to become independent of the State.
- Our foreign policy objective will be good government at home and being a reliable neighbour in our region. New Zealand foreign aid will focus on the region in which we live. New Zealanders' desire for a non-nuclear future will be respected.
- Wise Governments view the preservation and enhancement of the environment as sound economics. All environmental policies will be proactive with a view to creating employment and sustainable wealth whilst improving one of our few competitive advantages.
New Zealand Resources
- Strategic state asset sales will cease. If considered appropriate and only where absolutely necessary, management by private contracts under public ownership will replace the policy of state asset sales.
- An independent anti-corruption commission will be established to enable New Zealanders to have confidence that their institutions are working properly.
- Electoral reform will be determined by the electors. The Government's duty will be to ensure the fair representation of all views and the holding of appropriate referenda.
Towards a Better Democracy
- All policies not contained in the party manifesto, where no national emergency clearly exists, will first be referred to the electorate for a mandate.