Purpose and Principles

New Zealand First was formed in 1993 to represent those New Zealanders concerned about the social and economic direction of our country after the economic reforms of the 1980's. 

Today, New Zealand First protects the interests of all New Zealanders, ensuring balance and stability, through pragmatic, commonsense decision making. 

Looking toward the future, it is essential for New Zealand First to be an enduring voice of common sense that protects our natural and cultural heritage, defends the people, and builds a prosperous nation for all New Zealanders.

New Zealand First recognises that an ideology of extremism leads to policies for the few which is why pragmatism and balanced decision making from the centre is needed to provide the best policies for all. New Zealanders have a right to a fulfilling and satisfying life by the application of policies that secure equal access to education, health, employment and to the law. 

We will ensure, either in opposition to or in support of, that the government always serves in the interests of all New Zealanders.

New Zealand First will grow the Party by connecting with like-minded kiwis and encourage them to join, contribute, and support our movement. Gaining representation in Parliament is the only way that we can advocate for our policies and be part of the political conversation to put New Zealand and New Zealanders first. 


New Zealand First Pillars

Our founding principles lay the base of New Zealand First’s policy programme to advance the social and economic direction of our country. After 29 years, New Zealand First has proven to consistently focus our efforts on five main pillars:

  • Fair democracy and equal citizenship
  • Building a prosperous nation
  • Protecting community and country
  • Sovereignty and responsible government
  • Self-sufficiency and pragmatic environmentalism


New Zealand First Founding Principles

In 1993 New Zealand First was founded on 15 fundamental principles. These initiated the base for the Party’s policy programme and guided our decision making whether in opposition or government. 

  1. Put New Zealand & all New Zealanders First
  2. Open accountable government with less Government. Parliament will be reduced and the numbers of consultancies and government advisers will be cut by over 50 per cent. 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.
  3. Economic policy will comprise a strategy for export-lead economic development to add value to our resources, relying on independent business expertise with government support to encourage economic success.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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. 
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 Zealander's desire for a non-nuclear future will be respected.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. An independent anti-corruption commission will be established to enable New Zealanders to have confidence that their institutions are working properly.
  14. 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.
  15. All policies not contained in the party manifesto, where no national emergency clearly exists, will first be referred to the electorate for a mandate.

New Zealand First brings balance, experience, and commonsense to the forefront of political discussion. If you agree with our principles, get involved or take action to put New Zealand First.