Young New Zealand First Announces Three New Policy Priorities

Young New Zealand First is pleased to have three of its policy proposals advanced to the remit debate session of the 2022 NZ First Convention - with two reaching the floor and passing unanimously.

This year Young New Zealand First presented the following three policy remits:

  • That New Zealand First investigates the reform of the student loan scheme to require no repayments for the first three years post-completion of study unless the debtor is earning more than the median wage or leaves New Zealand.
  • That New Zealand First considers an inquiry into the effects of digital mediums such as social media platforms and mass media sites on the mental health, development, and education of our young people.
  • New Zealand First ensure Secondary Schools work with youth organizations and the relevant sectors to ensure and require annual administration of the HEEADSSS (Home, Education/Employment, Eating, Activities, Drugs, Sexuality, Suicide/Depression, and Safety) assessment for all students in years 9-13.

These policies are integral to our mission to make New Zealand a place that young people can prosper in. Our flagship student loan reform policy will alleviate the burden young people face in the pivotal transition period that is post-graduation. This is a time where young people are faced with relocation, lower income, and precarious employment. This policy would give economic breathing room to young kiwis who currently face a great deal of uncertainty.

New Zealand is also facing a brain drain, we have young people leaving for better prospects overseas resulting in a labour shortage here at home. Our policy would provide an incentive for young kiwis to plant their roots at home, establish themselves in their community, and contribute to the success of our nation in a meaningful way that transcends a 12% tax.

We are also addressing the issues of mental health that many young people face. Social media companies are continuously failing to uphold their terms of service and have abandoned the duty of care that they owe to their users.

More often it is found that social media companies are sacrificing the mental health of our youth in favour of their own profits - New Zealand must address this through a thorough inquest, while also expanding the HEEADSSS assessment program for all year 9-13 students.

This will ensure a comprehensive wellbeing check for our young people and working with relevant youth organisations will address any concerns that arise from that assessment - whether that be mental health, employment concerns, or questions fundamental to one's identity.