Labour would ban foreign property purchases

Jacinda Ardern. Photo: File
Jacinda Ardern. Photo: File

A Labour-led Government would ban foreign purchases of New Zealand property "by Christmas", leader Jacinda Ardern told her supporters at a rally in Wellington this afternoon.

Speaking to audience of around 1500 people at the St James theatre, Ardern outlined her plans for her first 100 days if she becomes prime minister on September 23.

Labour would focus on increasing support for families and students, make steps to make housing more affordable, and launch a series of inquiries, she said.

Ms Ardern said that within 100 days, Labour would make tertiary education free (for the first three years) and lift allowances and living costs by $50 a week - likely to come into force on January 1.

Labour would ban sales of existing houses to non-resident, foreign buyers "by Christmas", immediately stop any sales of any state houses, and pass legislation to introduce standards for heating and ventilation in rental property.

It would also pass legislation to extend paid parental leave and introduce its families package, which includes payments for low-income families and energy subsidies.

Labour would set a child poverty reduction target into law, resume payments to the NZ Super fund, begin an inquiry into mental services and the abuse of children in state care, and hold a summit on freshwater.

Ms Ardern said the minimum wage would be lifted to $16.50, though that would not come into force until April 2018.

Ms Ardern came on stage to chants of "Let's do this".

"We are running a campaign that marks a turning point in our history," she told the audience.

She criticised National's attack on Labour's "fiscal hole" last week, saying she would now call National's finance spokesman Steven Joyce "the guy with the spade".

Listing New Zealand's child poverty numbers, falling home ownership rates, and deteriorating water quality, she said "We can do better".

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