Coalition deal - what it means for you

The major changes coming under the new government have been revealed.

The coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First has been released today - setting out the policy plans for the new government.

It is the result of 12 days of negotiations which ultimately saw New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and his party choose to put Labour into power.

Jacinda Ardern said today represents a huge step change in the future of the NZ Government.

Today's agreements build a clear agenda, prioritising regional economic development and job creation, Ardern said.

"There has been a period of neglect over the last nine years for our regions."

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and NZ First leader Winston Peters shake hands during a coalition...
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and NZ First leader Winston Peters shake hands during a coalition agreement signing at Parliament in Wellington today. Photo Getty

The minimum wage will go up to $20 by 2021. Ardern says $16.50 starting in April 2018, will rise in steps since then.

"We are a low wage economy... New Zealanders deserve a wage they can live on... it is no longer acceptable to try and expect families to survive on the minimum wage as it currently is."

There will be real progress on the environment and increases to the minimum wage, she says.

Peters said NZ First was never going to get everything it wanted, but his team is entirely happy with the agreements.

The coalition agreement also has a clause preventing 'waka jumping', which Peters says is a great idea.

There had been too many examples over a long period of MPs who thought they were bigger than their parties. "I am preaching... some practical thing I believe in."

Ardern says the new administration will be a "government of action".

"As a priority, we will restore funding to the health system to allow access for all, ensure all Kiwis can live in warm, dry homes, take action on child poverty and homelessness, crack down on foreign speculators, clean our rivers, and strengthen efforts to tackle climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy.

"We will focus on sustainable economic development, supporting our regional economies, increasing exports, lifting wages and reducing inequality.

"We are committed to being fiscally responsible and growing the economy, while ensuring all New Zealanders share in our economic prosperity. We firmly believe economic growth must also go hand-in-hand with environmental responsibility."

On immigration, Ardern confirmed that the plan was to reduce the number of immigrants to 20,000 - 30,000. Peters says his party wanted bigger drops, but negotiations meant not everything was possible.

Key points

NZF coalition agreement with Labour, at a glance:

Regional development

A $1 billion per year Regional Development (Provincial Growth) Fund


Significant investment in regional rail.


Re-establish the New Zealand Forestry Service, and planting 100 million trees per year in a Billion Trees Planting Programme.

Auckland Port

Commissioning a feasibility study on moving the Ports of Auckland to Northport


A funding increase to Biosecurity NZ and a select committee Inquiry into biosecurity


Honour existing Crown Irrigation investment commitments

Monetary policy

Review and reform the Reserve Bank Act

Minimum wage

Increase to $20 an hour by 2020, with the final increase to take effect in April 2021


Increase penalties for corporate fraud and tax evasion, and introduce a tax on exports of bottled water


Investigate KiwiBank's capabilities to become the Government's banker when that contract is next renewed.

Foreign ownership

Strengthen the Overseas Investment Act and create a comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing

Research and development

Increase R&D spending to 2 per cent of GDP over 10 years


Re-establish the Mental Health Commission, annual free health checks for seniors with the SuperGold card, free doctors' visits for all under 14s, increasing the age for free breast screening to 74


Restore funding for gifted students and Computers in Homes, pilot counsellors in primary schools, free driver training for all secondary school students, restart Te Kotahitanga teacher professional development


Re-examine the Defence procurement programme


Establish a Housing Commission

Law and Order

Work towards 1800 new police officers over three years, investigate a volunteer rural constabulary programme, increase funding for Community Law Centres, establish a Criminal Cases Review Commission

Social Development

More funding for family violence networks, including Women's Refuge and Shakti, pilot a Youth Education, Training and Employment programme and provide 800 extra places for the LSV scheme, introduce Ready for Work programmes


Keep age of eligibility at 65


Move to an emissions-free government-vehicle fleet by 2025/26, introduce a Zero Carbon Act and independent Climate Commission, which will consider including agriculture into the ETS, establish a tyre stewardship fund, piloting alternatives to 1080, work towards a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary


More funding for the Department of Conservation


No new parliamentary building this term, an independent review of electoral processes and enrolments, and a review of the parliamentary processes, and pass a 'Waka Jumping' bill


Ensure work visas reflect skills shortages and cut down on low quality international education courses. Take action on migrant exploitation, particularly international students

Pike River

Commit to re-entry to Pike River


-Build a Maori Battalion museum at Waitangi
-Review retail-power pricing
-Allow a conscience vote on a NZ First euthanasia referendum bill
-A public inquiry "a decade after Shand" to investigate the drivers of local government costs
-Support NZ First's racing policy
-Work towards a Free Trade Agreement with the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union
-Record a Cabinet minute regarding the lack of process followed prior to the National-led government sponsorship of UNSC2334, concerning the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967


So as most of NZ businesses are small, they will pass the massive minimum wage increase on in price rises so up goes inflation and no real gain. (Aside from those employers who close due to an inability to cover the increase). The lift, which whilst noble, is too big too quick. So of course this means in order to make this work, a tax increase is on the way for the 27% of those who actually contribute to the welfare regime.

An FTA with Russia was part of the coalition deal!!