With the general election on September 23 approaching fast, NZ Catholic has
summarised significant policies of the main parties according to the headings outlined
in the New Zealand Catholic bishops’ statement released in July (NZ Catholic,
July 16-29). The order of listing was chosen at random. Visit the parties’ websites
for fuller information.

United Future
www.unitedfuture.org.nz
Leader: Damian Light   MPs: 1

PRO-LIFE POLICIES:

•Amend section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993 to explicitly include gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics as specific prohibited groups for grounds of discrimination and ensure that this is put into practice.

BICULTURAL NEW ZEALAND:

•No official policy available.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

•No official policy available.

MIGRATION:

•Immediately double the refugee quota, and shape it to reflect the local groups, churches and agencies that want to play a role in resettlement.

•Adopt a more community-based approach to resettlement issues.

•Require the Government to publish a 10 Year Population Strategy. Fast-track any skilled migrant with an offer of employment (business sponsor).

•If they have a sponsor, grant approval.

•Let employment drive which skilled migrants come into the country, ensure that those with skills are matched with the industries that need them, and encourage employers to
actively seek people to fill roles.

• Fast track any migrant who has a majority of their immediate family in New Zealand,
but the family must sponsor their incoming family member and must prove they can support them.

SAFE SOCIETY:

• No official policy available.

CARING FOR OUR PLANET:

• Attach a coherent royalties scheme to water when it is taken (as per oil and gas).

• $10million per year contestable fund for research into New Zealand’s environment.

•Incentivise riverside planting of trees and bush.

•Rebalance the rights of recreational fishers.

• Establish a commission to help establish a consensus on long-term pest
control strategies.

• Establish a $10million/year fund that helps New Zealanders to purchase an electric vehicle or for a business to set up an electric charging station. First come, first serve. To be used to pay up to 1/3 or $5000 of the costs of an electric vehicle.

FAIR TAX STRUCTURE:

• Introduce FlexiSuper, which gives people the option of choosing to receive New Zealand Superannuation at reduced rates from age 60-64 or at increasingly enhanced rates if they hold off until ages 66-70.

• Introduce compulsory Kiwisaver.

• Change the formulation of NZ Super, by calculating it based upon the anticipated forecasted changes to the consumer price index and increases in the average wage for the following 12 months.

MENTAL HEALTH:

• No official policy available.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING:

•An expanded rent-to-own policy to enable more people to own their own home.

PRISON POPULATION:

•Introduce a health first approach to low level drug possession, but retain current penalties for the sale, supply and cultivation of drugs.

• New sentencing guidelines would allow courts to implement assessment and rehabilitation as the first instance for people caught with a small level of Class C drugs.

•Create a regulated market for Class C drugs that are proved safe.

 

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
www.greens.org.nz
Leader: James Shaw  MPs: 14

 

PRO-LIFE POLICIES:

• Decriminalise abortion.

• Allow an individual access to medically-assisted dying, provided that, as a minimum, safeguards are included.

BICULTURAL NEW ZEALAND:

• Fix the Treaty settlement process.

• Uphold Māori representation in governance and decision making. Entrench the Māori electorates and oppose any call for a referendum on them.

• Let councils establish Māori wards without being overturned by a poll.

• Support teaching te reo Māori to every New Zealand child.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

• Progressively increase New Zealand’s refugee quota to 4000 people per year after six years.

• Properly fund asylum seeker and refugee services.

• Establish a programme for church and community groups to sponsor an additional 1000 refugees per year.

• Create a new humanitarian visa for people displaced by climate change in the Pacific.

MIGRATION:

• Provide assistance for all new migrants to learn English. Establish a stand-alone Ministry of Ethnic Affairs and a Minister of Ethnic Affairs. Greater availability of bridging courses for
immigrants who have professional skills which Aotearoa/New Zealand needs.

SAFE SOCIETY:

• Legalise access to cannabis products for New Zealanders suffering from terminal
illness or any debilitating condition as well as for personal use.

• Implement immediately all of the recommendations of the Law Commission’s 2011 review of the Misuse of Drugs Act on law reform.

CARING FOR OUR PLANET:

• Doubling DOC’s baseline conservation budget within five years. Stop all new mining on the conservation estate. Strengthen legal protection for threatened species and the places
where they live.

•Increase funding for Predator Free 2050 through a $20 levy on international
tourists entering New Zealand.

•Put an immediate 10 cent/ litre levy on water bottling and exports. Ban dirty new power
plants, replace the old ones with renewable energy, and set a goal of 100 per cent clean renewable electricity by 2030.

FAIR TAX STRUCTURE:

• Reduce the bottom tax rate on income up to $14,000 from 10.5% to 9%. Raise the top tax rate to 40 per cent on income over $150,000.

• Pass tax cuts on to those on benefits and adjusting benefit abatement rates.

• A comprehensive capital gains tax on inflation adjusted capital gains at the time the capital gains are realised.

• Exempt the family home from capital gains tax.

• Introduce a water levy on commercial use of all water used on a volume basis (Not for households or stock drinking water.)

• Set up an Ecological Tax Reform Commission to examine all existing taxes and possible new eco-taxes.

• Join the group of countries working to agree on a tax on international currency movements.

MENTAL HEALTH:

• Call for a nationwide mental health inquiry.

• Fund initiatives that indicate high recovery rates with low/minimal drug use.

• Ensure both inpatient and community (including residential) services are well resourced and provided at levels to ensure all clients can use services well matched to their individual needs.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING:

• Increase acquisition and building of state housing units by at least 3000 units a year for the next 3 years.

• Provide funding to third sector housing organisations for a minimum of 1000 units a year for the next 3 years, prioritising those with commitment to environmental and social sustainability.

• Create a legally binding duty on the public sector to ensure housing needs are met.

• Reduce speculative investment in the housing market.

• Increase peoples’ ability to save for a deposit and service a mortgage by increasing the minimum wage to no less than 66 per cent of the average wage.

• Introduce a Universal Child Benefit that can be capitalised towards the child’s first home.

PRISON POPULATION:

• Increase the options available to judges in criminal cases.

•A moratorium on all new prison construction except for the purposes of replacement.

• No private prisons.

•Ensure sufficient ‘family houses’ for pregnant women and mothers in prison to ensure good bonding with infants and continuing attachment with young children.

Act New Zealand
www.act.org.nz
Leader: David Seymour MPs: 1

 

 

 

PRO-LIFE POLICIES:

• Leader promoting End of Life Choice Bill.

• Also presented petition for decriminalisation of abortion.

BICULTURAL NEW ZEALAND:

• No official policy available.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

•No official policy available.

MIGRATION:

• Trimming back entitlements such as pensions after only ten years’ residency.

• Require new citizens to explicitly sign up to certain values, as required in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

SAFE SOCIETY:

• Introduce Three Strikes for Burglary, meaning someone convicted of a third burglary offence gets three years in prison.

CARING FOR OUR PLANET:

• Take Cities Out of the Resource Management Act.

• Urban environments, and areas at the edges of our cities should not be regulated and
protected in the same ways as undeveloped natural environments.

• Prioritise supplying land and infrastructure, in response to demand.

• Set price thresholds above which land would be automatically released for development.

• Make zoning less restrictive, with fewer levels and types of zoning.

• Tradable water rights, giving owners greater incentives to conserve water and oppose pollution of it.

FAIR TAX STRUCTURE:

•Reduce the income tax rate for those earning $14,000 or less to 10%.

• Reduce the income tax rate for those earning between $14,001 and $48,000 to 15%.

• Reduce the income tax rate for those earning $48,001 or more to 25%.

• Regularly adjust tax brackets for inflation.

• Cut the company tax rate to 25%.

• Cut the company tax rate by abolishing corporate welfare.

• Extend income management to any parent who has additional children while on a benefit.

MENTAL HEALTH:

No official policy available.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING:

• Share a portion of GST revenue collected from the construction of new housing with the local council to incentivise them to approve planning of new homes.

• Allow councils to use more flexible funding mechanisms for infrastructure.

PRISON POPULATION:

• Allow prisoners to earn a reduction in their overall sentence by successfully completing literacy, numeracy, job readiness and driver licensing courses.

• Prisoners who enter prison with a higher level of educational attainment would also be eligible for incentives if they act as mentors to other prisoners.

• Scrap red tape that stops ordinary New Zealanders from volunteering in prison education
and rehabilitation programmes.

Maori Party
www.maoriparty.org
Co-Leaders: Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox
MPs: 2

PRO-LIFE POLICIES:

• Would support a euthanasia bill to its first reading to allow public input, but wants to emphasise the value of whakapapa and solutions other than euthanasia.

BICULTURAL NEW ZEALAND:

• Introduce a Te Tiriti o Waitangi programme as a prerequisite to gaining citizenship,
meeting language and settlement requirements.

• Entrench Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all legislation.

• Empower the Waitangi Tribunal to make binding recommendations.

• Implement a suite of overlapping policies and law changes that recognise the status of Māori as tangata whenua and uphold the rights guaranteed to Māori in Te Tiriti.

• Give Māori voters the right to change from the General Electoral Roll to the Māori Roll at
any time.

• Establish the role of a Treaty of Waitangi Commissioner as an Officer of Parliament.

• Press for funding for Treaty settlement education in all schools.

• Support the return in Treaty settlements of cultural icons such as maunga.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

• Implement greater support for refugees and new immigrants experiencing hardship.

• Increase the refugee quota and prioritise refugee whānau for the Regional Cadetships programme.

• Introduce a hardship pension that exempts eligible Pasifika Peoples aged 65+ who gain citizenship from the standard 5-year waiting period.

• Eliminate immigration policies that discriminate on the grounds of race, religion or culture.

•Reintroduce the parent category and the family reunion category to ensure whānau are not disconnected by borders.

MIGRATION:

• Introduce new visa categories responsive to humanitarian needs and incentivise greater investment in our domestic infrastructure and regional economies.

•Prioritise the introduction of a climate change refugee category.

•Establish a partial amnesty for persons whose stay in Aotearoa New Zealand has become unlawful.

SAFE SOCIETY:

•Review the effectiveness of strategies and services related to methamphetamine.

•Obliterate all synthetic cannabis and other psychoactive substances from our communities.

•Invest in whānau-focused alcohol and drug addiction, recovery and restoration programmes and services including in prisons.

•Establish a moratorium on new liquor outlets and gaming machines in the community.

CARING FOR OUR PLANET:

•Legislate to protect freshwater and give it the status of tāonga.

• Establish a Minister for Freshwater.

• Make the freshwater standard ‘drinkable’.

• Support a levy on all tourists entering Aotearoa to improve infrastructure and impacts
on the environment.

• Encourage young people to have a voice in the design and planning of their cities.

• Champion solar panels for government agencies, hospitals, schools and marae.

• Close all coal fired power plants by 2025.

• Ensure Mana whenua are consulted on all oil and mineral exploration permits.

FAIR TAX STRUCTURE:

• First $25,000 of annual income earned would be tax free.

• Food exempt from GST.

• Increase minimum wage to $16 per hour.

• Implement a financial transaction tax.

• Reduce business tax by 5 per cent.

MENTAL HEALTH:

• Increase in kaupapa Māori services.

• Resource whānau to be equipped to work together and develop their own solutions to suicide in both prevention, post-vention and health promotion.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: 

• Create a Minister for Māori and Pacific Housing.

•Develop a National Housing Strategy taking into account the specific rights and interests of Māori under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

• Start a 25-year government-enabled housing strategy that addresses the entire housing crisis.

• Require the government to set a target to eliminate homelessness by 2020.

• Address the over representation of Māori and Pacific whānau in severe housing deprivation.

• Build 90,000 affordable houses by 2022 (60,000 in Auckland and 30,000 in other areas where there is severe housing deprivation).

• Improve the rights of renters.

• Freeze rents on all social housing stock and review every five years.

• Enforce compulsory annual warrant of fitness for all rental homes.

• Introduce a cap on rent increases for all sate-owned social housing stock and explore
rent caps for private rentals.

• Enable whānau to capitalise on their family support allowance as a deposit for a home.

•Introduce options for ‘rent to buy’ and ‘equity financing’ for first time home buyers.

PRISON POPULATION:

• Dismantle institutional racism within the justice system as a matter of urgent priority.

• Place a moratorium on the building of new prisons and expand the provision of Whare Oranga Ake and Māori Focus Units in existing prisons.

• Reduce the rate of Māori over-imprisonment by 30 per cent by 2027.

• Reduce the prison muster by 25 per cent by 2025.

• Provide racial bias training for all those who work in the criminal justice system.

• Review protocols around police use of pepper spray, guns and tasers.

• Support iwi-led, kaupapa focused initiatives in prisons to reduce recidivism amongst offenders.

•Invest in more adequate social and community housing for offenders with links to access to appropriate community mental health services and support.

New Zealand National Party
www.national.org.nz
Leader: Bill English MPs: 58
PRO-LIFE POLICIES:

•No official policy available.

BICULTURAL NEW ZEALAND:

•Encouraging Māori and iwi-owned businesses
to grow by participating in the global economy.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

•No official policy available.

MIGRATION:

• New Community Organisation Refugee Sponsorship category to complement the annual refugee quota (starting with a pilot for 25 refugees on top of annual quota).

SAFE SOCIETY:

•1125 more Police staff over the next four years, including 880 sworn officers on the frontline – that’s a 10 per cent increase and will take total Police staff to more than 13,000.

• 95 per cent of all New Zealanders will be within 25km of a 24/7 Police presence.

• A target of at least 98 per cent of all burglaries will be attended within 48 hours, and more than 90 per cent of 111 emergency calls will be answered within 10 seconds.

• Create a new category of young offenders – Young Serious Offenders (YSOs); and give MVCOT and the Police the power to detain young serious offenders.

• YSOs of 14 or older who commit subsequent serious offences will be subject to
automatic transfer to the adult court system.

• Give Police the ability to issue instant infringement notices (instant fines) to parents for children under the age of 14 who are out walking the streets or without adult supervision between the hours of 12 and 5am.

• Police checks of gang members‘ cars and houses for firearms without warrant under certain circumstances.

• Increased funds for drug rehab.

• Longer sentences for making and distributing synthetic cannabis.

CARING FOR OUR PLANET:

•From October 2018, international visitors will pay double the fee on the five
most popular Great Walks (Milford, Routeburn, Kepler, Abel Tasman and Tongariro), and 50
per cent extra for the other Great Walks and backcountry hut passes.

•New charges will also apply to the under-construction Paparoa Track and the two new Great Walks planned as part of Budget 2017’s $76 million investment in conservation.

•Extra revenue to be allocated to Department of Conservation (DOC) programmes.

•Double the amount of funding available through the Department of Conservation Community Fund, from $4.6 million to $10 million a year.

•Investing around $450 million into cleaning up lakes, rivers and other iconic waterways.

•Requiring dairy cattle to be excluded from  waterways by 1 July 2017.

FAIR TAX STRUCTURE:

• The Family Incomes Package will increase the $14,000 income tax threshold to $22,000, and the $48,000 tax threshold to $52,000.

• Removing the Independent Earner Tax Credit of up to $10 a week.

• Introducing a new small business-friendly tax package including overhauling provisional tax with a new pay-as-you-go option from 1 April 2018 and scrapping the ongoing monthly penalty.

• Use-of-money interest will be eliminated or reduced for the vast majority of taxpayers.

MENTAL HEALTH:

• $100m social investment mental health package of 17 new initiatives.

• Begin reorienting our approach to mental health towards a focus on prevention, early
intervention and resilience-building (focused particularly on school-aged children and young people).

• Provide a more effective range of responses and upskill the mental health workforce.

•Expand distance and e-therapy options, which will enable provision of support earlier, in a more accessible manner.

•Extend the coverage of supports for people experiencing mild to moderate mental disorders.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING:
• Low and middle-income couples can now apply for grants of up to $20,000 to put towards a deposit for their first home.

•Well over 300,000 homes insulated under Warm Up New Zealand programme and commitment to insulate Housing NZ properties.

•A programme of work underway around social and emergency housing.

•Tightened rules to ensure people buying and selling property for profit pay fair share of tax.

PRISON POPULATION:

• Create Training and Development orders to be served at a defence-led Junior Training Academy, based at Waiouru.

Labour Party
www.labour.org.nz
Leader: Jacinda Ardern MPs: 31

PRO-LIFE POLICIES:

• Abortion Act needs to be reviewed and upgraded, and should not have it in the Crimes Act. Abortion legislation is generally decided by a conscience vote.

• Euthanasia not a priority. It, too, will be decided by a conscience vote.

BICULTURAL NEW ZEALAND:

• Partner with hapu, iwi and Māori organisations to develop affordable and social housing.

• Expand home ownership support programmes proven to assist Māori into home ownership.

•Establish a Māori Housing Unit within the Affordable Housing Authority to ensure housing policies are tailored to meet the specific needs and aspirations of Māori.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

• Increase New Zealand’s refugee quota to 1500.

MIGRATION:

• Ensure that businesses are able to get genuinely skilled migrants when they need them.

• An Exceptional Skills Visa for highly skilled or talented people and introducing a KiwiBuild Visa for residential construction firms who train a local when they hire a worker from overseas.

•Strengthen the Labour Market Test for work visas so they are not being used for jobs Kiwis can do, and make skills shortage lists more regional so migrants coming in under them can only live and work in areas where there is a genuine skills shortage.

• Require courses for international students to be high-quality, remove the ability to work for international students in low-level courses except where the work is approved as part of their study, and remove the ability to get a work visa without a job for those who have completed study below university level.

SAFE SOCIETY:

• Fund 1000 more Police Officers and the resources that they need to make communities safer.

• Work with Police to tackle the increasing numbers of assaults, sexual assaults, burglaries, robberies, as well as methamphetamine supply.

• Community policing will be a priority.

CARING FOR OUR PLANET:

• A royalty on commercial consumption of water to help with cost of keeping NZ’s waterways clean.

• Ensure that our rivers and lakes are genuinely swimmable, without trickery around
standards and restore the health of waterways so that fish and invertebrates can thrive in them.

• Manage resources, especially non-renewable ones, for benefit of all, including future
generations.

FAIR TAX STRUCTURE:

• Abolish secondary tax as it denies many New Zealanders access to wages they need
to make ends meet.

• Ensure a progressive taxation system that is fair, balanced, and promotes the long-term sustainability and productivity of the economy.

•A review of the tax system, but rules out Capital Gains Tax on family homes.

MENTAL HEALTH:

• Initiate a review of mental health and addiction services to identify gaps in services.

•Make it easier for those in our community with mental health problems to get the help they need by increasing resources for frontline health workers.

•Extend School Based Health Services to all public secondary schools so all schools have a comprehensive youth health service.

• Provide eighty health professionals to provide mental health services in primary and intermediate schools in Christchurch and other earthquake-affected parts of Canterbury, including Kaikōura, for an initial three years.

• Fund a two year trial of eight primary mental health teams across New Zealand at a cost of $43 million.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING:

• Build 100,000 affordable homes across the country.

•Create an Affordable Housing Authority to fast-track development in our cities.

• Grow the building workforce.

• Focus Housing New Zealand on helping people, not making a profit.

• Take serious action to end homelessness in line with the recommendations of the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry.

• Require all rental homes to be warm, dry, and healthy. Invest in warm, dry homes.

• Limit rent rises to once a year.

• Increase landlord notice period to 90 days.

•Abolish ‘no cause’ tenancy terminations.

PRISON POPULATION:

• No official policy available.

New Zealand First
www.nzfirst.org.nz
Leader: Winston Peters MPs: 12

PRO-LIFE POLICIES:

• Ensure that there is adequate funding for, and improved access to palliative care services.

• Support result of referendum on assisted dying legislation.

BICULTURAL NEW ZEALAND:

• Ensure the future of the Maori seats is a decision for the people to make having
examined the significant increase in representation numbers of Maori MPs under MMP.

• The Waitangi Tribunal must fully, fairly and finally complete the settlement of all outstanding claims. Do not regard the Treaty as part of the New Zealand Constitution.

• Encourage Maori to build houses on collectively owned land.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY:

• Cap the number of places at medical training institutions which can be taken by foreign students while increasing the number of places available in areas of need for New Zealand students.

• Review issues relating to the treatment of overseas patients within our public health system.

MIGRATION:

• Ensure that immigration policy main focus is on meeting critical skills gaps.

• Ensure family reunion members are strictly controlled and capped and there is fairness across all nationalities.

• Ensure New Zealanders have first call on New Zealand jobs.

• A cap on the number of older immigrants because of the impact on health and other services.

• Stop the exploitation of migrant workers with respect to wages, safety and work conditions.

•Regional dispersion of immigration.

SAFE SOCIETY:

• Introduce legislation to ban all criminal gangs, in line with those of several Australian states.

• Institute a Castle Doctrine law, empowering New Zealanders to defend themselves and protect their homes and families with all necessary force.

• Get more front line police.

• Provide minimum double staffing of all existing sole-charge stations.

CARING FOR OUR PLANET:

• Seek higher Crown levies on minerals extracted and return 25 per cent royalties to the
source regions.

• Oppose the Emissions Trading Scheme.

• Ensure that the Resource Management Act is stringently applied to all fracking operations.

• Encourage local government use of the community wage scheme for conservation
and weed and pest control activities and for environmental activities.

FAIR TAX STRUCTURE:

• Remove GST from food. (Other than takeaway and restaurant purchases).

• Remove GST from rates on residential property.

• Raise the minimum wage to $17 per hour.

• Introduce a lower (20 per cent) business tax rate for exporters.

MENTAL HEALTH:

• Provide additional resourcing for child and youth mental health services.

• Full implementation of the recommendations of the Mason report.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING:

• Provide government assistance for first home buyers.

• Sell residential sections under long term agreements for sale and purchase (up to 25 years) to first home buyers, on a cost recovery basis.

• Ensure that New Zealand’s housing stock is restricted to New Zealanders.

• Non-residents who are not New Zealand citizens would be ineligible for home ownership except if a genuine need to do so can be demonstrated.

• Provide low cost government funding to local authorities for new elderly persons housing
and public rental housing projects.

PRISON POPULATION:

•Introduce cumulative sentencing for offenders convicted of more than one crime.

• Recognise that Life should mean Life and set a mandatory minimum non-parole period of 40 years for premeditated murder.

• Wider use of home detention with mandatory reporting for approved work or training during the day.

• Greater range of non-custodial sentences such as the confiscation of specific property, larger and long term reparation payments and fines.

• Short, sharp custodial sentences, with dedicated, stipulated, supervised and monitored
work.

•Increase the use of mandatory minimum sentences for violent offenders.

•Require greater parental responsibility for young offenders

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