Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand

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Sixth Labour Government
Ministry of New Zealand
2017–present
New-govt-2017.jpg
New Zealand executive, pictured after their swearing-in
Date formed 26 October 2017
People and organisations
Head of state Elizabeth II
Represented by Dame Patsy Reddy
Head of government Jacinda Ardern
Deputy head of government Winston Peters
Member parties Labour Party
NZ First
Opposition party National Party
Opposition leader
History
Election(s) 2017 general election
Legislature term(s) 52nd Parliament
Predecessor Fifth National Government of New Zealand

The Sixth Labour Government is the current government of New Zealand. It is headed by Labour Party leader and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. It took office on 26 October 2017.

After the 2017 general election held on 23 September 2017 the New Zealand First party held the balance of power between the incumbent centre-right National Party and the left bloc of the Labour and Green parties. Following negotiations with the two major parties, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters announced on 19 October 2017 that his party would form a coalition government with Labour.[1] That same day, Green Party leader James Shaw announced that his party would give confidence and supply to the 55 seat Labour–NZ First government.[2] The Greens' support, plus the coalition, resulted in 63 seats to National's 56—enough to ensure that Ardern maintained the confidence of the House.

History

Formation

The 2017 election saw the New Zealand First party hold the balance of power between National and the centre-left bloc of Labour and the Green Party. After several weeks of negotiations with both National and Labour, New Zealand First announced on 19 October 2017 it would seek to form a minority coalition government with Labour. Confidence-and-supply support from the Greens, negotiated separately with Labour, enables the Government to have a majority in the House of Representatives.[1][2] During the coalition-forming negotiations, Labour agreed to drop its proposed water tax on farmers as part of its agreement with New Zealand First.[3] In return, NZ First agreed to drop its demand for referenda on overturning New Zealand's anti-smacking ban and abolishing the Māori electorates.[4][5] The Greens consented to a confidence and supply agreement with Labour and New Zealand First in return for several concessions including a referendum on legalising cannabis, treating alcohol and drugs as a health issue, and various policies to combat climate change.[6][7]

First term (October 2017—present)

In November 2017, Prime Minister Ardern and Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker announced that their government would continue participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations despite opposition from the Green Party.[8][9] That same month, Ardern offered to resettle 150 of the asylum seekers from the former Manus Regional Processing Centre in New Zealand but was rebuffed by the Turnbull Government.[10][11] On 20 November, Ardern reaffirmed the Coalition government's commitment to re-enter Pike River Mine with the goal of completing mine recovery by March 2019.[12] Minister for Pike River Re-Entry Andrew Little also announced the creation of the Pike River Recovery Agency.[13]

On 12 December, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced that the Government would be ending National Standards in schools. This announcement was welcomed by the teachers' and principals' unions but opposed by the opposition National and ACT parties.[14][15] On 20 December, the Government established a Tax Working Group consisting of several academics, business-people, and senior civil servants under the leadership of former Finance Minister Michael Cullen with the goal of reforming the taxation system and alleviating the country's housing crisis.[16] On 22 December, Prime Minister Ardern and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced that New Zealand would oppose the Trump Administration's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly and reiterated New Zealand's support for the Two State Solution.[17]

On 19 January 2018, Prime Minister Ardern announced that she was pregnant and expecting her first child in June. She also announced that she Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Peters would be serving as Acting Prime Minister while she took leave for a period of six weeks.[18][19] In mid-February 2018, the Government introduced legislation to stop the creation of new charter schools but to allow the 11 existing schools to continue operating while they negotiated options with the Ministry of Education; with Prime Minister Ardern suggesting that the existing schools could convert to "special character" schools.[20][21] In early March 2018, Prime Minister Ardern announced during a state visit to Samoa that New Zealand would be seeking to shift away from a 'donor, recipient relationship' with Pacific Islands nations in favour of forming partnerships with these states. She also announced a NZ$10 million aid package to Samoa with NZ$3 million going to disaster relief following Cyclone Gita and the rest being allocated to social developmental and education projects.[22][23][24]

On 8 March, 2018, Trade Minister Parker announced that New Zealand would be ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, an amended version of the TPP, in Chile.[25] On 3 April 2018, Prime Minister Ardern and Transport Minister Phil Twyford introduced the Government's ten–year draft land transport plan which included a proposed 9-12% a litre fuel tax hike, a proposed 20% fuel tax hike in Auckland, boosting public transport funding by 46%, cutting state highway funding by 11%, and allocating $4 billion over the next ten years to establish rapid transit including light rail with an initial focus on Auckland.[26][27] On 11 April 2018, Attorney General David Parker announced that the Government would be holding an inquiry into allegations that the New Zealand Special Air Service had committed war crimes against Afghan civilians during Operation Burnham while stationed in Afghanistan.[28][29]

On 12 April, Prime Minister Ardern announced that the Government had banned future offshore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand. In addition, Energy Minister Megan Woods clarified that the 30 existing exploration permits would still continue and be unaffected by the ban. New Zealand has 27 oil fields with most being located in the Taranaki Basin. The ban on future oil and gas exploration was part of a coalition agreement between the Labour and Green parties. The announcement was welcomed by Greens Co-Leader James Shaw, Greenpeace and Forest & Bird but was criticized by the Mayor of New Plymouth Neil Holdom, and the opposition National and ACT parties.[30][31][32]

Election results

The following table shows the total votes* for Labour, plus parties supporting the Labour-led government. For more details of election results, see the relevant election articles.

Election Parliament Seats* Total votes* Percentage Gain (loss) Seats won* Change Majority Seating plan
2017 52nd 120 1,305,333 50.36% 63 6* New Zealand House of Representatives - Layout Chart.svg

* 'Votes' means party votes only. 'Seats' means both list and electorate seats.

Notes

Significant policies and initiatives

Economic Development, Science and Innovation

Education and Workforce

  • Making the first year of tertiary education or training free from 1 January 2018.[33][34]
  • Increasing student allowances and living costs loans by $50 a week effective 1 January 2018.[33]
  • Scrapping both National Standards for literacy and numeracy and primary school league tables.[35]
  • Free driver training for all secondary school students[7]
  • Raise the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour in 2018 and $20.00 in 2020[33]
  • Establish the Pike River Recovery Agency with an accompanying ministerial portofolio[33] plus a commitment by minister Andrew Little to re-enter Pike River Mine.[7]

Environment

Finance and Expenditure

Proposed
  • Lower tax rate for small-to-medium businesses to mitigate the effects of raising the minimum wage.[33]
  • Repeal and reform the Reserve Bank Act[7]

Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Governance and Administration

Health

Housing

Immigration

Justice

Māori Affairs

  • Committ to a target that by 2025 that every student from ECE, Primary, Intermediate and Secondary has Te Reo Maori be integrated into their learning.
  • Secondary schools give students the chance to choose Te Reo Maori as a main subject.
  • Ensure that all early childhood, primary school, and intermediate school teachers are provided with an opportunity to undertake lessons in Te Reo Māori.
  • Provide dedicated scholarships to increase the number of Te Reo Maori teachers and ensure that Te Reo Maori is available as an option in all secondary schools.

Primary Production

  • A royalty on exports of bottled waters.[7]
  • Divide the Ministry for Primary Industries into separate agriculture, forestry, and fishing departments.[49]
  • Reducing public funding for irrigation projects while subsidizing existing projects in early April 2018.[50][51][52]

Social Services and Community

Transport and Infrastructure

  • Re-allocate spending towards rail and cycling infrastructure.[7]
  • Establish light rail to Auckland Airport and to West Auckland.[53][54]
  • Commuter rail in 18 months to Hamilton[55]
  • Commuter rail to Hamilton and Tauranga[56]
  • Commuter rail for Christchurch[57]
  • Retain the Capital Connection from Palmerston North to Wellington .[58]
  • Reduce funding for irrigation projects[7]
  • Feasibility study of moving the Port of Auckland to Northport, Whangarei, and upgrades of road and rail to Northport; as part of Labour–NZ First agreement.[59][60]

List of executive members

On 20 October, Jacinda Ardern announced that the Cabinet would consist of 20 members, of which 16 would be from the Labour Party and 4 from New Zealand First. A further five Labour MPs would sit outside of Cabinet, along with three Green MPs.

Ministers

Portfolio Minister Party Start End
Prime Minister Ardern, JacindaJacinda Ardern Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Deputy Prime Minister Peters, WinstonWinston Peters NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Agriculture O'Connor, DamienDamien O'Connor Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Attorney-General Parker, DavidDavid Parker Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Ardern, JacindaJacinda Ardern Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Building and Construction Salesa, JennyJenny Salesa Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Curran, ClareClare Curran Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Civil Defence Faafoi, KrisKris Faafoi Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Climate Change Shaw, JamesJames Shaw Green 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Conservation Sage, EugenieEugenie Sage Green 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Corrections Davis, KelvinKelvin Davis Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Customs Whaitiri, MekaMeka Whaitiri Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Defence Mark, RonRon Mark NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Economic Development Parker, DavidDavid Parker Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Education Hipkins, ChrisChris Hipkins Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for the Environment Parker, DavidDavid Parker Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Finance Robertson, GrantGrant Robertson Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Fisheries Nash, StuartStuart Nash Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Foreign Affairs Peters, WinstonWinston Peters NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Health Clark, DavidDavid Clark Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Twyford, PhilPhil Twyford Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Immigration Lees-Galloway, IainIain Lees-Galloway Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Infrastructure Jones, ShaneShane Jones NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Internal Affairs Martin, TraceyTracey Martin NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Justice Little, AndrewAndrew Little Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Leader of the House Hipkins, ChrisChris Hipkins Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Māori Development Mahuta, NanaiaNanaia Mahuta Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of National Security and Intelligence Ardern, JacindaJacinda Ardern Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Police Nash, StuartStuart Nash Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Revenue Nash, StuartStuart Nash Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Science and Innovation Woods, MeganMegan Woods Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Social Development Sepuloni, CarmelCarmel Sepuloni Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of State Owned Enterprises Peters, WinstonWinston Peters NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for State Services Hipkins, ChrisChris Hipkins Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Statistics Shaw, JamesJames Shaw Green 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Tourism Davis, KelvinKelvin Davis Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Trade Parker, DavidDavid Parker Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister of Transport Twyford, PhilPhil Twyford Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Whānau Ora Henare, PeeniPeeni Henare Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Minister for Women Genter, Julie AnneJulie Anne Genter Green 26 October 2017 Incumbent

Under-Secretaries

Ministry Under-Secretary Party Start End
Ethnic Communities Wood, MichaelMichael Wood Labour 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Foreign Affairs Tabuteau, FletcherFletcher Tabuteau NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence Issues) Logie, JanJan Logie Green 26 October 2017 Incumbent
Regional Economic Development Tabuteau, FletcherFletcher Tabuteau NZ First 26 October 2017 Incumbent

References

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  2. ^ a b c Hurley, Emma (19 October 2017). "An 'historic moment' for the Green Party – James Shaw". Newshub. Retrieved 19 October 2017. 
  3. ^ "Labour's proposed water tax on farmers to be scrapped". New Zealand Herald. 20 October 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  4. ^ Cheng, Derek (30 October 2017). "Anti-smacking referendum dropped during coalition negotiations". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  5. ^ Guy, Alice (21 October 2017). "Local kaumatua not surprised Maori seats will be retained". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  6. ^ Collins, Benedict (20 October 2017). "Cannabis referendum part of Greens' deal". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "NZ First, Green Party, Labour coalition deals revealed". Stuff.co.nz. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  8. ^ "TPP deal revived once more, 20 provisions suspended". Radio New Zealand. 12 Nov 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
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  10. ^ Karp, Paul; Roy, Eleanor Ainge (17 November 2017). "New Zealand seeks deal with Australia to resettle Manus and Nauru refugees". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  11. ^ "PM Malcolm Turnbull rejects NZ offer to resettle Manus refugees despite 'humanitarian crisis'". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 November 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  12. ^ Walters, Laura (20 November 2017). "Pike River mine recovery should be completed by March, 2019 - PM". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  13. ^ "Pike River Mine Factsheet" (PDF). Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  14. ^ Moir, Jo (12 December 2017). "National Standards have officially ended in primary schools across the country". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  15. ^ "National Standards removed". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  16. ^ "Tax Working Group members announced". New Zealand Government. Scoop. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017. 
  17. ^ "NZ votes against US over declaring Jerusalem as capital of Israel". New Zealand Herald. 22 December 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
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  21. ^ Trevett, Claire (12 February 2018). "PM says compromise will help charter schools to convert rather than close". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  22. ^ a b "Jacinda Ardern desires shift away from 'donor, recipient relationship' with Pacific nations". 1 News. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  23. ^ a b Prendergrast, Ella (6 March 2018). "How Jacinda Ardern plans to 'reset' our relationship with the Pacific". Newshub. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
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  28. ^ Parker, David. "Approval for Inquiry into Operation Burnham". Scoop. New Zealand Government. Retrieved 11 April 2018. 
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  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Jones, Nicholas (20 October 2017). "Jacinda Ardern confirms new government will dump tax cuts". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
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  55. ^ "Commuter rail from Auckland to Hamilton". Stuff (Fairfax). 21 August 2017. 
  56. ^ "Commuter rail from Auckland to Hamilton, Tauranga for $20 million". Stuff (Fairfax). 17 August 2017. 
  57. ^ "Commuter rail for Christchurch for $100m". Stuff (Fairfax). 22 June 2017. 
  58. ^ "Capital Connection has government support". Stuff (Fairfax). 2 November 2017. 
  59. ^ "Government eyes port shift north". Stuff (Fairfax). 22 October 2017. 
  60. ^ "Chinese money for Northport etc?". Stuff (Fairfax). 2 November 2017. 
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