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“New Zealand First’s economic policy is to capitalize on the natural assets and climate that New Zealand is endowed with and the talent and enterprise of New Zealanders. A new economic direction is needed because New Zealand is at an economic crossroads. New Zealand First has an economic policy that will improve the lives of ordinary Kiwis and put New Zealand on a pathway to prosperity. It is based on four key pillars:
  • The need for a flexible monetary policy.
  • The need to protect New Zealand ownership of key infrastructural assets.
  • The need for an innovative and coherent export plan to rapidly grow our nation’s wealth.
  • A National Savings Plan to free New Zealand from its dependence on foreign savings.”

— Rt Hon Winston Peters

KEY POINTS

  • Seriously cut immigration to sustainable levels.
  • Put in place the tax settings to grow Kiwi companies that employ and pay world-class wages.
  • Support the primary industries and related industries to add value and grow sustainably.
  • Give a high priority to maintaining and rebuilding manufacturing.
  • Give preference for majority-owned New Zealand firms in government procurement (centrally and locally).
  • Reform the Reserve Bank Act and regain economic sovereignty over banking and financial services.
  • Stop the loss of New Zealand’s land and assets to foreign ownership.
  • Put the interests of New Zealand exporters into trade agreements.
  • Protect investors and improve regulation of and confidence in the finance industry.
  • Direct the guardians of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to invest in New Zealand-owned infrastructure, especially privatised or part-privatised SOE’s when the share price is right.

MONETARY POLICY AND FINANCE POLICY

  • Replace Inflation Targeted Monetary Policy with monetary policy based on the Singaporean model.
  • Grow KiwiBank by making it the Government’s banker.
  • Introduce a Deposit Guarantee Scheme for majority-owned New Zealand registered banks.
  • Establish a state-owned insurer to offer retail and commercial services, especially for large assets.
  • Establish KiwiFund, a government owned KiwiSaver provider, which will have a focus on investing in New Zealand assets and infrastructure.

GROWING THE ECONOMY

  • Provide a lower business tax environment with a special tax rate for export derived income.
  • Establish Special Economic Areas adjacent to Northport (Northland) and South Port (Southland).
  • Increase public research investment to 2 percent of GDP over a 10-year period.
  • Review the current science research ecosystem to remove competition and foster cooperation.
  • Redirect the $1.4 billion currently going into the ETS into research and adaptation.
  • Provide tax incentives for long-term private research and development.
  • Increase course funding to increase the number of qualified graduates in the fields that will add value to the economy (e.g. science, engineering and technology).
  • Introduce scholarships (especially at post-graduate level) to keep our best students here and to attract the world’s best.
  • Protect our unique exports in terms of geographic and product indicators from rip-offs and copies.
  • Redirect NZTE to assist small and medium sized exporters with the services they need to export.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT

  • Welcome foreign investment so long it is in the interests of New Zealand and not in the private interests of foreign shareholders.
  • Establish priorities for foreign investment in New Zealand that require such investment to bring new technology that leads to employment and export growth or import substitution.

FOREIGN OWNERSHIP

  • Impose strict controls over foreign ownership.
  • Create and maintain a comprehensive register of foreign ownership of land.
  • Prevent vertical integration and foreign control of key export industries.
  • Restrict ownership of residential land and farmland to New Zealand citizens, permanent residents who are exercising their right to residence and majority New Zealand-owned companies.
  • Prohibit the further sale of strategic state assets to overseas buyers.
  • Require foreign companies operating in New Zealand to pay their fair share of taxation.

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Establish regional funds to receive revenue from the return of GST from foreign tourism and Royalties for Regions.
  • Ensure the involvement of local people in decision making over the use of these funds.
  • Provide economic and social benefits conferred to regional communities through the scheme which will allow local communities to plan and spend more efficiently and effectively.

MANUFACTURING

  • Ensure that export-derived income is subject to a maximum 20 percent tax rate.
  • Give preference to majority-owned New Zealand firms in government procurement.
  • Reform the Reserve Bank Act so it can better manage our currency.
  • Investigate a capital guarantee scheme for small to medium enterprises.
  • Reintroduce tax credits for research and development.
  • Provide accelerated depreciation for plant and equipment.
  • Investigate a capital guarantee scheme for small to medium enterprises.
  • Pursue policies to add value to raw materials here and not abroad.