“New Zealand First recognizes that employment is paramount for shifting from dependence to independence and that our welfare system should not be seen as a hand out but a hand up in time of real need. The employment of New Zealanders remains a priority.  New Zealand First is committed to ensuring that social policy closes unfair loopholes, provides more social good than harm and is accountable and transparent.  Fairness, justice, timeliness and consistency are the universal principles of state welfare payments.”

— Rt Hon Winston Peters


  • Ensure New Zealanders have the means to have independence from the State with an emphasis on parental responsibility.
  • Ensure any government support is based on need and not race or any other factor.
  • Require greater scrutiny of the benefit system, adjustment benefits and abatement levels.
  • Re-introduce “Work for the Dole” – to help people of all ages and ability to get out of bed, develop self-confidence and a sense of pride in having a job.
  • Protect our social fabric and traditional family values from temporarily empowered politicians, by requiring so-called ‘conscience issues’ be put to comprehensive public debate and referenda.
  • Ensure the needs of retired New Zealanders are met through a sustainable universal superannuation scheme with a retirement age of 65.
  • Introduce flexible state support for grandparents raising grandchildren including the provision of personalised MSD case managers for the first three-months.
  • Increase funding to Women's Refuge and similar organisations working in the voluntary sector.
  • Lift living standards by raising the Minimum Wage to $20 per hour over the next three-years.
  • Provide real opportunities for young people to gain quality education and skills that will enable greater involvement in the economy.


  • Introduce the philosophy that every young New Zealander can expect to be trained for careers and not left to rot on the dole.
  • Introduce workforce planning and better careers guidance in schools.
  • Provide driver license training for every secondary school student.
  • Abolish the ‘starting out wage’ for young people.
  • Pay the Job Seekers Benefit to approved employers when taking on an apprentice.
  • Introduce the Ministry of Social Development funded and NZ Defence Force operated Youth Enterprise and Training Initiative that will provide formal trade training to students not suited to conventional education.
  • Establish a dollar-for-dollar debt write-off scheme so that graduates in identified areas of workforce demand may trade a year’s worth of debt for each year of paid full-time work in New Zealand in that area.
  • Increase the number of Teenage Parents Units to extend opportunities for young mothers to remain in study.
  • Introduce, as a priority for all full time students, a universal living allowance which is not subject to parental means testing.