Putting New Zealanders First

New Zealand First is the third largest party in the New Zealand Parliament. The Party was formed in 1993 to represent those New Zealanders concerned about the social and economic direction of our country, and who were seeking pragmatic, common-sense representation in Parliament.

Following the 2017 General Election, the Party retained 9 seats in the House of Representatives and formed a Coalition Government with the New Zealand Labour Party. Party Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, became Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Party secured three other Cabinet positions and an Undersecretary role.

At the core of New Zealand First's policies are our "Fifteen Fundamental Principles", which emphasise accountable and transparent government, common-sense social and economic policy, and the placing of the interests of New Zealand, and New Zealanders, at the forefront of Government decision-making.

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Important Issues

One Billion Trees

This Government is committed to its tree planting ambitions, which will help create sustainable jobs in our regions and help meet our carbon emissions targets. The planting programme will also help landowners, particularly Māori, use their land more sustainably and will help combat erosion issues. Of the Budget 2018 funding, $245.0 million ($132.5 million operating and $112.6 million capital, both over 10 years) will support the Government’s One Billion Trees planting programme. A further $12.8 million operating funding from Budget 2017 also contributes to the programme.  “As part of breaking ground for the tree-planting programme, early decisions were taken to enable Crown Forestry to plant and maintain trees and to expand the Ministry for Primary Industry’s Hill Country Erosion programme. Of the Provincial Growth Fund allocation for the One Billion Trees programme, $13.5 million in operating funding is for planting native trees in 2018/19 and 2019/20,” says Shane Jones.   “As announced earlier this month, on top of the Provincial Growth Fund support for One Billion Trees, Budget 2018 has also set aside $15.0 million in operating funding in 2018/19 for the establishment of the new Forestry Service, Te Uru Rākau, in Rotorua. “It also provides $6.0 million in operating funding over four years to allow the Ministry for Primary Industries to work across the Government, Māori, industry, land owners and other interested groups to develop a cost-effective One Billion Trees programme. It will establish a Ministerial Advisory Group for Forestry, to ensure a coordinated approach across Government to deliver the programme,” says Shane Jones. 

Investing In Our Children

Budget 2018 reinforces the Coalition Government’s commitment to improving care and assistance for the children and young people most in need, says Minister for Children Tracey Martin. “We know there’s nothing more important to New Zealand than the wellbeing of its children. The investments we are announcing today will better support caregivers, fund increased demand for child services and represent another step in the change required to transform New Zealand’s system of care and protection for children and young people,” says Tracey Martin. “Oranga Tamariki–Ministry for Children was established last year and some of its funding was time-limited. There are a number of areas with current funding pressures or where extra money is required to expand what it does. “This Budget provides Oranga Tamariki $269.9 million over the next four years to expand its services. “This includes Oranga Tamariki receiving $141.6 million over the next four years so more children and young people receive the care they need. This extra funding will provide for additional care placements, allow for pay increases for social workers and upgrade tools such as IT systems that help social workers do their jobs. “Over four years, a total of $139.5 million in operating funds will also be provided for changes that allow 17-year-olds to be included in the youth justice system. This funding – of which $13.4 million goes to Vote Courts – will provide for more Family Group Conferences and community responses, including extra remand beds. “Oranga Tamariki also receives $2.2 million for one year for a trial to improve the Family Group Conference process for tamariki Māori. In addition to the extra funding for Ministry services, Budget 2018 extra support for people caring for children who aren’t their own, no matter what their relationship is with the child, says Tracey Martin. “Carers, such as grandparents, have had to cover too much of the extra costs associated with raising children. “Three years ago, Parliament unanimously supported the private member’s bill I took on the issue, the Social Security (Clothing Allowances for Orphans and Unsupported Children) Amendment Act 2015). The Coalition Government’s first Budget puts the required money behind it. “We are providing $104.9 million of new operating funding over the next four years to provide a clothing allowance for children on the Orphan’s Benefit or Unsupported Child’s Benefit, paid at the same rate as the clothing allowance provided for children in foster care. “The new funding will ensure that carers, such as grandparents, are entitled to a clothing allowance of up to $1,500 a year for the children they’re looking after. The new allowance comes into effect on 1 July 2018. “This Government has committed to putting the well-being of children at the heart of what we do and Budget 2018 represents a significant step forward in this,” Tracey Martin says.

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