New Zealand First and Labour Coalition Agreement
After weeks of negotiations, New Zealand First and Labour have agreed to form a coalition government, putting an end to the uncertainty that has persisted since the election in September. The agreement, which was announced on Thursday, will see New Zealand First leader Winston Peters become deputy prime minister. Labour’s Jacinda Ardern will be the new prime minister, succeeding National’s Bill English.
The coalition agreement outlines a range of policy areas where the two parties will work together to achieve their shared goals. These include increasing the minimum wage, improving access to healthcare, and reducing child poverty. There will also be a significant focus on regional development, with a new $1 billion a year regional development fund and a promise to invest in rail infrastructure.
The agreement also includes sustainability measures, with a commitment to planting 100 million trees each year, increasing the use of renewable energy, and reducing carbon emissions. There will also be a review of the Emissions Trading Scheme, which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
There are concerns, however, about the impact that the coalition agreement will have on business. New Zealand First has traditionally been critical of foreign investment, and the agreement includes a pledge to strengthen the Overseas Investment Act. There will also be a review of the Reserve Bank Act, which could lead to changes in the way the bank operates.
The coalition agreement has been welcomed by some, who see it as a chance for Labour and New Zealand First to work together to address some of the country’s most pressing issues. Others are concerned about the impact that the agreement will have on business and the economy.
Overall, the New Zealand First and Labour coalition agreement marks a significant shift in the country’s political landscape. With a strong focus on regional development, sustainability, and reducing inequality, the government is likely to be seen as more progressive than the previous National-led government. The next few months will be crucial as the government begins to implement its policies and work towards delivering on its promises.