Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has launched a list of 12 priorities which will act as a blueprint for the Government’s legislative and policy agenda, saying the document establishes a long-term vision for all three coalition members.
Speaking to an invited audience at the Auckland University of Technology, Ardern revealed what has been called “Our Plan”, covering economic, social and cultural priorities for the Government.
The launch of the goals, work on which started in March, comes amidst uncertainty about the Government’s agenda, with New Zealand First calling into question a number of law changes or policies being promoted by Labour.
Ardern said the plan represented the shared vision and priorities of all three government parties, and included issues of particular importance to each party which were supported by all.
“Our Government has a firm eye on the future. That’s why our plan is looking 30 years ahead, not just three.”
The priorities are split into three broad themes.
Under ‘Building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy’, there are commitments to “grow and share New Zealand’s prosperity’; deliver responsible governance with a broader measure of success; support thriving and sustainable regions; and transition to a clean, green and carbon-neutral New Zealand.
Within ‘Improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families’, the Government says it will “ensure everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering”; “support healthier, safer and more connected communities”; “ensure everyone has a warm, dry home”; and “make New Zealand the best place in the world for children”.
For ‘Providing new leadership by government’, there are promises to “deliver transparent, transformative and compassionate government”; “build closer partnerships with Maori”; “value who we are as a country”; and “create an international reputation we can be proud of”.
Ardern said the priorities would act as the Government’s “guiding force”, with Cabinet committees ensuring any Budget bids met the goals and that they were being delivered.
“Cabinet will remain the ultimate guardian of the priorities and the documents,” she said.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was the surprise first speaker at the launch event, in what may have been an attempt to show he and Ardern have patched up the miscommunication between the two parties – although Peters took a number of swipes at the media for their recent reporting.