Former NZ Deputy Prime Minister says National’s 100-Day Plan is “Most Regressive Policy Agenda NZ has Ever Seen”

This is actually the most regressive policy agenda I think we've ever seen. And as a New Zealander I'm quite ashamed and embarrassed that we have a government leading us down this track."

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Photo: Stuff.co.nz

The incoming New Zealand Government has confirmed its plan for its first 100 days, with 49 items Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says are “ambitious for New Zealand”.

“Our government is starting the way we mean to go on – ambitious for New Zealand. With 49 actions to deliver in the next 100 days, this plan is hugely ambitious but we will be working as hard as we can,” he said.

Many changes focus on repealing and stopping Labour government-era programmes — including the Clean Car Discount and Fair Pay Agreement legislations.

“I think we’re going to do more in 100 days than the (last) government did in the last six years,” says Prime Minister Luxon.

However, Samoan and former Deputy Prime Minister, Carmel Sepuloni, has labelled the new government’s 100-day plan as “the most regressive policy agenda” she has ever seen.

“This is actually the most regressive policy agenda I think we’ve ever seen. And as a New Zealander I’m quite ashamed and embarrassed that we have a government leading us down this track.”

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson has called it a “random, visionless, and harmful grab bag of policies” which “does not represent our future”.

“Thousands of people are struggling to put food on the table, yet all they are seeing on their televisions and in the papers are a group of politicians messing around with pet projects and petty grievances.”

The plan revolves around three focus areas: The economy, law and order, and public services.

The 49 prioritised actions announced include:

  1. Repeal the Clean Car Discount scheme by December 31, 2023.
  2. Ban the use of cell phones in schools.
  3. Introduce legislation to remove the Auckland Fuel Tax.
  4. Repeal Fair Pay Agreement legislation.
  5. Stop “blanket speed limit reductions” and start work on replacing the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022.
  6. Stop central government work on the Auckland Light Rail project.
  7. Start work to improve the quality of regulation.
  8. Introduce legislation to repeal the Water Services Entities Act 2022, also known as the Three Waters reforms
  9. Introduce legislation to ban gang patches, stop gang members gathering in public, and stop known gang offenders from communicating with one another.
  10. Give police greater powers to search gang members for firearms and make gang membership an aggravating factor at sentencing.
  11. Introduce legislation to disestablish the Māori Health Authority.
  12. Begin work to repeal the Therapeutics Products Act 2023
  13. Allow the sale of cold medication containing pseudoephedrine
  14. Require primary and intermediate schools to teach an hour of reading, writing and maths per day starting in 2024.
  15. Begin disestablishing Te Pukenga.
  16. Stop all work on He Puapua.
  17. Stop work on the Income Insurance Scheme.
  18. Stop work on Industry Transformation Plans.
  19. Stop work on the Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme.
  20. Begin efforts to double renewable energy production, including a National Policy Statement on Renewable Electricity Generation.
  21. Withdraw central government from Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM).
  22. Meet with councils and communities to establish regional requirements for recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent major flooding events.
  23. Make any additional Orders in Council needed to speed up cyclone and flood recovery efforts.
  24. Start reducing public sector expenditure, including consultant and contractor expenditure.
  25. Introduce legislation to narrow the Reserve Bank’s mandate to price stability.
  26. Cancel fuel tax hikes.
  27. Begin work on a new Government Policy Statement reflecting the new Roads of National Significance and new public transport priorities.
  28. Introduce legislation to restore 90-day trial periods for all businesses.
  29. Begin work on a National Infrastructure Agency.
  30. Repeal the Spatial Planning and Natural and Built Environment Act and introduce a fast-track consenting regime.
  31. Begin to cease implementation of new Significant Natural Areas and seek advice on the operation of the areas.
  32. Take policy decisions to amend the Overseas Investment Act 2005 to make it easier for build-to-rent housing to be developed in New Zealand.
  33. Begin work to enable more houses to be built, by implementing the National Party’s Going for Housing Growth policy and making the Medium Density Residential Standards optional for councils.
  34. Abolish the previous Labour government’s prisoner reduction target.
  35. Stop taxpayer funding for section 27 cultural reports.
  36. Introduce legislation to extend eligibility to offence-based rehabilitation programmes to remand prisoners.
  37. Begin work to crack down on serious youth offending.
  38. Enable more virtual participation in court proceedings.
  39. Begin to repeal and replace Part 6 of the Arms Act 1983 relating to clubs and ranges.
  40. Improve security for the health workforce in hospital emergency departments.
  41. Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Waikato University to progress a third medical school.
  42. By December 1, lodge a reservation against adopting amendments to World Health Organisation health regulations to allow the Government to consider these against a “national interest test”.
  43. Appoint an Expert Group to redesign the English and maths curricula for primary school students.
  44. Begin work on delivering better public services and strengthening democracy.
  45. Set five major targets for health system, including for wait times and cancer treatment.
  46. Take first steps to extend free breast cancer screening to those aged up to 74.
  47. Repeal amendments to the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 and regulations.
  48. Establish a priority one category on the social housing waitlist to move families out of emergency housing into permanent homes more quickly.
  49. Commission an independent review into Kāinga Ora’s financial situation, procurement, and asset management.