Election promises

Did you watch the leaders’ debate tonight on TV1 between the Prime Minister Bill English and the new leader of the Labour Party, Jacinda Ardern? Tonight’s debate focussed especially on housing, tax, immigration, education and selling water. They both spoke very well about their policies.

With the election just 3 weeks away, Labour and National are trying hard to win votes by making big promises.

National has promised to build ten more 4-lane highways in places where they are needed. Labour has promised more rail including rail to Hamilton and Tauranga. National will spend more money on improving rail in Auckland and Wellington.

National has promised to extend paid parental leave to 22 weeks at first, extending to 26 weeks in a few years. This is the amount of paid time a mother or father of a new-born baby can have at home before returning to work. Labour is promising something very similar.

Both parties are promising cheaper visits to GPs (family doctor) for those people on low incomes. Labour says they would spend $8bn more on public health in the next 4 years to try to keep up with increasing health needs.

Both parties also plan to build more houses, especially in Auckland. The National government has already started constructing more houses but this has not been fast enough to meet the needs. Labour wants to build more affordable houses so that first-home buyers will be able to afford a home of their own.

Labour has announced some new ideas for example a tax on water which is used commercially. That means companies who plan to bottle our water to sell. This tax would also affect farmers, as well fruit and vegetable growers who use irrigation. The tax money would be used for cleaning up rivers.

Labour also plans to offer free post-high school education at a polytechnic or a university. This would start with the first year free in 2018 and 3 years free education by 2024. The idea is to encourage more educated people for the future.

Labour wants to decrease the number of immigrants being accepted into our country. Instead they want more young New Zealanders to be trained to take some of the jobs that are going to immigrants at the moment.

These are just a few of the promises. To find out more, you could read their websites.


• debate – argument
• policies – plans for the future, their beliefs
• parental (adj) – adjective from parents (n)
• GP – General Practitioner, family doctor
• affordable (adj)– the amount a family could pay fairly easily
• irrigation – spraying water on the land so that plants can grow
• post-high school – after high school
• polytechnic – a vocational college

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