Coalition government

The leaders of the Labour Party and New Zealand First Party signed their coalition agreement today. Some of the policies that New Zealand First wanted are included in that agreement, for example not allowing foreigners to buy our land or houses. NZ First also wants regional rail to be developed and would like Auckland Port to be moved to Northland. However, that might depend on the cost. Another agreement is to increase the minimum wage from the present $15.75 to $20 in the next 4 years. There will also be free doctors’ visits for children under 14. High schools will include free driver training although we don’t know the details of that.

The leaders of Labour and The Greens also signed an agreement. Not surprisingly, this includes more urgent action on climate change and setting up an independent Climate Commission as some other countries have done. Transport is another concern of the Greens who believe light rail from Auckland downtown to the airport would reduce vehicle traffic. They also do not want the Auckland East -West road link to go ahead.

The Greens want a referendum on cannabis use by 2020. There is a lot of support among New Zealanders for allowing medicinal cannabis for pain relief but it is not yet available here. Another policy which is part of the agreement is free counselling for young people under 25 who are suffering mental distress. We will need many more counsellors or psychiatrists as there is a shortage at the moment.

These are just some of the policies. We will hear more details in the future.


• light rail – like a tram but faster
• referendum – a vote
• cannabis – marijuana
• medicinal (adj from the noun: medicine)
• mental distress – e.g. depression, mental illness
• psychiatrist – doctor specialising in mental illnesses