Our policy process
One of the most important things a political party can do in Opposition is take a good look at its policies and plan for New Zealand. It’s a time to look at what worked and what can be done better. After nine years in government we’re doing exactly that.
We had some real successes. Under our economic plan New Zealand was among the fastest-growing economies in the developed world, we were creating 10,000 new jobs a month, and Ma¯ori and Pasifika were achieving more than ever before in education. We should be building on those successes. But there were areas where we could have done better, and we need to learn those lessons and improve our approach.
So we’re going to take this time in Opposition to refresh ourselves and our ideas — running the ruler over our existing policies, and proposing new ones for 2020. Should we earn the right to govern in 2020, we’ll be ready. This government’s 170-odd reviews and working groups so far, the stagnation and lack of certainty shows what happens when you’re not.
We have a thorough process under way, and we want to make sure you understand it. This year is about listening. We want to hear from you — parents and pupils, families and farmers, businesses and communities.
That’s why we’ve kicked off our ‘Have Your Say’ campaign. We’ve started with small businesses. We know they are the engine room of our economy, and we want to hear from them what we can do to help them succeed. They know their businesses better than we do, and 2600 people have responded so far.
We’ll be looking at a number of other important areas including rural New Zealand and seniors, but the ‘Have Your Say’ campaign is just part of it.
Every day when our MPs are at Parliament we meet to discuss ideas and put forward proposals. We have MPs focused on everything from social issues, law and order and the economy through to health and education.
Our MPs are coming up with the ideas to improve the lives of Kiwis. And when we’re not at Parliament, all 56 of us are getting around the country and hearing from New Zealanders.
Next year we’ll invite people to respond to our proposals, and we’ll set out our concrete plans in the lead-up to the 2020 election.
We also have 45 bills in the ballot, 45 proposals from National MPs ranging from efforts to hold people to account for a coward’s punch to helping more children learn a second language and allowing parents to take parental leave together. We’ve already had some legislation passed, including giving more financial support to foster children. And where we agree we’re working with the government on important issues including climate change and child poverty.
All that’s on top of holding this government to account. When we believe the government is doing things that will harm New Zealanders we will oppose it; it might seem like we’re being negative — we see it as being protective. As Simon Bridges has said, we will continue to be the hardest-working Opposition New Zealand has ever seen.
"We’ll be looking at a number of other important areas including rural New Zealand and seniors, but the ‘Have Your Say’ campaign is just part of it. "