More and more New Zealanders are living in cities, in part because people are leaving the regions. At the same time, tourism is booming and regions face the challenges of economic transition.
Save thisIncrease funding for regional roading(...)Why
Labour believes that regional transport, and roads in particular, are struggling to keep up with growth in heavy traffic and tourist numbers. Funding outside the three main centres has not kept up with regional needs and some roads are poorly maintained.
Increasing funding for regional transport should improve the quality of regional roading and make transport safer.How
Labour would increase funding for regional transport.
The funding range available for regional transport would be doubled from $70 - $140 million to $140 to $280 million.
This funding would be available for transport projects outside major metropolitan areas which would create a regional economy benefit, such as upgrades of regional state highways or significant regional roads.
Labour would focus in particular on improvements directed at safety.
Save thisImpose a $25 levy on international visitors to fund tourism and conservation infrastructure(...)Why
Labour believes that tourism is essential to the economy. But in order to ensure that tourism succeeds, better infrastructure and services are needed in areas which see the most tourism.
At the moment, councils are facing pressure to support growing numbers of tourists but they aren’t receiving the resources needed to do this. Imposing a levy on international tourists should help pay for the new infrastructure needed to support growing tourism.How
Labour would impose a $25 levy on all international visitors arriving in New Zealand.
The money from the levy would be used to establish a Tourism and Conservation Infrastructure Fund which would invest $75 million a year into supporting the tourism economy.
Of this fund, $45 million per year would be invested in tourism infrastructure and training, with a special focus on high demand areas.
The remaining $30 million would be invested in protecting and enhancing the natural environment, as well as enhancing the infrastructure tourists use on conservation land.
Save thisEstablish a regional development fund to invest in regional economies(...)Why
Labour believes the National Government is neglecting the regions. Many face high unemployment as jobs and investment have gone to Auckland. New Zealand’s economic growth should be shared around the entire country.
Establishing a regional development fund to invest in the regional economy should unlock the diverse potential in each region, making the New Zealand economy more fair and resilient.How
Labour would establish a regional development fund. This would provide financial backing for projects that have the potential to support the development of the local economy and provide sustainable growth in the long term. The fund would be set up with a $200 million contribution from the government.
Initiatives proposed so far for support from the fund include establishment of a Centre of Digital Excellence in Dunedin, construction of a timber prefabrication plant in Gisborne, refurbishment of Maniototo Hospital in Central Otago, and repair of the Whanganui River moles.
Save thisEstablish a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga(...)Why
Labour believes that most of New Zealand’s population growth in the next 25 years will occur in and around Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. To make the most of growth, these areas need to be connected by a fast and reliable transport system.
Establishing a passenger rail service linking Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga should take pressure off the roads, support economic growth, and provide a platform for eventually developing regional rapid rail.How
Labour would establish a passenger rail service linking Auckland, Hamilton, and Tauranga. This service would provide journeys of three and a half hours from Tauranga to Auckland once per day, and just over two hours from Hamilton four times per day.
After trialling the service, Labour would consider making improvements to trains and tracks to support a faster service delivered by tilt-trains. and extending the network to Rotorua and regional towns, and building a tunnel through the Bombay Hills.
When complete, trains from Tauranga would connect to Auckland’s Britomart station, and the journey would take two and a quarter hours with trains running up to 160km/h.
Labour estimates the first stage of the project would cost $20 million.
Save thisEstablish a New Zealand Forest Service and National Forestry Strategy(...)Why
Labour believes the forestry industry is vital to many regional communities. But the industry has moved from processing to exporting raw logs, which has resulted in the loss of many good jobs.
A lack of strategy has resulted in uneven harvests and a lack of dependable supplies of wood for domestic processors and manufacturers.
A New Zealand Forest Service and National Forestry Strategy should be able to better coordinate the needs of the sector. This should lead to growth, more jobs and a larger part of the wood value-chain remaining in New Zealand.
Increasing forest coverage should also help combat climate change.How
Labour would establish a New Zealand Forest Service in Rotorua, with regional offices where required.
The Service would replace functions currently carried out by government departments in Wellington.
The Service would be responsible for implementing a National Forestry Strategy. It would also grow its own commercial forests where necessary and provide consultancy services to land owners to convert land to forest.
Labour would also require new government building projects to use wood as a first preference, including in KiwiBuild homes.
The sale of logging rights on land over 50 hectares to overseas purchasers would need Overseas Investment Office approval.
The New Zealand Forestry Service would be located with Scion, the Crown Research Institute that specialises in forestry and wood. Scion would be renamed the Forest Research Institute.
Labour estimates this policy would be cost-neutral.
As a part of its regional development fund policy, Labour has also committed $20 million to help construct a prefabricated housing plant in Gisborne.
;" class="bgcolor">Māori Party
Save thisAppoint regional ambassadors for every region(...)Why
The Māori Party believes that the regions have unique economic concerns. Appointing regional ambassadors for every region should ensure their particular needs and concerns are met.How
The Māori Party would appoint regional ambassadors for every region in the country.
These ambassadors would work with communities, mana whenua, government ministers and central and local government to advocate for their region. They would also act as a link between the Crown and the region and facilitate regional initiatives.
Save thisPay a percentage of mineral royalties to regional funds with mana whenua representation(...)Why
The Māori Party believes that the Māori economy is incredibly valuable. Investing mineral royalties back into the regions should support regional development and help take whānau from poverty to prosperity.How
The Māori Party would pay a percentage of mineral royalties to a regional body that has compulsory representation of mana whenua.
Save thisImpose a levy on international visitors to pay for infrastructure and conservation(...)Why
The Māori Party believes that natural resources should be managed in a way that protects the environment. Imposing a levy on tourists should allow councils and communities to maintain tourist sites without placing too much of a burden on taxpayers.How
The Māori Party would impose a levy on tourists entering Aotearoa to pay for infrastructure at tourist sites and to protect the environment.
Save thisEstablish IwiRail to redevelop regional railways(...)Why
The Māori Party believes rail has a critical role in shaping the future of the regions by breaking the isolation of hard to reach communities and producing more jobs and economic growth. Since the 1980s, transport investment has been too narrowly focused on roads and regional rail and communities have been neglected.
Establishing IwiRail to redevelop regional railways should improve access to the regions and reduce the reliance on trucking and roads. It would also provide an investment opportunity for iwi and citizens, and bring new employment and tourism opportunities to the regions.How
The Māori Party would establish IwiRail to redevelop regional railways. IwiRail would construct new lines, take over leases of key regional rail lines and re-open closed lines.
The priority in the first ten years would be the takeover of rail line leases across key regional rail lines in Taranaki, Waikato-Tauranga and Napier-Gisborne.
The network would run high speed, digitally connected and carbon neutral trains, and IwiRail would offer freight and passenger services consistent with Māori values, including affordable access and fair pricing.
The Māori Party would also reintroduce rail sector wages and job training subsidies to support the staffing of IwiRail and provide good jobs for people in the regions.
IwiRail would receive $100 million per year from the National Land Transport Fund for regional line upgrades and maintenance. An initial investment of $350 million for an infrastructure fund would be raised through a mixture of public, iwi and private investment.
Fund shareholders would receive an 8 per cent return on investment. Iwi and New Zealand citizens would have preferential rights to invest and their investment guaranteed.
The Māori Party would also reintroduce rail sector wages and job training subsidies to support the staffing of IwiRail and provide good jobs for people in the regions.
Save thisSupport joint ventures between iwi, industry and businesses in the regions(...)Why
The Māori Party believes that the issues of jobs and economic development are incredibly important, and particularly in the regions.How
The Māori Party would introduce incentives for joint ventures between iwi, industry and businesses in the regions.
;" class="bgcolor">NZ First
Save thisMove all shipping operations from the Port of Auckland to Northport in Whangarei(...)Why
New Zealand First believes it’s time for visionary thinking for the regions. Current plans for a port at Thames are too expensive and environmentally destructive.
Moving shipping operations from Auckland to Northport should give Aucklanders use of 77 hectares of waterfront land, and drive an economic renaissance in Northland.How
New Zealand First would move all shipping operations from the Port of Auckland to Northport in Whangarei by the end of 2027. The transition would begin with vehicle deliveries being transferred by 2019.
Northport would be developed to become a mega-port. The current development of a port in Thames would be stopped. The Auckland to Northland rail line would be upgraded and a new spur to Northport added.
New Zealand First would also commission a design for a new cruise terminal and cooperate with the Auckland Council to develop a masterplan for former port land on the waterfront.
As part of this change, Northport would also be designated New Zealand’s first Special Economic Area. The Area would be duty-free, GST-free and tax-free, opening the door to value-add manufacturing, logistics and re-exporting.
More generally, New Zealand First would create a comprehensive ports and coast shipping strategy.
Save thisEstablish special economic areas in Northland and Southland(...)Why
New Zealand First believes it’s time for visionary thinking for the regions. Northland has some of the worst social statistics in New Zealand with decades of neglected infrastructure and Southland’s economic situation is overly reliant on Tiwai Point Smelter, the future of which is uncertain.
Special Economic Areas, where taxes and compliance requirements are lowered, have been successful overseas in attracting value-added manufacturing and logistics business. Establishing special economic zones in Northland and Southland near the ports should promote economic growth and support more jobs.How
New Zealand First would create special economic areas near the ports in Northland and Southland.
Business and individuals working in the special economic areas would be exempt from customs duties, GST, company and income tax. There would be lower compliance requirements for business conducted in the special economic areas.
The first special economic area would be near Northport in Whangarei. New Zealand First would, subject to discussions with the people of Invercargill and Southland, establish a second special economic area near South Port in Invercargill by the end of 2019.
Save thisPay 25 per cent of mineral, petroleum and water royalties to regional development funds(...)Why
New Zealand First believes that multinational companies are extracting resources from New Zealand without paying enough back. Wealth generated from resource extraction in the regions should benefit the regions, but they have been left out of New Zealand’s economic growth while the National Government pursues globalist policies.
Paying royalties from mineral, petroleum and water extraction into regional development funds should support greater investment in services and infrastructure in the regions and economic regeneration.How
New Zealand First would pay 25 per cent of royalties the government receives from mineral, petroleum and water extraction to regional development funds for spending on local projects and developments. The local community, including councils, iwi and interest groups, would be involved in determining how the fund would be spent.
New Zealand First estimates this programme would result in over $100 million being paid into the regional development fund.
Water is not currently subject to royalties, but New Zealand First would require water extraction companies to pay royalties in the same way as other extractive industries.
Save thisReturn GST revenue from tourism spending to the regions where the money is spent(...)Why
New Zealand First believes that the National Government boasts of a tourism bonanza but gives almost nothing back to the regions to fund the cost of it. Regional infrastructure has been overlooked. Tourism produces significant GST revenue for the government, and most of that is earned from tourists visiting regions.
Returning all GST from tourist expenditure to the regions in which the money was spent should provide the funding necessary to invest in vital regional infrastructure.How
New Zealand First would return the full GST from tourists to the regions in which they spent the money. New Zealand First has proposed that this revenue could be spent on developing tourism infrastructure, providing job training, sealing roads and building more two-lane bridges.
Save thisShift government departments to regional centres(...)Why
New Zealand First believes that the regions are the key to improving New Zealand’s productivity and standard of living. But the National Government has neglected regional New Zealand. Shifting government departments like the Ministry of Primary Industries to the regions should make government more responsive to the needs of the regions.How
New Zealand First would shift government departments like the Ministry of Primary Industries from Wellington and Auckland to regional centres.
Save thisOppose new restrictions on immigration(...)Why
ACT believes that New Zealand needs qualified immigrants to keep the economy strong, to build housing, and support the elderly in aged care homes. The regions in particular need access to migrant labour to continue to grow.
New Zealand businesses need to have access to global talent, and immigration rules should support this. Proposed restrictions on immigration are populist, anti-immigrant, and should be opposed.How
ACT would oppose new restrictions on immigration.
Save thisContinue to support regions to plan economic development(...)Why
National believes that when the regions do well, New Zealand does well. The regions are diverse, with unique resources, infrastructure and people and have different aspirations for developing social and economic potential.
Continuing to support regions to plan economic development should help each region grow in a targeted way.How
National would continue to support regions to plan economic development through the Regional Growth Programme.
Under this programme the government supports regional leaders in identifying the region’s economic opportunities and in formulating an economic action plan which specifies activities to increase employment, household income and investment. The government then assists with the implementation of the plan. The Government appoints a Senior Regional Officer as a single representative for government at a regional governance level.
As a part of Budget 2017, National allocated $14 million to fund the Regional Growth Programme. In past years, economic plans have been established for Tai Tokerau/Northland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne/Tairāwhiti, Manawatū-Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay, Canterbury and Southland.
Save thisExpand broadband into more rural areas(...)Why
National believes that access to fast and reliable broadband is critical to growing New Zealand’s regional economies. Faster internet supports productive businesses, improvements to health care through video-conferencing, and improved access to online resources for students and teachers.
Expanding broadband into more rural areas should ensure businesses operating in rural new Zealand can benefit from the productivity improvements that better connectivity offers.How
National would expand high-speed broadband into more rural areas under the Rural Broadband Initiative.
This funding would go to a combination of fixed lines upgrades and new fixed wireless coverage, as well as the construction of more than 450 new towers.
National would allocate $140 million toward this and improving mobile coverage in rural areas. This funding is in addition to the $150 million already allocated for rural broadband and mobile coverage, and the $130 million in additional funding for ultrafast broadband in urban areas.
This policy, together with National’s ultrafast broadband policy, would be funded by $240 million of recycled capital from earlier stages of the ultrafast broadband policy and $30 million from the Telecommunications Development Levy.
National estimates that this policy would provide broadband to another 74,000 rural households and businesses, and that 99 per cent of New Zealanders will have access to high speed internet by 2022.
Save thisEstablish a programme to match young people with employers in the regions(...)Why
National believes that most young people move into education, training or employment but there are a small number of young people who need more targeted help. Establishing programmes to help young people into work in regions with high youth unemployment should help get young people off benefits and into work while meeting the growing needs of the regional economy.How
National would establish a programme to improve youth employment in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Eastern Bay of Plenty and the East Coast called the Youth Employment Pathways programme. These regions have a high proportion of young people who are not in education, training or employment.
The programme would coordinate employers, training providers, NGOs and government agencies to develop locally-led programmes. The local programmes would match young people who have been out of work for six months or more to employers and provide intensive support to keep the young person in employment.
There would be up to 5,280 places in the programme. The programme is based on past initiatives such as Project 1000 in Hawke’s Bay and Kaikohe Grow in Northland.
National has allocated $42 million over four years to fund the programme. A further $8 million has been allocated for initiatives focussed on supporting young Māori into work.
Save thisTighten freedom camping rules and increase funding for tourism infrastructure(...)Why
National believes that tourism is hugely important to the economy. Freedom campers in particular stay longer and spend more than other visitors.
But some freedom campers don’t treat New Zealand’s public spaces with enough respect, and regional communities are facing increasing demand on infrastructure and facilities.
Tightening freedom camping rules should help councils penalise those who break the rules, protect public spaces, and help ensure the regions can keep up with the growth in tourism.How
National would tighten freedom camping rules.
All non self-contained vehicles would be restricted to areas within easy walking distance from toilet facilities.
Currently Councils and the Department of Conservation have the power to ban freedom camping in certain areas. This power would be extended to LINZ and the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Councils and the Department of Conservation would also be allowed to issue instant fines to those who break the rules. If the fine can’t be paid on the spot, it would be assigned to the vehicle owner, including rental car companies.
National would also continue to support tourism in the regions through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund. This provides resources to local councils and community organisations for projects like new carparks, toilets and freedom camping facilities. As a part of Budget 2017, the National Government allocated it $61 million.
Save thisBuild ten more Roads of National Significance(...)Why
National believes that strong transport connections are critical to support New Zealand’s regions and economic prosperity.
The original seven Roads of National Significance funded by the National Government, which are now either complete or under construction, have improved safety and travel times around the country.
Expanding the Roads of National Significance programme should reduce congestion and travel times, provide better access to regional centres, contribute to economic growth and make New Zealand’s state highways safer.How
National would build ten new Roads of National Significance.
The Roads of National Significance programmes involves improving, constructing or extending State Highways that are nationally important and which require work to reduce congestion, improve safety and support economic growth. There have been seven Roads of National Significance so far.
Roads built under the programme typically have four lanes, separation between traffic flows, wide lanes, safe roadsides, high quality landscaping and environmental controls, and high quality signage.
The ten new Roads of National Significance would be Wellsford to Whangarei, the East West Link in Auckland, Cambridge to Tirau, Piarere to the foot of the Kaimai Range, Tauranga to Katikati, Napier to Hastings, Manawatu Gorge, Levin to Sanson, the Christchurch Northern Motorway, and Christchurch to Ashburton.
National estimates the new roads would cost around $10.5 billion in addition to the $12 billion invested in the first seven. They would be funded from the National Land Transport Fund and through public-private partnerships.
Save thisImpose a $20 levy on international visitors to pay for tourism infrastructure and conservation(...)Why
The Green Party believes that New Zealand’s national parks, rivers, beaches and wildlife are taonga and are worth fighting for. But increasing tourist numbers and a lack of investment in basic infrastructure like public toilets is putting these under strain.
A $20 levy on international visitors would bring in new funding for regional tourism facilities and conservation while ensuring that access to National Parks and public buildings remain free.How
The Green Party would impose a $20 levy on all international visitors arriving in New Zealand.
Three quarters of the proceeds from the levy would be spent on Predator Free New Zealand, while the other quarter would go to the Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Fund.
Predator Free New Zealand is an initiative to eradicate pests and the Tourism Facilities Fund supports councils to fund tourism infrastructure and facilities, such as restrooms, car parks, wastewater, and water supply projects.
The levy would be added into existing border charges. The total visitor border charge would be $50, which is lower than Australia and the United Kingdom.
Save thisEstablish passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga(...)Why
The Green Party believes that insufficient investment in rail and coastal shipping has forced more and more trucks onto the roads, making them more dangerous for all road users and driving up pollution. Diesel trains are particularly polluting and expensive to run.
Regional rail has the potential to become a valuable alternative to cars, especially as the population grows. At the moment, the Government has allowed regional rail services to deteriorate. The Green Party believes that investing in regional rail is a proactive way to manage future population growth and growing congestion in cities.
Trialling an electrified rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga should improve New Zealand’s regional rail services, reduce carbon emissions, and bring down freight costs.How
The Green Party would trial a passenger rail service for the ‘golden triangle’ between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. Starting in 2019, this would run five times daily between Auckland and Hamilton, and do a once daily return trip to Tauranga.
The Green Party expects it to take about 2 hours and 15 minutes to travel between Hamilton and Auckland, and 3 hours and 30 minutes from Tauranga to Auckland. If successful, the trial could be expanded to include a faster service from 2025.
The Green Party estimates this trial would cost $20 million over five years. This funding would come from money that would otherwise be allocated to the National Government’s planned motorway expansions. Implementing a faster service from 2025 would cost about $400 million.
The Green Party would also electrify this line. Electrifying the lines would cost $860 million and new electric locomotives would cost $480 million.
When the project is completed, the Green Party would complete the electrification of rail between Auckland and Wellington, which would involve filling the gap in the electric network between Waikanae and Palmerston North.
Save thisImpose a $20 levy on international visitors to pay for infrastructure and conservation(...)Why
The Opportunities Party believes that economic growth must not come at the expense of the environment. Tourism is now the country’s biggest export earner, and almost half of all visitors come for the nature, but increasing tourist numbers are putting pressure on New Zealand’s natural assets.
Tourist companies, including Air New Zealand, do not pay for the true costs of their businesses. Introducing a levy on visitors should help provide the infrastructure to make tourism sustainable.How
The Opportunities Party would impose a $20 levy on all tourists entering the country. This would be built into airline fees.
This levy would incorporate a biodiversity charge, an insurance charge and a tourist facilities charge.
The biodiversity charge would be invested through an independently managed fund with partners to get the best biodiversity return. It may also be invested in regional Nature Improvement Funds, which the Opportunities Party would create to allow regional councils to invest in environmentally beneficial projects.
The insurance charge would cover the costs of rescuing foreign visitors’ rescue costs and ACC imposts.
The tourist facilities charge would be used to construct sanitation facilities in small towns and in national parks.