Housing

Something’s up with housing — it’s a ‘crisis’ or a ‘challenge’, depending on who you ask. House...

Something’s up with housing — it’s a ‘crisis’ or a ‘challenge’, depending on who you ask. House prices and rents are rising faster than wages. There’s a shortage of social housing for those who can’t afford to rent or own their own place. And thousands are living rough, with many more living in temporary or insecure situations.

Environment

Access to the outdoors is often thought of as central to the Kiwi way of life and a critical...

Access to the outdoors is often thought of as central to the Kiwi way of life and a critical tourist drawcard. But some say we’re not doing enough to protect these assets. Much debate centres on the state of waterways, and what to do in the face of of climate change.

Migration

How many people come to NZ, and why they come here, has become a hot-button issue this election...

How many people come to NZ, and why they come here, has become a hot-button issue this election. Some say immigration is putting too much pressure on housing and labour markets, and that NZ lacks the infrastructure to deal with population growth. And with a refugee crisis unfolding around the world, NZ’s refugee quota has also come under scrutiny.

Education

The third biggest chunk of government spending, after benefits and health, goes to education....

The third biggest chunk of government spending, after benefits and health, goes to education. From pre-school to uni, the principles on which the sector operates, and how its users pay for it, are in many ways at the core of NZ’s values.

Incomes

The amount of money in your pocket is not just the result of how much you get paid, but how much...

The amount of money in your pocket is not just the result of how much you get paid, but how much the government decides to tax you or support you through income support, such as benefits, Working for Families payments and superannuation. These policies affect how much money you get. And how much everyone else does, too.

Health

Health problems hit us everywhere from the head to the heart to the teeth, and that means a...

Health problems hit us everywhere from the head to the heart to the teeth, and that means a range of services. In the public health system, most services are free or subsidised. Amid advances in technology and increasing life expectancy, however, pressure on the health dollar is high.

Transport

The government plays a crucial role in helping in helping Kiwis get from A to B. It builds roads...

The government plays a crucial role in helping in helping Kiwis get from A to B. It builds roads, helps to pay for public transport and takes freight across the country through KiwiRail, the state-owned rail operator. But opinions differ on priorities. Should roads remain king, or do congestion, climate and new technologies mean we need to rethink how we travel?

Economy

A vibrant and healthy society depends on a strong economy. NZ’s economy has fared comparatively...

A vibrant and healthy society depends on a strong economy. NZ’s economy has fared comparatively well over the last decade and continues to grow. But some say the benefits of this prosperity aren’t being shared fairly, arguing, for example, that the regions or those most disadvantaged are missing out.

Justice

The way we treat those who break the law says a lot about NZ. Some reckon it says we’re not...

The way we treat those who break the law says a lot about NZ. Some reckon it says we’re not doing enough to help those who break the law back into society, while others say a harsher approach is necessary to protect New Zealanders from crime.

Te ao Māori

Te ao Māori, or the Māori world, is shorthand for the role that indigenous culture and...

Te ao Māori, or the Māori world, is shorthand for the role that indigenous culture and principles, including the Treaty of Waitangi, tikanga (practices) te reo (the language) and more, play in society and government.

Equity

NZ prides itself on being a fair and inclusive place, but it’s clear some people find it harder...

NZ prides itself on being a fair and inclusive place, but it’s clear some people find it harder than others to live the lives they want. Women, the LGBTQI community and people with disabilities all face unique challenges not experienced more widely. But what should the government do to help?