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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.

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Regional Development

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.

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New Zealand is renowned as one of the easiest places in the world to do business — you can set up a company in just a couple of hours. And mostly the parties agree more business is good business. But they differ on which kinds of business, and what the government should do to support it.

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Primary Industries

The proverbial land of milk and honey, New Zealand’s exports account for nearly a third of the economy. A fifth of all exports are dairy products of one kind or another. But intensive agriculture has its environmental costs, and the government spends a significant amount of money supporting the industry.

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The main way the government gets money is through tax. Less tax tends to mean less government spending on services. More tax, more government spending on services.

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Growth and Job Creation

The government is a crucial part of any national economy. But how actively should it be involved, and in which areas?

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Government Finance

How the government manages its books can affect how much it can spend and borrow. Surplus is the magic word. It means the government has taken in more money than it has spent, and has some left over. But parties disagree about how much a government should prioritise achieving a surplus, especially if this means underfunding key services.

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The oceans are both a source of income and recreation for NZ. But should we be taking better care of this resource? And whose rights to go fishing should be prioritised?

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Internet and technology

New technology is fast changing everything from the way we communicate to the way we get around. But who should take the lead in developing new technologies? And what should be done to ensure the next generation has the knowledge and skills it needs to keep up?