Ardern reaffirms ban on foreign buyers as Winston declares 'NZ is no longer for sale'

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Incoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to stop foreign buyers purchasing existing houses in New Zealand, as she unveiled details of Labour's coalition agreement with New Zealand First.

The parties signed their coalition agreement in parliament today.
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After signing the deal in front of media, Ms Ardern was flanked by NZ First leader Winston Peters as she spoke.

"Today represents a huge step change in the future of the New Zealand government. Today we have established the beginnings of a strong, proactive government. The majority of New Zealanders voted for change," Ms Ardern said.

"We will stop foreign buyers from buying in our existing housing market," she said.

“We have agreed on banning the purchase of existing homes by foreign buyers. Also have plans around farmland and other critical infrastructure.

The pair appears to have an easy rapport in the early moments of their coalition.
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“Our goal and commitment is to ban foreign buyers from the existing housing market," Ms Ardern said, saying these are non-resident buyers.

Mr Peters said a message has been sent that New Zealand is "no longer for sale".

“The reality is there is going to be a change and a clear signal sent internationally that New Zealand is no longer for sale in the way it has been. We’re happy with that," he said.

Ms Ardern said the new Government will focus on the neglected regions and raise the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour in April 2018, up from $15.75. 

PM-elect Jacinda Ardern says the two parties are committed to growing the economy and creating a fairer NZ.
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“In our first 100 days our first change that will be legislated will be $16.50 starting in April 2018.

“New Zealanders deserve to have a wage that they can live on, that they can survive on that they can have a quality of life with," she said.

"We have prioritised regional economic development and job creation for New Zealanders. "You'll see a reduction in inequalities."

The agreement encompasses investment in regional rail and “huge” investment in forestry, Ms Ardern said.

The Labour and NZ First leaders are set to lead the country for the next three years.
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She said she's "absolutely comfortable with where we landed" over policy agreements.

An additional $8 billion has been put aside for health funding, and additional investment in policing will see a total of $100 million for 1800 police officers. 

“We want to go through the process of precisely costing every policy.” 

Reserve Bank review

Ms Ardern said the new government will review the Reserve Bank Act to change the objectives of the act.

"We’re committed to a review more broadly," she said, including having the RBNZ governor consult more broadly with the board and changing the membership of the board.

"We’re open to a review."

Another policy is to introduce a Zero Carbon Act and create an Independent Climate Commission.

Mr Peters said the government will “seriously examine” how defence spending is being allocated.

Ms Ardern revealed her phone call from US President Donald Trump yesterday morning lasted five minutes.

"The relationship with the US is incredibly important and it will not change," she said.

Ms Ardern revealed her phone call from US President Donald Trump yesterday morning lasted five minutes.

"The relationship with the US is incredibly important and it will not change," she said.

She would not go into details about the TPP agreement but said she wanted to increase exports for New Zealand.

Another funding allocation will be $16 million to cover free doctor visits for Gold Card holders.

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