Formation of new government completed with signing of coalition deals

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The formation of the new government has been completed with Labour signing a coalition agreement with New Zealand First and a support agreement with the Greens.

PM-elect Jacinda Ardern and Winston Peters revealed details of their policy deals – how will it affect you?
Source: 1 NEWS

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, who will be sworn in as prime minister on Thursday, signed the agreements with NZ First leader Winston Peters and Greens's leader James Shaw on Tuesday.

NZ First is officially in coalition with Labour in a deal that has scored the party 15 portfolio positions and Mr Peters as deputy prime minster.

The Greens are on board through an agreement that gives them three ministers outside cabinet including climate change and conservation.

The pair appears to have an easy rapport in the early moments of their coalition.
Source: 1 NEWS

The big takeaway for NZ First is a $1 billion annual Regional Development (Provincial Growth) Fund to cover investment in regional rail and a feasibility study on options for moving the Ports of Auckland, potentially to Northland.

NZ First had advocated for much needed reinvestment in the regions after a period of neglect under National, Ms Ardern said.

"We are committed to making sure we rebuild our regions, that there is strong growth and that there are job opportunities," she said.

Both were pleased with the agreement they reached. Ms Ardern said some of Labour's policies had been enhanced, though Mr Peters noted he would never have got everything NZ First wanted.

He did also manage to secure a review and reforms of the Reserve Bank Act, a Waka Jumping Bill that he's backed since 1999, a SuperGold smartcard for superannuitants and re-entry of the Pike River Mine.

There will be a royalty on exports of bottled water, increased funding for the Department of Conservation, and a focus on ensuring work visas for immigration reflect genuine skills shortages.

Watch: 'I'm not hinting at anything!' Jacinda Ardern has journalists in giggles after cracking Winston Peters Foreign Minister funny
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The parties are in consensus on the Trans Pacific Partnership, sharing views on banning foreign overseas buyers from purchasing existing homes and ongoing concerns about investor-state dispute settlement clauses.

Ms Ardern declined to say whether a Labour government would back out of the deal if those issues weren't addressed, not wanting to hurt her negotiating position before APEC next month.

Ms Ardern said policies would be funded through baseline and reprioritisation, and fitted in Labour's budget responsibility rules.

"We from opposition at the time of negotiation have been able to put numbers on most of these policies but we want to make sure that we put out numbers that they will be robust and we'll be using the state sector and civil service to do that."

Ministers' roles to be announced

The agreement also outlines portfolio positions for NZ First - four ministerial postings inside cabinet and a parliamentary undersecretary.

The portfolios are foreign affairs, infrastructure, regional economic development, internal affairs, seniors, defence, veterans' affairs, children, forestry, state owned enterprises, racing, associate finance and associate education.

Ms Ardern will officially reveal on Wednesday which MPs will take on what portfolios.

Ms Ardern says the public will have their say on the issue, a major win for the Green Party.
Source: 1 NEWS

But it's expected Mr Peters will be responsible for foreign affairs, his deputy Ron Mark for defence and senior MP Tracey Martin for children and associate education.

The agreement with the Greens is less comprehensive, but it commits to increased investment in public transport and more money for conservation - one of its MPs, Eugenie Sage, is expected to be named as Minister for Conservation.

The agreement says "excessive sanctions" on beneficiaries will be removed, a big step back from the Greens' campaign policy of removing all sanctions.

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