Labour and NZ First reveal new policies as Bill English vows to fight on as National leader in opposition

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's coverage of the new Government unveiling their joint set of policies and National leader Bill English vowing to fight on in opposition.
 

5:20pm An in-depth look at Bill English's media address where he vowed to hold the new Government to account.

Bill English backed by National caucus, intends leading party into 2020.

5:12pm Ministerial positions for four NZ First cabinet ministers include deputy prime minister and foreign minister - for Mr Peters - as well as defence, regional economic development and forestry.

Ministerial portfolios for the Greens are climate change - which Mr Shaw will take - conservation, women, land information, associate environment, statistics, associate transport and associate health.

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5:00pm A more in-depth look at the proposed cannabis referendum and other Labour/Greens policies that were listed today.

'It's time to take this to the public' – Jacinda Ardern backs Greens demand for cannabis referendum 

4:51pm That's the end of the press conferences, now the analysis begins!

Mr English says his party will fight for New Zealand from the other side of the house. Source: 1 NEWS

4:50pm Here are Mr English's opening remarks.

4:46pm When asked for one word which would sum up a National term in opposition Mr English said: "Positive leadership." He says he earned more votes than the current Prime Minister and is in a strong position to hold the coalition to account.

4:44pm The niceties are over and the gloves are off! With Mr English outlining his skepticism around many of the new coalitions plans.

4:40pm Bill English has begun his term in opposition, stating that National will hold the new Government to account, saying the new policies are confusing and that they're trying to prepare the public for a slowing economy while also raising wages at the same time.

4:38pm As expected Bill English has been voted in to remain as National Party leader, he vows to fight on as a large opposition.

4:35pm LIVE: National holds first caucus meeting after losing power - what now for Bill English?

4:29pm One more to go! Bill English up next with the future of the National Party high on the agenda.

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

4:25pm Watch Ms Ardern's comments on the public referendum set to go ahead on legalising cannabis.

4:23pm Conservation investment in DOC will increase, the Minister for Conservation will bid for amount.

4:20pm The new Government will honour existing irrigation schemes but not subsidise them in the future.

4:19pm James Shaw says not being in Cabinet is the best deal for the Green Party, in reference to the blind negotiations that took place.

4:17pm Looking at getting agriculture into the emissions trading scheme, we will have an independent climate commission to de-politicize the process James Shaw says.

4:14pm "Huge amount of crossover between both agreements and all three parties," James Shaw said.

4:12pm "We are going to work collectively, regardless of where ministers sit," Ms Ardern said when questioned whether NZ First kept the Greens out of Cabinet.

4:10pm Climate change will sit at the heart of what this Government does, the climate change portfolio will sit outside cabinet with the Greens, Ms Ardern stated.

4:07pm They are now talking about the KiwiBuild program and rent to own options to make sure people get into home ownership.

4:06pm "What you'll see from the Green Party agreement is ambitious goals, like moving to reusable energy sources by 2035," Ms Ardern said.

4:05pm Jacinda Ardern is now giving a press conference with James Shaw, she says the next Government will focus on the people of New Zealand and the environment.

3:57pm Round 2 is about to start watch live here: Live stream: Watch as Labour and the Green Party reveal details of their deal

3:55pm Here is a more in-depth look at what was said on foreign buyers in the New Zealand market. Ardern reaffirms ban on foreign buyers as Winston declares 'NZ is no longer for sale'

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

3:48pm Winston Peters was very respectful during the press conference, watch below.

3:40pm Phew! A lot to mull over from those announcements, next up the Greens sign their confidence and supply agreement and Bill English will address media after the National caucus meeting, both set to take place around 4pm.

3:37pm A brief recap on some of the flurry of policy announcements given in the address:

* Minimum wage set to rise next April, eventually hitting $20 an hour by 2020

* The implementation of a new SuperGold Card

* A ban on foreign buyers in the Kiwi housing market

* Free doctors visits for under 14's

* Free driver training for secondary school students

* A royalty placed on bottled water exports

* Focus and investment on the regions and light rail projects

3:30pm The press conference has ended on a light note, as Winston Peters talks foreign affairs before Jacinda Ardern wraps it up by saying.

"I am happy to have been able to showcase Mr Peters knowledge in the realm of foreign affairs not that I'm hinting at anything…"

Looking likely Mr Peters will be handed a foreign affairs role as speculated then.

The Labour and NZ First leaders are set to lead the country for the next three years. Source: 1 NEWS

3:25pm Watch Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern put pen to paper on the agreement between Labour and NZ First.

3:24pm Winston Peters talking about his Super Gold Card scheme which looks to be going ahead, will cost more than the six to eight million originally costed.

3:22pm On costings, Ms Ardern says health will have $8 billion in additional funding put aside, additional investment for policing total $100 million for 1800 policemen and women.

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

3:20pm Jacinda Ardern wants New Zealand to be a leader when it comes to climate change and reach carbon neutrality. The agriculture industry will have to share a burden of this cost.

3:18pm On her call with President Trump she said: "It was roughly a five minute call talking about NZ election, I made reference to New Zealand's role in Asia Pacific and look forward to discussing these with at him at APEC."

3:15pm "We will stop foreign buyers from buying in our existing housing market," Jacinda Ardern said.

3:12pm The minimum wage is set to be raised to $16.50 an hour in April 2018.

3:10pm Jacinda Ardern says the new Government will focus on the neglected regions and raise the minimum wage.

"We have prioritised regional economic development and job creation for New Zealanders.

"You'll see a reduction in inequalities," Ms Ardern said

3:06pm "Today represents a huge step change in the future of a New Zealand Government, the majority of New Zealanders voted for change in this election," Ms Ardern opened her speech.

3:04pm Live stream: Watch as Labour and NZ First reveal the details of their coalition deal.

3:00pm Winston Peters and Jacinda Ardern are now signing the coalition agreement to form the new Government.

2:59pm So far National MPs entering the caucus meeting have been unanimously backing Bill English's leadership when asked by 1 NEWS political reporter Jessica Mutch.

Gerry Brownlee says it won't come to a vote as English will be fully endorsed. Nick Smith said Bill English has his backing but the result was "dissapointing".

2:45pm Also happening today at 4pm Bill English will be addressing media after a National caucus meeting. While he is fully expected to stay on as leader, this would be a good time for a leadership challenge to be thrown down by one of his colleagues.

Should be interesting, 1 NEWS NOW will also be live streaming this, so plenty to look forward to for political junkies this afternoon.

2:30pm A reminder of a few of Labour's plans for its first 100 days in charge, which may or may not be among the policy announcements today. The full list can be found here: What Labour promised they'd deliver in their first 100 days.

* Make the first year of tertiary education or training fees free from January 1, 2018.

* Ban overseas speculators from buying existing houses.

* Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour, to take effect from 1 April 2018
 

2:10pm New Zealand's first refugee MP, Golriz Ghahraman has spoken out about about the abuse she received online in the lead up to the general election last month. You can read more on this story here: 'If I didn't criticise the government I may as well have stayed in Iran' - New Zealand's first refugee MP opens up about online abuse.

2:05pm This afternoon should be a revealing insight into what went on in the close-door negotiations last week between Labour and NZ First. What was agreed on immigration for example, and will Winston Peters get the Ports of Auckland moved to Whangarei, a policy he often brought up during the campaign.

1:50pm Winston Peters is a virtual lock to be our next Deputy PM and it looks like he'll gets Foreign Affairs. This might be confirmed when Labour and NZ First reveal their mutual policies agreement at 3pm. 1 NEWS NOW will be live streaming the announcement so tune in.

Jacinda Ardern talks to Canada PM Justin Trudeau on Skype
Jacinda Ardern talks to Canada PM Justin Trudeau on Skype

1:45pm This morning Jacinda Ardern had a Skype chat with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, who said he was eager to meet her in person. New BFF's perhaps?

1.40pm Earlier this morning, National Party leader Bill English appeared on TVNZ1's Breakfast, saying his future as leader was in the hands of his Caucus and party. He expects them to decide the future direction that National will go. 

They are meeting this afternoon.

It wasn’t all smiles and compliments for Labour, NZ First and the Greens during the election campaign. Source: 1 NEWS

Labour and NZ First will seal the deal at 3pm today, revealing a new set of 'mutual' policies agreed during the close-door negotiations last week. 

The Green Party and Labour will sign their agreement shortly after at 4pm, with their policy agreements set to be released as well. 

PM-elect Jacinda Ardern says the two parties are committed to growing the economy and creating a fairer NZ. Source: 1 NEWS



Young NZ fur seal found with fishing line round neck is treated at Auckland Zoo

A young New Zealand fur seal is being treated for infection at Auckland Zoo after being found slumped on a rock ledge at Piha with discarded fishing line around its neck.

A young woman had spotted the injured seal and Department of Conservation rangers responded, DOC ranger Gabrielle Goodin told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

"Literally when we got out there I saw the seal and it was over this little rock ledge and I thought it was dead," Ms Goodin said.

Auckland Zoo vet Lydia Uddstrom said the fishing line has no give, so as the seal grows with it around the neck, the line cuts deeper and deeper.

"It's not a simple matter of cut the nylon off and just chuck him back out and good luck to you. It's really that follow up and making sure that we can control any infection," Ms Uddstrom said.

The vets work in silence, trying to keep the young seal as calm as possible while treating it at the zoo.

The case is a reminder of how a little piece of human waste can cause such pain to an innocent victim.

Fur seals are a conservation success story, with their numbers up.

But so is human interaction with them.

"We have a high population in Auckland, so it's managing that success. How can we make sure we still see a lot of seals, people are interacting with them properly and we can keep them from being injured from things like fishing lines," Ms Goodin said. 

Things are looking good for the young fur seal which has been showing improvement.

"We are hopeful that if we can get on top of this infection and everything else that's going on, he should be able to get out there where he belongs," Ms Uddstrom said.

Seven Sharp’s Lucas de Jong visited the mammal at the zoo. Source: Seven Sharp

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TOP STORIES

John Armstrong's opinion: As Labour fast loses the plot, Sunday's moment of coalition unity was priceless

There’s no show without punch, and although Winston Peters did not say much, he said enough. Unlike the Prime Minister who was something of a disappointment.

Last Sunday’s carefully stage-managed display of unity by Jacinda Ardern and her deputy was not so much a case of fake news as one of fabricated news.

It was somehow befitting of the barmy politics emanating daily from the Government benches in Parliament that the coalition Government should half-celebrate its 12-month birthday having been in the job for just on 11 months.

A carefully-chosen audience was corralled on Auckland’s AUT campus to hear — or rather endure — Ardern taking close to half-an-hour to spell out her Government’s 12 priorities.

1 NEWS' Jessica Mutch and Benedict Collins give their opinions of the Acting Prime Minister who ran the country during Jacinda Ardern’s maternity leave.
Winston Peters. Source: 1 NEWS

Admittedly, it is difficult to inject excitement into a discussion of the virtues of intended alterations to the structure of the various Cabinet committees which meet weekly in the Beehive.

But one further priority would be finding a new speech writer for the Prime Minister before someone falls asleep and drowns in the verbiage. Or simply dies of boredom.

The said wordsmith's job is probably safe, however. The strict instruction from upon high would have been not to include the merest morsel of anything that those listening might find interesting — and which would detract from the whole purpose of the occasion, specifically the need for the Government to project an image as rock solid unified.

The political pantomime had one overriding objective — convincing an increasingly sceptical public that although Ardern and Peters might not always be on the same page, they are still capable of trading smiles on the same platform after 11 months of jostling one another.

While the Labour-New Zealand coalition has witnessed sporadic bouts of internal guerrilla warfare in recent times and principally on New Zealand First’s part, it is vastly over-dramatising things to suggest this so far occasional rebellion could become full-blown civil war.

So there was no chance of Peters going AWOL last Sunday. It would, however, have helped the coalition’s cause considerably had he uttered the immortal words "of course she's driving the car" during the earlier stages of the developing friction between the partners in Government. He was unwilling on Sunday to stretch the metaphor any further. But when it comes to back-seat driving or driving backwards, Peters is a master.

He has not taken on board any perceivable role as a back-room fixer for the coalition despite such a role having the capacity to alleviate some of the huge pressures weighing on Ardern’s shoulders.

He has instead exploited her inexperience as Labour’s leader and the fact that she spreads herself thin to bolster his party’s leverage within the coalition.

It is such game-play good that threatens the Government’s stability. It is not so much that the partners might clash over policy. As Ardern repeatedly notes, the coalition comprises three parties. There is always going to be disagreement over policy.

What matters is how such disputes are handled by the respective party leaderships - John Armstrong

What matters is how such disputes are handled by the respective party leaderships; whether, to use the parlance, they act on the basis of good faith and no surprises.

Ardern’s response to suggestions of disunity is to pretend there is none when she is so questioned. That is not credible.

She has now sought to brush off those claims made by her opponents by creating a distraction through repackaging her party’s priorities and relaunching them as a "coalition blueprint" under the title of Our Plan.

It would not have taken Labour’s spin-doctors long to dream up that title. It is the exact same one as used by National during the John Key-Bill English years in their similar quest to turn New Zealand into Utopia.

The only difference between Labour’s and National’s respective efforts was that Key was dismissive of such "vision documents". They might be useful in listing goals. They rarely provide detail of the means to be adopted to reach those goals. The day-to-day pressures of political life inevitably result in the prime minister of the day focusing heavily on short-term political management. Concentrating on the long-term can always be postponed to another day.

National’s various versions of vision have accordingly sunk without trace. That experience would have been a factor in Simon Bridges’ acidic observation that there was nothing in the long list of platitudes, banalities and truisms in Ardern’s blueprint which he would find hard to swallow. He isn’t wrong.

The producers of Ardern’s massive missive may have feared the same fate awaits their product as afflicted National’s equally turgid equivalent, creation.

That hurts. But Bridges is making the pertinent point that Ardern’s claim that her plan amounts to a "shared vision" of the three parties in her governing arrangement is utterly meaningless.

All it says is that the three-party grouping stretches so far across the political system that National can be accommodated with room to spare.

That makes it hard to keep the whole show on the road at the best of times.

With ministers falling like nine-pins, bureaucrats thinking nothing of splashing out $1.5 million on a justice policy summit and private consultants growing fat on the tidy sums to be made from servicing the plethora of working parties and task forces doing the work that career public servants are arguably better left to do, Labour is fast losing the plot.

But never mind. Ardern and her colleagues got what they wanted. That was a minute or two of coalition unity at the top of the six o’clock news. Given Labour’s growing malaise, that’s priceless.

The Prime Minister gave details of the Government plan during a speech in Auckland. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Man arrested after fatal stabbing in Upper Hutt

A man has been arrested following a man's death in Upper Hutt this afternoon after being stabbed.

Police have launched a homicide investigation.

Emergency services were called a scene on Golders Road in Upper Hutt shortly after 4:30pm and despite their best efforts to revive the victim, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested a male nearby the scene of the assault and are currently speaking with him.

"There is not thought to be any risk to the public at this time, however the Police investigation into what happened continues," Detective Senior Sergeant Martin said.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS


The Hastings' Four Square that sold four winning first division Lotto tickets

Hastings was the lucky home to four winning first division Lotto tickets last night.

Flaxmere's Scott Drive Four Square was the winning shop and TVNZ1's Seven Sharp meet with the owner.

"We have five first division winners in Flaxmere, and we have got four of them," owner Becky Gee said.

"Usually one shop gets one but one shop got four, unbelievable."

Last night there were 40 first division winners, who each get $25,000.

Ms Gee says she doesn’t know who the winners were yet, but says hopefully she’ll find out soon.

"Hopefully it’ll go to people who need it, to pay a lot of bills."

Lotto confirmed that one person purchased four of the winning tickets, which means they take home $100,000.

It turns out Scott Drive Four Square is where to buy a winning ticket. Source: Seven Sharp