New Zealand's future - Wages, immigration and housing

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The new prime minister-elect has refuted claims the incoming government could turn the country inward with policies targeting the foreign buyers.

Corin Dann interviews Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern on what the new government will look like.
Source: Q+A

On TVNZ1's Q+A this morning, Jacinda Ardern spoke to 1NEWS' political editor Corin Dann about New Zealand's image if it were to tighten measures around New Zealand's housing market. 

"If you can't get the most basic thing right, in insuring your people are housed in affordable, dry homes, then I don't know what kind of country we can promise to be."

She said this would be possible by easing demand through banning foreign speculators, "whilst meeting our trade goals". 

Ms Ardern said there was a role for the government to play in being proactive in intervening "where we are seeing the market failing our people".

"Our housing market has failed."

She revealed Labour has come to an agreement with NZ First around working on the Reserve Bank Act.

"We want to make sure measures of success in New Zealand are as much about outcomes for people as traditional forms of economic growth and GDP."

"I want their wages relative to inflation, I want their housing to be more affordable." 

Ms Ardern said she wants New Zealand to continue to be a "world leader" in climate change and the environment, and is adamant new tertiary policies and minimum wage rises will be instated swiftly.

"Investing in skills and education is one of the ways we'll see a long term benefit through our wage growth. 

Dr Raymond Miller, Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox, Waipareira Trust CEO John Tamihere and Employers and Manufacturers CEO Kim Campbell.
Source: Q+A

"We will be a government that lays the foundations for strong growth, for delivery for New Zealanders over time, but we want to make sure people see us taking action in those areas very, very quickly."

"There are immediate ways of lifting wages, and that's by lifting the minimum wage."

She said she intends "to work in partnership" with businesses. 

"Ours will be a government of partnership, if we want to deliver the gains for New Zealanders that we intend to, we will have to deliver them alongside the business community."

Greg Boyed interviews Green Party co-leader James Shaw. The Greens are outside Cabinet but have three ministerial positions for the first time.
Source: Q+A

But it was on the issue of the country's immigration laws that a divide appeared to show in the new coalition of Labour, NZ First and the Green Party.

Ardern said she does not share Peters' belief that "immigration is about ethnicity and race", but also that she doesn't think that this will make things difficult moving forward in their term.

"I've had constructive engagement with Mr Peters on a range of issues ... there are areas that we agree," Ardern said.

The new Prime Minister believes there are skill needs and shortages that need to be met and infrastructure pressures that they will work collectively to face.

Rather than working towards a set target, Ardern said that they're "focused on getting the settings right in our [New Zealand's] immigration system".

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