Here’s a quick bullet point guide to what health policy has been agreed to by the incoming Government in its partnership deals. Plus a reminder of Labour’s own health policy and first 100 day commitments.

Labour and New Zealand First have signed an agreement to work together as a coalition including setting out a number of coalition priorities (see health details below) alongside Labour’s own policy priorities.

Labour and Greens have signed a confidence and supply agreement which allows the Greens to determine its own position on policy matters outside the shared policy goals the two parties signed up to (see health-related goals below).  A Green Party member will also hold an associate minister of health portfolio.

LABOUR and NEW ZEALAND FIRST coalition agreement

“In this parliamentary term, New Zealand First policy has a number of priorities to progress which Labour will support alongside its policy programme.” These include the following goals:

Health and Wellbeing

  • Annual Free Health Check for Seniors including an eye check as part of the SuperGold Card.
  • Teen Health Checks for all Year 9 students.
  • Free doctors’ visits for all under 14s.
  • Progressively increase the age for free breast screening to 74.
  • Re-establish the Mental Health Commission.
  • Pilot counsellors in primary schools.

Socio-economic determinants of health

  • Review the official measures for unemployment to ensure they accurately reflect the workforce of the 21st Century.
  • Progressively increase the Minimum Wage to $20 per hour by 2020, with the final increase to take effect in April 2021.
  • Establish a Housing Commission
  • Increase funding for family violence networks, including Women’s Refuge and Shakti.
  • Pilot the Youth Education, Training & Employment initiative and provide 800 extra places for the LSV scheme.
  • Introduce programmes for long-term unemployed to improve work readiness such as ‘Ready for Work’.


  • Allow a conscience vote for MPs on New Zealand First’s Supplementary Order Paper to the End of Life Choice Bill, which provides for a referendum.

LABOUR and GREENS confidence and supply agreement

“In this parliamentary term, the Green Party has a number of priorities to progress the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Labour-led Government shares and will support these priorities.” They include the following goals:

Health and Wellbeing

  • Safe sleeping environment devices will be made available for vulnerable families.
  • Ensure everyone has access to timely and high quality mental health services, including free counselling for those under 25 years.
  • Increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services and ensure drug use is treated as a health issue
  • Safe cycling and walking, especially around schools, will be a transport priority.
  • Improve water quality and prioritise achieving healthy rivers, lakes and aquifers with stronger regulatory instruments, funding for freshwater enhancement and winding down Government support for irrigation.

Socio-economic determinants of health

  • Overhaul the welfare system, ensure access to entitlements, remove excessive sanctions and review Working For Families so that everyone has a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity and participate in their communities, and lifts children and their families out of poverty.
  • Aim to end energy poverty in New Zealand and ensure that every New Zealander has a warm, dry, secure home, whether they rent or own; Budget provision will be made to substantially increase the number of homes insulated.
  • A Rent to Own scheme or similar progressive ownership models will be developed as part of Labour’s Kiwibuild programme.
  • Investigate a Green Transport Card as part of work to reduce the cost of public transport, prioritising people in low income households and people on a benefit.


  • Have a referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis at, or by, the 2020 general election.
  • Eliminate the gender pay gap within the core public sector with substantial progress within this Parliamentary term, and work to ensure the wider public sector and private sector is on a similar pathway.


First 100 Days policy priorities

Health and Wellbeing

  • Set up a ministerial inquiry into mental health services
  • Introduce legislation to make medicinal cannabis available for people with terminal illnesses or in chronic pain

Socio-economic determinants of health

  • Pass the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill, requiring all rentals to be warm and dry
  • Issue an instruction to Housing New Zealand to stop the state housing sell-off
  • Begin work to establish the Affordable Housing Authority and begin the KiwiBuild programme
  • Legislate to pass the Families Package, including the Winter Fuel Payment, to take effect from July 1, 2018
  • Introduce legislation to set a child poverty reduction target
  • Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour, to take effect from 1 April 2018
  • Set up an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care
  • Hold a Clean Waters Summit on cleaning up our rivers and lakes


Health and Wellbeing

  • Extend nurse-led school-based health service.
  • Fund an additional 100 Plunket and Tamariki Ora nurses.
  • An additional $8 billion investment in health over four years to meet inflation and demographic pressures and address current funding shortfalls.
  • Make mental health workers a priority in pay equity negotiations.
  • Cut GP fees by $10 a visit with $8 GP visits for community service cardholders.
  • Two-year pilot of basing primary mental health teams at eight primary health centre sites in high needs areas to offer early intervention and continuing care.
  • Review funding of primary care system.
  • Review current funding model for residential aged care and update national baseline aged care standards.
  • Support healthy eating and nutrition for children.
  • Set child obesity reduction target and rollout Waikato’s Project Energize programme.
  • Review Youth One Stop Shop funding
  • Commit to building new hospital for Dunedin.

 Socio-economic determinants of health policy

  • Extend paid parental leave from 18 weeks to 26 weeks
  • Pledged to scrap Pay Equity legislation currently in parliament.
  • Lift 100,000 children out of poverty by 2020.


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