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Sunday, 16 November 2008

The Deal is Signed: New Zealand Has a New Government

The hoardings have barely had time to gather dust and National have just announced they have stitched up a deal with ACT, United Future and the Maori Party. Surely this is the fastest confidence and supply stitch up in the history of NZ MMP.

National and ACT's confidence and supply agreement is available here online. Highlights are:

Two ACT MP's get portfolios outside Cabinet:
Rodney Hide gets: Minister of Local Government, Minister of Regulatory Reform, Associate Minister of Commerce and a member of the Cabinet Expenditure Control Committee.

Heather Roy gets: Minister of Consumer Affairs, Associate Minister of Defence and Associate Minister of Education.

Areas of Co-Operation Are:
  • Law and Order
  • Climate Change
  • Controlling Government Expenditure
  • Tax
  • Regulation
  • Resource Management Act
  • Education
Policy Concessions include:
  • An advisory group to look at ways of closing the income gap with Australia by 2025 with the aim of stopping the exodus.
  • Pursuit of a sustained lift in New Zealand’s productivity growth rate to 3% a year or more and the establishment of a high quality advisory group to investigate the reasons for the recent decline in New Zealand’s productivity performance
  • National will, within 6 months, send ACT’s Taxpayer Rights Bill to the Finance and Expenditure Committee of Parliament as a government measure with the aim of passing into law a cap on the growth of core Crown expenses.
  • National agrees to introduce ACT's "Three Strikes Bill" and support it to Select Committee.
  • The implementation of the Emissions Trading Scheme will be delayed until a review of New Zealand’s response on Climate Change with agreed draft terms of reference is completed, and the thermal generation ban will be repealed.
  • An agreement that a medium-term goal be set for the top rate of tax to be 30 percent so NZ has a government that will reward and celebrate success - not punish it.
  • National will explore the concept of a New Zealand Productivity Commission associated with the Productivity Commission in Australia in order to support the goals of higher productivity growth and improvements in the quality of regulation.
  • An agreement to work together over time to increase education choices so that pupils and families have more freedom to select schooling options that best meet the individual needs of their children.
  • Ongoing discussion is agreed to on ACT's most excellent 20 point plan.
Sounds promising. I was worried that Key’s pursuit of Dunne and the Maori Party meant something far more centrist would be announced. I dislike all the bureaucratic committees that will be funded and set up to talk about everything but hopefully something positive will come out of it. Its better than what we had anyway.

Details on United Future and the Maori Party's baubles are yet to be announced - I hope the Maori Party have stood firm on some aspect of the Seabed and Foreshore as ACT should support them on that and there will be those in National who were appalled at that particular affront to due process too.


  1. That is great news for ACT and for National.

    New Zealand has a hope again.

  2. Well the programme is a lot better than I expected, some substantial positives and nary a negative to complain about.

  3. Scalia next time you want to use me as your pin-up girl do you mind asking?

  4. It is great news though and the deals are fairly tolerable overall - they could have been a lot worse and politics is a pragmatic game.

    I never expected the government or any of the parties involved to be all purist, compromise was always going to happen.


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