A Labour government would introduce subsidies for straightforward adult's dental care, "as resources allow".
The party releases its health policy today.
The policy documents emphasise children's, preventive and primary health care and commit the party to stopping what it says is National's "under-funding" of health - but provide scant financial detail.
Labour would re-build the obesity-control programme Health Eating Healthy Action, pass the Public Health Bill with its powers to make the food supply healthier, and bring back the rule, scrapped by National, that prevented schools from routinely selling unhealthy foods.
A new scheme - although it is a soft commitment that depends on an improving economy - is the plan to subsidise primary dental care for adults.
"With 44 per cent of New Zealanders not receiving any form of dental care, a fresh approach is needed ... ," Labour says.
This builds on the already-announced plan to provide free dental care to pregnant women. That would be the second dental priority; the first would be to increase uptake by adolescents of free dental care. Uptake in Auckland has been increasing and stands at around 65 per cent, against a 2013 national Ministry of Health target of 85 per cent.
Labour's health spokesman, Grant Robertson, acknowledged that the promise to extend subsidised dental care incrementally "as resources allow" was a soft commitment.
"It's an honest caveat that at the moment the resources are not there to do this quickly, but this is a 10-year plan and we're saying it's a priority for Labour. Not free, just like going to the GP isn't free [for most], but a recognition that we are going to reduce the costs."
Dental Association president Dr Geoff Lingard said, "We support access for care and if that access can be subsidised in a way that would benefit both the patient and the dental practices, then that could be a good thing for New Zealanders."
Mr Robertson said health funding had not kept up with inflation and population growth and aging under National.
Labour would stop that, he said, but the party was "not putting a specific dollar figure on it because we need to sit down [in Government] and work out what the stand-still figure is".
Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg welcomed the Labour policy and said Vote Health in this year's Budget was $127 million short of the stand-still figure.
Health Minister Tony Ryall said, after being told some of the main points of the Labour policy: "Is that it? After three years of criticising everything we've done, all Labour can come up with is a copy of our free under-sixes after-hours policy and a promise to borrow more money."
* Health funding will keep up with inflation and growing population needs
* Extension of dental subsidies, "as resources allow"
* District health boards may directly employ more GPs in hard-to-staff areas
* 24/7 free primary care visits for children under 6