The major changes coming under the new government have been revealed.

The coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First has been released today - setting out the policy plans for the new government.

It is the result of 12 days of negotiations which ultimately saw New Zealand First leader Winston Peters and his party choose to put Labour into power.

Jacinda Ardern said today represents a huge step change in the future of the NZ Government.


Today's agreements build a clear agenda, prioritising regional economic development and job creation, Ardern said.

"There has been a period of neglect over the last nine years for our regions."

The minimum wage will go up to $20 by 2021. Ardern says $16.50 starting in April 2018, will rise in steps since then.

"We are a low wage economy... New Zealanders deserve a wage they can live on... it is no longer acceptable to try and expect families to survive on the minimum wage as it currently is."

There will be real progress on the environment and increases to the minimum wage, she says.

Peters said NZ First was never going to get everything it wanted, but his team is entirely happy with the agreements.

The coalition agreement also has a clause preventing 'waka jumping', which Peters says is a great idea.

There had been too many examples over a long period of MPs who thought they were bigger than their parties. "I am preaching... some practical thing I believe in."


Ardern says the new administration will be a "government of action".

"As a priority, we will restore funding to the health system to allow access for all, ensure all Kiwis can live in warm, dry homes, take action on child poverty and homelessness, crack down on foreign speculators, clean our rivers, and strengthen efforts to tackle climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy.

"We will focus on sustainable economic development, supporting our regional economies, increasing exports, lifting wages and reducing inequality.

"We are committed to being fiscally responsible and growing the economy, while ensuring all New Zealanders share in our economic prosperity. We firmly believe economic growth must also go hand-in-hand with environmental responsibility."

On immigration, Ardern confirmed that the plan was to reduce the number of immigrants by 20,000 - 30,000. Peters says his party wanted bigger drops, but negotiations meant not everything was possible.

Key points

NZF coalition agreement with Labour, at a glance:

Regional development: A $1 billion per year Regional Development (Provincial Growth) Fund

Rail: Significant investment in regional rail.

Forestry: Re-establish the New Zealand Forestry Service, and planting 100 million trees per year in a Billion Trees Planting Programme.

Auckland Port: Commissioning a feasibility study on moving the Ports of Auckland to Northport

Biosecurity: A funding increase to Biosecurity NZ and a select committee Inquiry into biosecurity

Irrigation: Honour existing Crown Irrigation investment commitments

Monetary policy: Review and reform the Reserve Bank Act

Minimum wage: Increase to $20 an hour by 2020, with the final increase to take effect in April 2021

Tax: Increase penalties for corporate fraud and tax evasion, and introduce a tax on exports of bottled water

KiwiBank: Investigate KiwiBank's capabilities to become the Government's banker when that contract is next renewed.

Foreign ownership: Strengthen the Overseas Investment Act and create a comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing

Research and development: Increase R&D spending to 2 per cent of GDP over 10 years

Health: Re-establish the Mental Health Commission, annual free health checks for seniors with the SuperGold card, free doctors' visits for all under 14s, increasing the age for free breast screening to 74

Education: Restore funding for gifted students and Computers in Homes, pilot counsellors in primary schools, free driver training for all secondary school students, restart Te Kotahitanga teacher professional development

Defence: Re-examine the Defence procurement programme

Housing: Establish a Housing Commission

Law and Order: Work towards 1800 new police officers over three years, investigate a volunteer rural constabulary programme, increase funding for Community Law Centres, establish a Criminal Cases Review Commission

Social Development: More funding for family violence networks, including Women's Refuge and Shakti, pilot a Youth Education, Training and Employment programme and provide 800 extra places for the LSV scheme, introduce Ready for Work programmes

Superannuation: Keep age of eligibility at 65

Environment: Move to an emissions-free government-vehicle fleet by 2025/26, introduce a Zero Carbon Act and independent Climate Commission, which will consider including agriculture into the ETS, establish a tyre stewardship fund, piloting alternatives to 1080, work towards a Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary

Conservation: More funding for the Department of Conservation

Democracy: No new parliamentary building this term, an independent review of electoral processes and enrolments, and a review of the parliamentary processes, and pass a 'Waka Jumping' bill

Immigration: Ensure work visas reflect skills shortages and cut down on low quality international education courses, and take action on migrant exploitation, particularly international students

Pike River: Commit to re-entry to Pike River

Other: Build a Maori Battalion museum at Waitangi, review retail-power pricing, allow a conscience vote on a NZ First euthanasia referendum bill, a Public Inquiry "a decade after Shand" to investigate the drivers of local government costs, support NZ First's racing policy, work towards a Free Trade Agreement with the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union, record a Cabinet minute regarding the lack of process followed prior to the National-led government sponsorship of UNSC2334, concerning the Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

NZ First ministerial portfolios will include:

• Foreign Affairs
• Infrastructure
• Regional Economic Development
• Internal Affairs
• Seniors
• Defence
• Veterans' Affairs
• Children
• Forestry
• State Owned Enterprises
• Racing
• Associate Finance
• Associate Education and an Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Regional Economic Development

Just after 4pm Labour's confidence and supply deal with the Greens was signed.

Climate Change: Introduce a Zero Carbon Act and establish an independent Climate Commission (which will also look at transitioning to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035), analyse all new legislation for climate impact, establish a Climate Change board of public sector CEOs and a set of indicators for environmental, social and economic sustainability

Transport: Investigate a Green Transport Card to reduce the cost of public transport for low-income people and welfare recipients, prioritise National Land Transport Fund towards rail infrastructure as well as cycling and walking, cancel Auckland's East-West motorway link, work towards light rail from Auckland city to airport

Green economy: Government-backed Green Investment Fund of $100 million to stimulate up to $1 billion of new investment in low carbon industries by 2020, assist agricultural sector to reduce biological emissions and improve water quality

Environment: Increasing conservation funding and predator control, commit to minimising waste to landfill by reducing all waste classes by 2020

Rivers and lakes: Stronger regulation to clean up waterways, fund freshwater enhancement, wind down Government support for irrigation, better enforcement of the Resource Management Act

Ocean Sanctuaries: Work with Maori to establish the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary as well as a Taranaki blue whale sanctuary

Welfare: Ensure access to entitlements, remove excessive sanctions, review Working for Families, provide safe sleeping environments for vulnerable families

Health: Free counselling for under-25s, increase funding for alcohol and drug addiction services, referendum on the personal use of cannabis by the 2020 election

Education: Ensure children with special needs and learning disabilities can fully participate in school

Pay equality: Eliminate the gender pay gap within the core public sector

Homes: A rent-to-own scheme will be part of Labour's Kiwibuild programme, increase in the number of homes insulated

Refugees: Adequately fund and support family re-unification for refugees

The Greens will hold the following ministerial positions: Climate Change, Associate Finance, Conservation, Women, Land Information New Zealand, Associate Environment, Statistics, Associate Transport, Associate Health and an Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence).