Winston Peters has again blocked a "parliamentary palace" expansion plan - and says New Zealand First's agreement on foreign ownership shows the country is no longer for sale.

Key policies in the agreement between Labour and NZ First include establishing a $1b per year regional development fund, re-establishing the NZ Forestry Service, hiking the minimum wage to $20 per hour by 2020, and beefing-up the Super Gold Card scheme to include an annual free health check including an eye health check.

The document also shows some of Peters' bug bears have been addressed, including an agreement to pass a "waka jumping" law. Peters has also secured a final revenge on outgoing Speaker David Carter, who he has often clashed with.

The NZ First leader has put on hold Carter's plans for an expansion of the parliamentary complex which would involve two new buildings at a cost of at least $100 million.


The previous Government approved the plan in principle after it gained the support of all parties except for New Zealand First. But under the agreement released today there will be no new parliamentary building to proceed this term.

"There are far more areas of pressing expenditure than for parliamentarians to build themselves a new accommodation," Peters told the Herald.

"I was the one who stopped the previous Prime Minister - [Jim] Bolger - trying to do that...and I'm stopping it again.

"First thing is first - needy people need their issues responded to. Not parliamentarians. We can all knuckle down and get on with what we have got."

Peters blocking the development is history repeating - in 1997 NZ First scuppered a plan to build a $94m block on a park behind Parliament, dubbing it "the parliamentary palace".

A subsequent proposal to put the Beehive on wheels and move it to the park and extend Parliament House was also ditched. Peters in 1996 wanted Parliament to take over the wooden building at the foot of Parliament grounds but that was given to Victoria University and now houses its law school.

The agreement with Labour to introduce and pass a "waka jumping" bill will address cases of MPs leaving or being kicked out of their parties but refusing to leave Parliament - leaving the party an MP down.

Peters has agitated for that since the 1990s when several NZ First MPs stayed on as independents to support the National Government after a coalition split up.


In 2012, Brendan Horan was also kicked out of the NZ First caucus but refused to leave Parliament, instead staying on as an independent MP. That provision could come in handy if any of the MPs in the three parties do walk out on it - Labour will be governing with a three seat majority.

Foreign ownership restrictions are set to be toughened. New Zealand First and Labour agreed to ban foreigners from buying existing homes, strengthen the Overseas Investment Act and set-up a comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing. Peters said "I got pretty close" to the measures wanted by NZ First.

"The reality is there is going to be a change and a clear signal set internationally that New Zealand is no longer for sale in the way that it has been. And we are happy with that."