In a show of unity, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been joined by Government coalition partners New Zealand First and the Green Party for a major speech in Auckland in which she has outlined the next steps in the Government's plans for the country.
With the first anniversary of the formation of the coalition Government next month, and with some public division recently on policy, Ardern delivered what she said was the "Cabinet-mandated, coalition Government work plan".
"This plan represents our shared vision and priorities; Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens," Ardern told an audience at the AUT campus in Auckland this afternoon.
She said people may ask where the specifics were in the Government.
"I think this is the bit where I say hold my beer," she said.
She outlined 12 priority outcomes in the areas of the economy, wellbeing and Government leadership.
She said they reflected contributions from each of the parties and reiterated the commitments set out in documents such as the coalition and confidence in supply agreements created after the election last year.
Ardern called the plan the "first of its kind since the introduction of MMP; setting out a comprehensive set of priorities across a wide range of economic, social and cultural areas and agreed to by all parties that are part of the Government.
"The Coalition Government's long-term plan is a blueprint which sets out our priorities and the steps we are taking to build a more modern and fairer New Zealand that we can all be proud of," she said.
The priorities are:
Build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy
• Grow & share New Zealand's prosperity
• Deliver responsible governance with a broader measure of success
• Support thriving & sustainable regions
• Transition to a clean, green and carbon-neutral New Zealand
Improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders and their families
• Ensure everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering
• Support healthier, safer, & more connected communities
• Ensure everyone has a warm, dry home
• Make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child
Providing new leadership by Government
• Deliver transparent, transformative and compassionate Government
• Build closer partnerships with Māori
• Value who we are as a country
• Create an international reputation we can be proud of
"This plan represents our shared vision and priorities; Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens. It establishes the foundation for the Government's work and includes issues of particular importance to each of the parties which are supported by all of them, Ardern said.
"Our Government has a firm eye on the future. That's why our plan is looking 30 years ahead, not just three."
Ardern said that while not everything was listed, New Zealanders could clearly see what the Government was doing and what its priorities were, and provided certainty on its direction and the issues it was focused on.
The plan will be reviewed every six months, to see how it is tracking, with the first review due in February 2019.
Ardern referenced the recent differences of opinion between the coalition partners, saying "perhaps it's because we have never had a government quite like ours that we cause a little bit of chat.
"It should come as no surprise though, that as three distinct parties, we will have different opinions and ideas. Those didn't begin and nor did they end at the negotiating table."
In his opening remarks at today's event, Deputy Prime Minister and NZ First leader Winston Peters blamed the media for perpetuating the notion that there were divisions in the coalition.
"The reason we retain the confidence of New Zealanders is because they see what the media filter seemingly cannot: we are a unified government determined to lead change to lift all New Zealanders' prospects.
We also know what the political media does not. Every day we work collaboratively with our government partners to advance our change programme," Peters said.
"Because we are a unique government, the first true MMP Government since 1996, there are issues we regularly confront that requires consultation and negotiation. These can be robust discussions but that is not a sign of division or weakness. It is rather a manifestation of our shared commitment to create enduring solutions that reflect a coming together of the different values and beliefs that each party brings to each and every issue. There is strength in our diversity because it reflects the majority will of the country."
Ardern said the world was changing and it was important New Zealand was not left behind.
"It's a whole new world we're moving into, everyone knows that. Digital transformation, the future of work, climate change, social isolation and the long term impacts of poverty.
"When you elected us, you didn't just tell us to govern, you asked us to fix existing problems, anticipate emerging ones, and to make sure we weren't caught off guard because we had done neither. You asked us to make sure New Zealand wasn't left behind."
Ardern said there had been an undercurrent that resulted in the Government deciding to do things differently.
"We decided that there was a place in government for concepts like compassion and kindness. That being active and intervening from time to time was a good thing. And that if there was ever a time to be bold and to use our voice on the world stage, it was now."