Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton has told his party he will lead it into the next election and says plans are being made to raise its profile.



The party, which has two MPs and is in coalition with Labour, has held a meeting of officials and members before the new parliamentary year, which starts in eight days.



"I made it clear that I'm standing again and that I will lead the Progressives into the next election," he said.



"That can now be put to rest, in case anybody is wondering about it."

Advertisement


Mr Anderton is a senior Cabinet minister and his colleague in Parliament is Matt Robson, the party's deputy leader.



Mr Anderton is expected to retain his Wigram seat at the election, which is essential to the party's parliamentary representation.



If a party does not win an electorate seat or get at least 5 per cent of the party vote, it does not get any seats in Parliament.



At the last election the Progressives gained only 1.7 per cent of the party vote, enough to give it two MPs.



However, it could not advertise on radio or television during the campaign because it was formed just before the election and did not qualify for air time and funding, which is shared out between parties.



Mr Anderton said candidate selections would start soon and plans were being made to raise the party's profile around specific issues.



"Housing is one of them," he said.



"There are clearly some significant problems facing young New Zealanders and low-income families when it comes to ever owning their own homes.

Advertisement


"Prices are out of their reach, deposit gaps are too wide, servicing mortgages is just impossible."



Mr Anderton said the result was that home ownership was falling and people were being put into a position where they had no control of their destiny.



"We were among the highest home ownership countries in the world, but it's declining, and it's a steady decline," he said.



"This is an issue we think should be addressed and we're going to have a good go at it this year."



Anderton's posts

* Minister for Economic Development

* Minister for Industry and Regional Development

* Minister responsible for the Public Trust

* Associate Minister of Health

- NZPA