As the newly appointed Undersecretary for Infrastructure and RMA Reform and Member of Parliament for ACT, I am pleased to share the coalition agreement that ACT, National, and NZ First have negotiated and unveiled on November 24. This alliance is a testament to our commitment to delivering the real change that countless New Zealanders voted for in the recent elections.
Throughout the campaign, ACT championed the call for a government of real change, and now, as we embark on this partnership, we are determined to contribute innovative ideas that address the urgent issues that our constituents elected us to tackle. The coalition agreement outlines a comprehensive policy program focused on making life more affordable, ensuring consequences for criminals, and safeguarding democratic principles where they have been eroded by co-governance.
Several key ACT policies have found a home in this coalition agreement, reflecting our dedication to pragmatic and effective governance. One of our top priorities is to restore safer streets by reinstating the Three Strikes law, introducing tougher sentences for workplace criminals, bolstering prison capacity, and scrapping Labour’s ill-conceived prisoner reduction target. These measures are crucial for ensuring the safety of our communities and holding offenders accountable for their actions.
Red tape has long hindered progress, and we are committed to addressing this issue head-on. The establishment of a new Minister and Ministry of Regulation, coupled with legislation ensuring that regulations adhere to the principles of good law-making, will streamline processes and promote a more efficient and responsive government.
Moreover, we recognize the need for fiscal responsibility. By reducing non-essential bureaucracy and headcounts in government departments, we aim to deliver savings that can be channelled back into initiatives that directly benefit New Zealanders.
Housing affordability is a pressing concern, and our commitment to restoring mortgage interest deductibility for rental properties aligns with our vision for a more accessible property market. We have set clear targets for this restoration, with a 60% deduction in 2023/24, 80% in 2024/25, and reaching 100% in 2025/26.
The coalition agreement also addresses critical issues related to the environment, education, and health. We are set to replace the Resource Management Act with new laws grounded in the enjoyment of property rights, providing financial incentives for councils to facilitate more housing. Additionally, we are focused on empowering farmers by reducing regulatory burdens and rebalancing freshwater management to better reflect the interests of all water users.
Our commitment to education is evident in the reintroduction of partnership schools and the policy allowing state schools to become partnership schools. These measures aim to provide diverse and effective educational options for our youth.
As we embark on this significant program of work for the next three years, ACT’s Ministers are poised to hit the ground running. We extend our gratitude to every Kiwi who entrusted ACT with their vote, and we pledge to work tirelessly to repay that faith with real solutions and the change New Zealanders voted for.
While we represent three distinct parties, the negotiation process has showcased our ability to build strength from our differences. Together, we are prepared to tackle the considerable challenges left by the previous government and strive for a victory that benefits all New Zealanders. The coalition agreement marks a new chapter, one where collaboration and commitment to real change will define our government’s legacy.