5 Dec 2011

Key signs deals with United Future and ACT

11:14 pm on 5 December 2011

United Future leader Peter Dunne and ACT Party MP John Banks will be ministers outside cabinet under agreements reached with National on the shape of the next government.

Confidence and supply agreements were signed with the two parties at Parliament on Monday, giving the John Key-led government 62 votes in Parliament.


Mr Key says the confidence and supply agreements are a starting point for work to be done during the next three years.

"Whenever you look at these confidence and supply agreements it's important to understand they're a bit like the marriage vows," Mr Key said.

"They're a starting point but there is a lot more that happens behind the scenes after that," he said.

Mr Banks will be Minister of Regulatory Reform, associate Minister of Education, Minister for Small Business and associate Commerce Minister.

Mr Dunne will remain Minister of Revenue and associate Minister of Health, as well as picking up the portfolio of associate Minister of Conservation.

Gains for ACT

National has agreed to legislate for a cap on core government spending based on population growth and the rate of inflation.

More work will be done on the Regulatory Standards Bill introduced to Parliament in the last term, which aims to reduce red tape for businesses.

In education, there will be a trial of a charter system allowing greater flexibility in the running of some schools.

Gains for United Future

United Future's flagship agency, the Families Commission, will be retained but it will be restructured and the number of commissioners cut from four to one.

National has agreed to investigate United Future's Flexi-Super proposal, to allow people to choose the age when they take up superannuation.

It will also consider free annual health checks for those over the age of 65.

On National's partial asset sales plan, the law will be changed to state that no more than 49% of a public asset can be sold.

And, the agreement says there will be no sale of any part of Kiwibank or Radio New Zealand.

Using helicopters for hunting on conservation land will be banned, and legislation setting up a Game Animal Council will be passed.