29 Aug 2017

Know your policy: Jobs

From Election17 - Policy Comparisons, 1:47 pm on 29 August 2017

How to fill New Zealand's skills shortages, the decline of the manufacturing sector and pay equity have all featured in recent debates about employment and job opportunities.

What do the parties plan to focus on?

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Photo: 123rf


  • Extend paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks
  • A further 170,000 new jobs are forecast by 2020
  • Average wages have increased by around 25 percent since 2008
  • Have raised the minimum wage to $15.75 an hour
  • Women and men must receive the same pay rates for doing the same or substantially similar work


  • Give unemployed young people a job for six months doing work of public value
  • Increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour
  • Replace the current government's 90-day 'fire at will' law with fair trial periods
  • Introduce fair pay agreements for industry 
  • Promote the living wage by paying it to all workers in the core public service
  • Expand the dole for apprenticeships scheme by removing the cap and extending the eligibility to all 18 to 24-year-olds not earning or learning
  • Ensure every high school student has a personalised career development plan
  • Three years of free post-school education over a person's lifetime for any training, apprenticeship or higher education approved by NZQA - the first year free by 2018 with the full three-year scheme in place by 2024
  • Introduce a Young Entrepreneurs Plan to allow a small number of young New Zealanders to apply to cash in their three free years of education for a start-up business grant, training and a business mentor
  • Require government organisations to give large contracts to bidders who creates jobs in New Zealand


There's broad agreement lifting skills and producing more high tech graduates will help achieve a high wage economy.

Photo: 123RF

  • Establish a Minister for Manufacturing in Cabinet, to better represent the interests of manufacturers and ensure they thrive to create well-paid, clean-tech jobs
  • Establish a high-level commission into the future of work
  • Increase the minimum wage and ensure it cannot fall below 66 percent of the average wage
  • A greater commitment to proactive job creation
  • Expand the apprenticeship programme
  • More resources for vocational advice and employment support
  • Pay and employment equity for all workers
  • Workplaces that are safe, healthy and free from discrimination

New Zealand First

  • Raise the minimum wage to $17 an hour
  • Review and amend employment laws to ensure that casual employment practices are fair and just to all parties 
  • Review the practice of short-term employment contracts.
  • Allocate sufficient resources to place a greater emphasis on training 
  • Require that salaries paid beyond accepted public service bands be cleared with stakeholder ministers 
  • Introduce a new system of subsidising wages for employers who take on young, unemployed people for trade training and skills programmes
  • Train New Zealanders in areas of skill shortages, instead of actively recruiting offshore
  • Ensure that hiring New Zealanders is a priority
  • Abolish the 'starting out wage' for young people


To be confirmed

Māori Party

Teacher Jermaine Reihana works with a student.

Photo: RNZ / Mihingarangi Forbes

  • Extend Community Max, Māori trade training, cadetships and apprenticeships 
  • Align investments in science and innovation with Māori business to lead to 150,000 new jobs per year 
  • Establish a priority investment fund for Māori Research and,Development to improve opportunities, jobs and incomes
  • Establish work-based training incentives within public sector and local government 
  • Introduce a short-term subsidy for business owners who create new jobs for the unemployed, take on trainees, or instigate career pathways
  • Reinstate the training incentive allowance to support sole parents into work 
  • Support investment in teen parent units
  • Encourage employers to develop part-time and flexible healthy working arrangements and subsidise childcare
  • Require Work and Income to publish all benefit registers every month

United Future

To be confirmed


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