29 Aug 2017

Know your policy: Health

From Election17 - Policy Comparisons, 3:42 pm on 29 August 2017

Mental health has come into sharp focus over the last political term, while the level of health funding remains a perennial issue.

What are the parties' health priorities?

Hospital gurney

Photo: 123RF


  • $12m over four years to fund the infrastructure needed to fluoridate more drinking water
  • Introduce an $18 cap on GP visits for all Community Services Card holders from July 2018 - extending cheap GP visits to an extra 600,000 people
  • Establish a new School of Rural Medicine within the next three years to produce more doctors for rural communities
  • Invest an extra $6.5m into the adult cochlear implants programme
  • $1bn new hospital for Dunedin, to be completed within seven to 10 years


  • Lower the cheapest GP visits from $18 to $8 and increase funding for all other GPs who lower fees by $10
  • Streamline cancer care by establishing a National Cancer Agency
  • Start building a new $1.4bn hospital in Dunedin's city centre in its first term
  • Fried chicken being served up at a takeaway in Mangere Town Centre

    Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

  • Restore the health funding shortfall of $2.3bn over time
  • Carry out an urgent review of mental health in first 100 days 
  • Pilot scheme of mental health teams and school-based health teams for all state secondary schools 
  • Provide a clear time-frame for industry to reduce sugar content in all processed food
  • Introduce a childhood obesity reduction target
  • Introduce clear front-of-package labelling for food

Green Party

  • Match increasing need for health services with increased funding
  • Place a high priority on preventative care, children's health, and people with high health needs
  • Improve community-based care
  • Reduce the need for expensive surgery, hospital care, diagnostic procedures and pharmaceuticals through prevention and early intervention
  • Re-introduce programmes, regulation and legislation to prevent illness caused by tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and unhealthy food and drink. 
  • Properly fund services aimed at providing the kind of support that enables people to have their treatment and rehabilitation needs met in their own homes
  • Support a law change that allows an adult diagnosed with a terminal illness to access medical-assistance in dying
  • Continue to support and strengthen Whanau Ora
  • Implement all recommendations of the Human Rights Commission's 'Caring Counts' report for aged care

New Zealand First

  • Launch a Commission of Inquiry into the public health system to find out what the public expects of the health system and what the system can deliver
  • Commit to improving health statistics in areas of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and obesity, and stamping out rheumatic fever
  • No caption

    Photo: AFP

  • Expanding programmes such as 'Family Start' and home-based support  
  • Ensure all New Zealand pre-school and school children receive adequate dental care and fully implement a national strategy including implementing the recommendations of the Health Select Committee Report on Oral Health
  • Immediately review funding of public health organisations that fail to maintain adequate emergency services 
  • Introduce a Teen Health Check for all Year 9 students 
  • Increase the number of acute and non-acute beds and accommodation units for the mentally ill
  • Review the costs of gaining initial medical qualifications, and explore the option of a 'bonding' system for medical students who are willing to trade-off student loan abatements for staying in New Zealand


To be confirmed

Māori Party

  • Universal Well Child services for all children under-six
  • Review of vision and hearing testing as universal tests
  • Prioritise oral health including instigating an annual oral health check for low income families
  • Establish youth wellbeing centres in consultation with rangatahi
  • Expand the Rangatahi Suicide Prevention Strategy
  • Bariatric surgery for at least 1000 more people each year 
  • Review the Health Act to ensure implementation of rongoa Māori
  • Establish a health workforce project for pay parity to retain Māori nurses at iwi providers
  • Review the work conditions, pay and training opportunities for those working in the elderly, disability and home care sector
  • Establish a national Māori advocacy service

United Future

  • Introduce a health-first approach for low-level drug offences
  • Boost drug rehabilitation and treatment

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