Rent-to-buy to become part of KiwiBuild under Greens-Labour confidence and supply agreement

The two parties have agreed on a series of “aspirational goals” but are woolly on details. Shaw in line for associate finance minister.

The Green Party policy of renting-to-buy state houses will become part of Labour’s KiwiBuild policy under the confidence and supply agreement signed by Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw this afternoon.

However, like other measures in the agreement, it was described by Ms Ardern as an “aspirational goal.”

The Labour leader said policy work (and presumably cost allocation) was to follow.

Mr Shaw said his party had a half-dozen ideas on how rent-to-buy could work.

The Greens' portfolios were also revealed (see below). The MPs who would fill each role were not named, but one of the positions, associate finance, seems squarely aimed at Mr Shaw.

The two parties have also agreed to a referendum on making cannabis for personal use by 2020, as flagged over the weekend.

It also calls for a Zero Carbon Act with a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. A key part of that plan is to plant 100 million trees a year. At the press conference, Ms Ardern said this would mean doubling the current rate of planting. She cited a study that claimed the goal could be achieved by increasing use of marginal land by 5%.

Other goals in the agreement (without a timeline unless noted):

  • Stop the East-West link roading project in Auckland (still at a planning stage)
  • Re-establish the Mental Health Commission
  • Investigate a “Green Transport Card” to reduce the cost of public transport
  • Establish and independent Climate Commission with the power to bring agricultural emissions into the emissions scheme, at some point
  • The Climate Commission will investigate the goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2035
  • Reprioritise spending towards rail and cycle infrastructure
  • Begin work on light rail to the airport in Auckland
  • A government-backed, $100m Green Investment Fund will be setup to encourage up to $1b of new investment in low carbon industries by 2020
  • "Significantly increase" in funding for the Department of Conservation
  • Remove "excessive" benefit sanctions
  • Make progress on eliminating the gender pay gap within the core public sector
  • All new legislation to have a climate impact assessment analysis. Mr Shaw said it would be the first time NZ environmental law had been measured against UN standards. He looked like he was possibly about to launch into a longer speil, but Ms Ardern quickly said "And that's a beautiful place to wrap. Thanks every one."

Under the confidence and supply agreement, the four Green MPs to hold ministerial positions (all outside of cabinet) will cover the following portfolios:

  • Climate Change
  • Associate Finance
  • Associate Transport
  • Conservation
  • Women
  • Land Information New Zealand
  • Associate Environment
  • Associate Health

A Green MP will also become Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice (Domestic and Sexual Violence)

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