What is the Ardern agenda?

The 'Ardern Effect' is all about the vibe. But what about policy - what is Labour leader Jacinda Ardern's agenda?

Income tax

A new tax rate on higher earners on say $120,000-$150,000 could be announced in the coming days.

Ms Ardern says: "We do need to make sure that we treat taxation fairly."

Capital gains tax

Labour could bring in a capital gains tax if elected - a tax on profits from a sale.

Ms Ardern has ruled it out on the family home, but that's it - a capital gains tax could mean a tax when a business is sold, when land is sold, when a business is sold or when shares are sold.

Labour won't tell voters what it will do yet - it will have a review if in Government - then do it.

Ms Ardern says: "I will be using that prerogative because I expect New Zealanders will want me to show leadership on that issue."

Retirement age

Ms Ardern has been sold as the 'generational warrior'. She joked that while she may not identify as a 'youth', she's 'youth adjacent'.

So, in the war between millennials and baby boomers, whose side is Ms Ardern on?

Millennials are calling for a change to the superannuation age. Prime Minister Bill English will raise it to 67 years by 2040.

But Ms Ardern has ruled out raising it raise it - ever.

Ms Ardern says: "I've already ruled it out. We're not campaigning on it. We're not looking to make any changes. It's not on our agenda."


Ardern is prepared to pull New Zealand out of the TPP.

TPP 11 is already on the table - that's 11 countries getting ready to sign a deal without Donald Trump's United States.

The countries have agreed not to renegotiate because it would mess up the deal - but Ms Ardern wants to open it up again.

In a big call, Ms Ardern says if elected, she will pull out of the deal unless Labour gets a clause allowing it to ban foreign home buyers.

Ms Ardern says: "We've always made it clear that that was a bottom line for us.

"Unlike other countries, unfortunately the current Government hadn't negotiated a carve-out for us to maintain the right of domestic residents to purchase their own land and put a ban on foreign speculators, so we will try and renegotiate that."

Water tax

Farmers will be hit by a water tax under Ardern.

Labour wants to charge a 'fair and affordable' royalty to large commercial users of water - including water bottling companies.

Royalties for bottled and irrigated water will be set after a consultation period, with revenue then used to clean up waterways. But farmers and horticulturalists have raised concerns about how the levies could impact on their businesses.

Climate change

Ms Ardern would charge farmers for climate-change-causing emissions.

This could happen in the first term of a Labour Government.

Today Ms Ardern revealed she could charge farmers for emissions in the first term of a Labour Government by bringing agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Ms Ardern says some industries will bear the brunt of tackling climate change more than others and Labour would develop 'relief' for those industries in the form of a financial offset.

Ms Ardern says: "We're very clear that there are some industries that will bear the brunt of dealing with climate change more than others. Agriculture is one of the areas we need to do that."

"We want to make sure, for instance, that they are only picking up 10 percent of what they're contributing, because we know that they are an industry that are facing the front-end of climate change. We need to ease the path for them. If we don’t then at some point they're going to be brought in with a sharp jolt. We don't want that.”


Ms Ardern supports legalising medicinal cannabis and expanding the access of medicinal products, but won't be drawn on how she'd deal with the wider topic of decriminalising recreational cannabis.

Ms Ardern says: "It's a conscience issue. We're not campaigning on it"

However while she wouldn't give a straight answer as to how she would cast a vote on conscience, she did give a clue.

"What I've made clear is that I would like to see us treating it as a health issue. We can do that now, and I would like to see us do that now."

"If we just dealt with these through the drug court, which I'd like to see an expansion of, we could do that without changing the law."

Having said that, it doesn't necessarily mean she'd vote for a liberalisation of our cannabis laws.

"I also don't want young people to access this drug. I do think it's harmful for our young people. I grew up in Morrinsville - I saw that first hand."