The Greens' 10 big policy gains

Free counselling for under-25s and a referendum on personal use of cannabis are two of the policy gains made by the Green Party as part of its confidence and supply arrangement with the Labour Party.

An email sent out to Green Party delegates last night, and subsequently shared on social media, outlines 10 areas the Greens have had wins.

Three of the policy gains are environment-focused, with the other seven concerning on the gender pay gap, welfare, mental health, access to education for children with special needs, students living in hardship and the family reunification scheme for refugees.

Fractures appeared in the Green Party after its launch of a welfare policy that would scrap most benefit sanctions and raise benefits by 20 percent. At the policy launch, former co-leader Metiria Turei said she had committed welfare fraud because her benefit was too low to raise a child as a single mother.

The fall-out saw the Greens lose the support of two senior MPs, then co-leader Ms Turei resigned along with two senior staffers in the lead-up to the election.

It will be some relief to the party that it was not all in vain - the Greens have gained a commitment from Labour to "overhaul the welfare system" and remove "excessive sanctions".

Policy gains promised by Labour as part of the confidence and supply arrangement are not legally binding. It is a symbolic document, but if the parties are to work together effectively, it will need to be honoured.

The policy gains are:

1. Climate action

"Significant climate action, with a shift towards a net zero carbon emissions economy by 2050" and the establishing of an independent climate commission. This would include shifting farms to "more sustainable land use" and a focus on transport, energy and primary industries.

2. Beneficaries

The welfare system will be overhauled. Specific promises include ensuring access to entitlements, removing "excessive sanctions" and reviewing Working for Families "so that everyone has a standard of living and income that enables them to live in dignity".

3. Conservation

"Significant gains in the conservation budget."

4. Water

Improve water quality and fund "freshwater enhancement". Government support for irrigation will be wound down.

5. Mental health

Free counselling for under-25s and access to mental health services for everyone.

6. Special needs

Access to education for children with learning difficulties.

7. Gender pay gap

"Substantial progress" to closing the gender pay gap in the public service.

8. Students

Reducing the number of students living in hardship.

9. Refugees

Review, as well as "adequately fund and support" refugees under the family reunification scheme.

10. Drugs

A referendum on legalising the personal use of cannabis by 2020. Funding for drug and alcohol addiction services will be increased.