NZ Election 2020: Labour, National, ACT, NZ First, and Greens' economic policies

Labour, National, Act, NZ First and the Greens have all revealed their economic plans in an effort to get voted back into Parliament.
Labour, National, Act, NZ First and the Greens have all revealed their economic plans in an effort to get voted back into Parliament. Photo credit: Getty Images

How will New Zealand's economy recover from COVID-19? That's the question on every politician's mind ahead of the 2020 general election.

The election on October 17 will determine which party leads the country through the economic recovery and beyond. 

Labour, National, Act, NZ First and the Greens have all revealed their economic plans in an effort to get voted back into Parliament. 

Here are their economic policies. 


Labour has a five-point economic policy aimed at keeping "New Zealanders safe and keeping the recovery moving".

The policy involves investing in people and jobs, preparing for the future, supporting small businesses and ensuring New Zealand is well-positioned globally to continue our strong exporting relationships. 

"Labour will continue to put wellbeing at the centre of our economic plan, making sure our next three Budgets continue on the path we established with New Zealand’s first Wellbeing Budget in 2019. The economy exists to serve our people, and we’ll make sure it does," a statement on its website says. 

Labour's economic policy includes:  

  • Increasing incomes for the most vulnerable Kiwis and investing in extra mental health and wellbeing support.
  • Getting Kiwis back to work and training those who are out of work.
  • Creating thousands of jobs on crucial infrastructure projects, along with almost 11,000 new jobs right around New Zealand to protect the environment and clean up waterways.
  • Investing in clean energy, housing and the environment.
  • Supporting small businesses, entrepreneurs and job creators by supporting them to grow and export, with tax refunds, interest-free loans and more.
  •  Helping exporters connect with overseas markets and negotiating trade deals with the UK and the EU.


  • Introducing a new top tax rate of 39 percent for income earned over $180,000 a year.

  • Using extra revenue raised to protect health and education, control debt, and support the recovery plan.

  • Committing to no new taxes, or further increases to income tax next term.

  • Closing tax loopholes to make sure multinational corporations pay their fair share.

More details about Labour's economic plan can be found here


National's economic policy is focused on "putting more money into Kiwis' pockets while also encouraging businesses to invest and create more jobs". 

The policy involves investing in social development, cutting spending, reducing debt, and providing a good stand of living for all Kiwis. 

"The best path back to prudent debt levels is through an absolute focus on economic growth and disciplined spending, not higher taxes," its website says. 

National's economic policy includes:

  • Investing more in education, health, social development and infrastructure while leaving $10.2 billion in operating allowances over the next four years to deal with future cost pressures.

  • Suspending Super Fund contributions, eliminating wasteful spending like Fees-Free and KiwiBuild, and benefiting from the subsequent reduction in finance costs.

  • Returning debt back to 36 per cent of GDP by 2034 compared to the PREFU forecast of 48 per cent.

  • Building a strong economy that provides a good standard of living for all New Zealanders and opportunities for future generations.


  • Committing to no tax increases or introducing any new taxes.

  • Increasing tax thresholds by temporarily lifting the bottom threshold from $14,000 to $20,000, the middle threshold from $48,000 to $64,000 and the top threshold from $70,000 to $90,000. 

More details about National's economic plan can be found here

NZ Election 2020: Labour, National, ACT, NZ First, and Greens' economic policies
Photo credit: Getty Images


ACT has a five-point economic policy aimed at keeping "the debt low, cuts taxes, and getting the country back to surplus, while keeping Kiwis in work". 

The policy involves getting Kiwis back to work, balancing the books, cutting red tape, building infrastructure for the future and protecting public health. 

ACT's economic policy includes: 

Getting Kiwis Back To Work

  • 90-day trials for all businesses

  • Three-year moratorium on minimum wage increases.

  • Borrowing $76 billion less than Labour over the current decade

  • Returning to surplus by 2028 and begin repaying the debt

  • Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and the oil and gas ban

  • Allowing investors from OECD countries to invest without having to jump through bureaucratic hoops

  • Limiting the government's ability to pass harmful regulation.

  • Replacing the Resource Management Act and amend the Building Act

  • Ending politically motivated infrastructure funding decisions with a new, independent Infrastructure Corporation.

  • Temporarily doubling Customs’ funding to reopen the border as soon as it is safe to do so


  • Reducing the 30 percent tax rate to 17.5 percent and cutting GST to 10 percent for 12 months.

More details about ACT's economic plan can be found here

Green Party

The Green Party's economic policy is focused on creating a "better quality of life for people and the planet". 

The policy involves a progressive tax system, local jobs, supporting the Māori economy, regulating finance markets, promoting stability and quality of life. 

The Greens' economic policy includes: 

  • Encouraging government and businesses to measure and report on social, environmental, and economic indicators including gender equity.

  • Ensuring urban and rural areas have access to high-quality infrastructure including transport and broadband networks.

  • Removing barriers to sustainable development on Māori land.

  • Supporting sustainable industries and collaborating with the private sector to increase productivity and wages, fund research and development, reduce environmental damage, and grow the value of exports.

  • Utilise state-owned enterprises as strategic assets to support economic success and human and environmental wellbeing.


  • Introducing a new tax on individuals' net wealth over $1 million.

  • Introducing new income tax brackets of 37 percent for income over $100,000 and 42 percent for income over $150,000.

  • Closing tax loopholes and minimising tax avoidance by taxing big digital giants such as Facebook and Amazon.

More details about The Green's economic plan can be found here

NZ First 

New Zealand First's economic policy is focused on improving "the lives of ordinary Kiwis and putting New Zealand on a pathway to prosperity". 

The policy involves cracking down on tax evasion, supporting primary industries, supporting regional economic development, and prioritising maintaining and building New Zealand's manufacturing sector. 

New Zealand First's economic policy includes:

  • Supporting the primary industries sector and helping it grow sustainably by supporting value-driven innovation and enterprise.

  • Prioritising maintaining and building New Zealand’s manufacturing sector.

  • Reforming the Reserve Bank Act to reflect that New Zealand has an export-dependent economy while creating a sensible exchange rate regime that serves New Zealand’s economic interests.

  • Investing in regional New Zealand through the Provincial Growth Fund.

  • Supporting and developing the ‘Buy New Zealand Made’ campaign and where practicable place ‘Buy New Zealand’ purchasing requirements on tax-payer and rate-payer owned businesses and state-owned enterprises.


  • Improving the penalty framework for tax evasion.

  • Reviewing the double-taxation of 'tax like' instruments such as removing GST on rates.

  • Exploring the feasibility of introducing a lower business tax rate for exporters and import substitution manufacturers.

  • Promoting a simple taxation system by opposing complicated tax initiatives such as a comprehensive capital gains tax. 

More details about NZ First's economic plan can be found here