Election 2023: Policy cross-over between National, ACT and New Zealand First

Despite the public barbs, criticism, and perceived or actual animosity between National, New Zealand First, and ACT – there's quite a lot of policy crossover between them. 

This common ground could provide a solid foundation for the three parties to begin preliminary negotiations before special votes finalise the lay of the land and reveal whether Winston Peters' party will be needed to form a Government.  

Here's a look at where there's policy overlap.

Note: These are quoted directly from each party's policy manifestos. It is not a comprehensive list but if there are any glaring obvious additions, email me: lloyd.burr@wbdcontractor.com 


NZF: Restore 90 day trials to provide employer certainty

ACT: Reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses, not just those with fewer than 20 employees. 

Nats: Introduce legislation to restore 90-day trial periods for all businesses.

Three Waters 

NZF: 50:50 council/iwi planning committees are undemocratic and New Zealand First will stop it.

ACT: Return water assets to councils 

Nats: Repeal and replace Three Waters


NZF: NZ First will challenge welfarism that has gone in too many areas from a hand up to a handout. NZ First believes that the government and businesses have a role in finding employment for willing workers in a successful economy. 

ACT: Chronic long-term dependency on welfare is damaging the spirit and wellbeing of too many New Zealanders and their children. This needs to change. 

Nats: National will do more to get unemployed people off the Jobseeker benefit and into suitable work, including introducing more sanctions for those who persistently do not meet their obligations.

Red Tape 

NZF: Establish once and for all what the 'red tape' challenges are that hold all small businesses back and then work to remove them. 

ACT: ACT will introduce a Regulatory Standards Act to set a higher bar for new regulation, and will create a Minister and Ministry of Regulation who will be responsible for applying the principles across sectors. 

NATS: Establish a permanent Rural Regulation Review Panel to assess all regulations affecting the primary sector and propose solutions to cut red tape


NZF: Focus on doing the basics better through emphasising the 'Historic Three R's' Reading, Writing, Arithmetic. 

ACT: A structured system that builds a foundation of skills and knowledge in core subjects 

Nats: Implement 'Teaching the Basics Brilliantly', requiring primary and intermediate schools to teach one hour a day each of reading, writing and maths starting in 2024. 

Maori Health Authority 

NZF: NZ First will abolish the Māori Health Authority, other race-based initiatives.

ACT: ACT will immediately repeal the Māori Health Authority 

NATS: Introduce legislation to disestablish the Māori Health Authority.

Workplace relations 

NZF: Restore 90 day trials to provide employer certainty.

ACT: Reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses, not just those with fewer than 20 employees. 

NATS: Introduce legislation to restore 90-day trial periods for all businesses


NZF: Progressively increase real Defence spending to reach 2 percent of GDP by 2030

ACT: ACT's long-term target for defence spending is 2 percent of GDP in 2030 

Nats: For the New Zealand Defence Force do its job to the fullest potential of its personnel, it must have available equipment, ships, planes, vessels, vehicles and appropriate weaponry to the most reasonably affordable standard. National supports the current Defence Procurement Plan and recognises both the medium, and longer-term intentions of the Plan.

Mental Health 

NZF: Fund Mike King's Gumboot Friday charity

ACT: ACT's vision is a New Zealand where people with a wide range of needs for mental health services can approach a wide range of services registered with Mental Health and Addiction New Zealand through an efficient, simple to access and easy to navigate interface. 

Nats: Will create the Mental Health Innovation Fund will support innovative community providers like Mike King's Gumboot Friday to scale up their already successful operations so they can reach more vulnerable Kiwis.


NZF: Remove community sentences or discounts (such as cultural reports) for violent offenders who are considered a threat to the community

ACT: committed to abolishing cultural reports, we would also abolish the consideration of cultural background as a principle of sentencing.  

NATS: Stop taxpayer funding for section 27 cultural reports

Tax Deductibility for landlords  

NZF: Restore tax deductibility to encourage more landlords into meeting rental accommodation shortages.

ACT: Reinstate interest deductibility for residential landlords with effect from April 2024 

Nats: Restoring interest deductibility. 

Bright Line Test  

NZF: Oppose a comprehensive capital gains tax

ACT: Abolish the bright-line test, a stealth capital gains tax introduced by National. 

Nats: Taking the bright-line test back to two years. 

Agricultural emissions 

NZF: Will not support emissions pricing in any form unless adopted by trading partners, especially the European Union

ACT: Tie New Zealand's emissions cap to our trading partners' emissions so New Zealand businesses can be competitive overseas 

Nats: Prices must remain in line with our major agricultural competitors and trade partners so as not to damage New Zealand's international competitiveness.

Genetic Engineering 

NZF: Support developing science, which is common sense as opposed to consigning and transferring billions of dollars from our economy to foreign economies as our response to climate change action. 

ACT: Remove barriers stalling the uptake of emissions reducing technologies 

Nats: National will update regulations to end the effective ban on genetic engineering (GE) and genetic modification (GM) in New Zealand.

Auckland Light Rail  

NZF: Immediate cessation of work on Auckland Light Rail and voluntary liquidation of the Crown company given costs have spiralled from $168 million a kilometre in 2019 to at least $608 million in 2023. NZ First will instead back a heavy rail spur from Puhinui Station to the Airport at a fraction of the cost

ACT: It is still not clear what the purpose of the project is or why it is being done. 

Nats: Cancel Labour's Auckland Light Rail project.


NZF: Give the West Coast access to the Department of Conservation held stewardship land for sustainable and environmentally approved mining.

ACT: Supports economic development on public land excluding National Parks if that development results in a net environmental benefit. 

Nats: Repeal the ban on oil and gas exploration to reduce New Zealand's reliance on imported coal and ensure gas can be used as a transition fuel as we move towards Net Zero 2050.

Public Sector 

NZF: Smaller and more effective government. 

ACT: Government departments are no longer going to be able to get away with spending billions of dollars while failing to deliver meaningful outcomes for taxpayers. Any Government ACT is part of will demand higher standards and greater accountability from chief executives and departments for the money they spend. 

Nats: Start reducing public sector expenditure by 6.5% on average by requiring Chief Executives to identify back-office spending not critical to frontline services.

Resource Management  

NZF: Repeal the Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, which threatens both community cohesion and the ability for councils to plan and provide for requisite infrastructure alongside housing development across New Zealand cities.

ACT: Comprehensively overhaul Resource Management laws based on property rights. Meaning you have the right to develop your property and the only objections arise if you harm other people's enjoyment of their property 

NATS: Repeal the Natural and Built Environment Act and related legislation by Christmas 2023 with planning to revert to previous RMA rules