Prime Minister Christopher Luxon holds first post-Cabinet press conference

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has revealed the Coalition Government's 100-day action plan at his first post-Cabinet press conference.

The newly sworn-in ministers held their second Cabinet meeting on Tuesday afternoon, with the focus being on the Government's 100-day action plan.   

Luxon released the 49-point plan at 4pm. It can be found below.

These live updates have now finished.

4:25pm - Here's a statement from the ACT Party leader: 

"The ACT Party's coalition commitments will form a core part of the government's first 100 days of office," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"ACT, National and NZ First have committed to an ambitious work programme that will bring real change for New Zealand.

"This is a mammoth agenda but ACT's Ministers are up for the challenge. We've heard from people who are sick of red tape and regulation making it too hard to get on with business, from business owners who find overzealous workplace rules are making it too hard to make a profit, from law-abiding firearms owners who are concerned safe areas like clubs and ranges will be driven out of business, from farmers who are sick of their property rights being trampled over, and from New Zealanders who are sick of their taxes going towards schemes that are not providing a benefit to taxpayers. This first 100 days tackles those issues.

"ACT campaigned for a government of real change. We are proud to be contributing ideas to this government that will solve the urgent problems people elected us to address. ACT's Ministers are ready to hit the ground running and get to work for New Zealanders."

4:15pm - Luxon says the way the smoke-free legislation removal has been described has been disingenous. He says the policy hasn't come into effect yet, so the new Government is retaining the status quo. Luxon says comments from Te Pati Maori co-leader are not helpful.

Luxon calls Labour leader Chris Hipkins a "desperate man" and that he won't take a lecture from Hipkins about keeping a ministry together given Hipkins lost several ministers this year.

"Our message is to not smoke," Luxon says. 

The financial benefit of removing the smoke-free legislation - and continuing to receive tax from tobacco sales to 18-year-olds - is a "byproduct", Luxon says.

4:10pm - Answering questions from media, Luxon says the Government knows there is a lot in this plan and is biting off a lot. The Government will be hitting the country "with a lot more intensity" than previously, he said.

On the Reserve Bank decision, Luxon says it's disappointing the bank may have to lift rates in the future due to the actions of Labour. The Reserve Bank will be focused on tackling inflation under his watch, Luxon says.

Questioned about Peters' media comments, Luxon says they are not ways he would describe the Public Interest Journalism Fund. But he doesn't agree with the fund. He says different members of his Government will have different ways of expressing things. All members are united behind the same goals though.

Luxon says there are a number of New Zealanders who didn't think the fund was activated in the way it was. It leads to perception of bias, rightly or wrong, Luxon says.

4:05pm - Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has arrived for his first post-Cabinet press conference. He begins by shaking the hand of sign language interpreter Alan Wendt. Luxon is accompanied by Leader of the House Chris Bishop.

He begins by laying out his Government's priorities, and notes that the Reserve Bank on Wednesday reported that due to high inflation rates, mortgage rates may need to increase. Luxon says he wants to start early to get New Zealand back on track.

Luxon says the Coalition Government's 100-day plan is ambitious, but necessary. He says the Government will rebuild the economy, tackle the cost of living, address law and order, and deliver better public services.

He says Parliament will return next week. Over the time, New Zealand will see better results due to the action plan, Luxon says.

"We are ambitious for New Zealand," Luxon says.

The election of Parliament's Speaker will happen next Tuesday. Gerry Brownlee will be nominated for that role. The State Opening will be on Wednesday, alongside the Speech from the Throne. The first debate will be later that afternoon.

Next Thursday will see the first Question Time.

Not all maiden speeches will occur this year due to the number of new MPs. Some will happen next year.

The first Bill that will be introduced will be one to return the Reserve Bank to a single mandate - one to focus it on fighting inflation. A repeal of 'Fair Pay Agreements' will follow, along with Labour's RMA legislation. Others that will be repealed include the Clean Car Discount.

The House will lift in the week starting December 18. 

4pm - Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has revealed the Coalition Government's 100-day plan.

It includes 49 points that the Prime Minister said would help "improve the lives of New Zealanders".

They are:

1. Stop work on the Income Insurance Scheme.  

2. Stop work on Industry Transformation Plans.  

3. Stop work on the Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme.  

4. Begin efforts to double renewable energy production, including a NPS on Renewable Electricity Generation.  

5. Withdraw central government from Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM).  

6. Meet with councils and communities to establish regional requirements for recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle and other recent major flooding events.  

7. Make any additional Orders in Council needed to speed up cyclone and flood recovery efforts.  

8. Start reducing public sector expenditure, including consultant and contractor expenditure.  

9. Introduce legislation to narrow the Reserve Bank's mandate to price stability.  

10. Introduce legislation to remove the Auckland Fuel Tax.  

11. Cancel fuel tax hikes.  

12. Begin work on a new GPS reflecting the new Roads of National Significance and new public transport priorities.  

13. Repeal the Clean Car Discount scheme by 31 December 2023.  

14. Stop blanket speed limit reductions and start work on replacing the Land Transport Rule: Setting of Speed Limits 2022.  

15. Stop central government work on the Auckland Light Rail project.  

16. Repeal the Fair Pay Agreement legislation.  

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

18. Start work to improve the quality of regulation.  

19. Begin work on a National Infrastructure Agency.  

20. Introduce legislation to repeal the Water Services Entities Act 2022.  

21. Repeal the Spatial Planning and Natural and Built Environment Act and introduce a fast-track consenting regime.  

22. Begin to cease implementation of new Significant Natural Areas and seek advice on operation of the areas.  

23. Take policy decisions to amend the Overseas Investment Act 2005 to make it easier for build-to-rent housing to be developed in New Zealand.  

24. Begin work to enable more houses to be built, by implementing the Going for Housing Growth policy and making the Medium Density Residential Standards optional for councils.

25. Abolish the previous Government's prisoner reduction target.

26. Introduce legislation to ban gang patches, stop gang members gathering in public, and stop known gang offenders from communicating with one another.  

27. Give Police greater powers to search gang members for firearms and make gang membership an aggravating factor at sentencing.  

28. Stop taxpayer funding for section 27 cultural reports.  

29. Introduce legislation to extend eligibility to offence-based rehabilitation programmes to remand prisoners.  

30. Begin work to crack down on serious youth offending.  

31. Enable more virtual participation in court proceedings.  

32. Begin to repeal and replace Part 6 of the Arms Act 1983 relating to clubs and ranges.

33. Stop all work on He Puapua.  

34. Improve security for the health workforce in hospital emergency departments.  

35. Sign an MoU with Waikato University to progress a third medical school.  

36. By 1 December 2023, lodge a reservation against adopting amendments to WHO health regulations to allow the government to consider these against a “national interest test”.  

37. Require primary and intermediate schools to teach an hour of reading, writing and maths per day starting in 2024.  

38. Ban the use of cellphones in schools.  

39. Appoint an Expert Group to redesign the English and maths curricula for primary school students.  

40. Begin disestablishing Te Pukenga.  

41. Begin work on delivering better public services and strengthening democracy.  

42. Set five major targets for health system, including for wait times and cancer treatment.  

43. Introduce legislation to disestablish the Māori Health Authority.  

44. Take first steps to extend free breast cancer screening to those aged up to 74  

45. Repeal amendments to the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990 and regulations  

46. Allow the sale of cold medication containing pseudoephedrine

47. Begin work to repeal the Therapeutics Products Act 2023  

48. Establish a priority one category on the social housing waitlist to move families out of emergency housing into permanent homes more quickly  

49. Commission an independent review into Kāinga Ora's financial situation, procurement, and asset management

3:45pm - The press conference is expected to begin at 4pm. Newshub will livestream that above.

3:30pm - The new Finance Minister Nicola Willis says National is still a party that helps low-income Kiwis with the cost of living crisis after it was revealed some families were going to miss out on $38 per week.   

The new Government is still getting its feet under the table at the Beehive, but more information is emerging about which National policies had to be scrapped during collation talks with New Zealand First and the ACT Party.    

One policy that was scrapped means that low-and middle-income families who were receiving Working for Families Tax Credits are going to miss out on up to $38 a week that they were in line for.   

Read more here.

3:10pm - The Luxon Government has come under fire for its decision to pull back on smoke-free legislation, with Labour leader Chris Hipkins on Wednesday calling it an embarassment for New Zealand and "morally reprehensible". 

The new Government plans to make several changes to smokefree legislation, including removing a so-called 'generation ban'. This would have prohibited people born after a specific date from purchasing cigarettes, therefore over time removing legal demand.  

"It shows that just two days into Government, they have already lost their moral compass," Hipkins said. 

"It's an international embarrassment as well. The first major international headlines that this Government has attracted are around their decision to increase the number of New Zealanders who smoke cigarettes. I think that's bad news for New Zealand. It's bad for our international brand and I think the Government needs to rethink."  

Labour's health spokesperson Dr Ayesha Verrall said it was "absolutely disgusting" that the Government was playing with those laws to "fund the National Party's tax credits".  

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon.
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. Photo credit: Newshub.

3pm - One of the main topics of interest for the press conference will be around Christopher Luxon's view on Winston Peters' recent actions.

On Monday, after being sworn in as deputy Prime Minister, Peters incorrectly alleged that the former Government had bribed media through the Public Interest Journalism Fund. 

Luxon was asked about the appropriateness of those comments at a media photo opportunity in Cabinet on Tuesday. He claimed to have not seen the comments.

Just after that, sitting next to Luxon, Peters lashed out again at the media, asking what it had to do to receive the money. Luxon wouldn't comment on that.

On Wednesday, when speaking with The Country, he blamed the media for the August 2020 Auckland COVID-19 lockdown.

2:40pm - Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newshub's live updates of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's first post-Cabinet press conference.

The post-Cabinet press conference is a weekly tradition for Prime Ministers. It is held in the Beehive theatrette after Cabinet meetings, usually on Monday afternoons at 4pm. The Prime Minister and relevant ministers usually make announcements or speak about Government policies at the start of the conference, followed by about 30 minutes of question from journalists.

Cabinet met briefly on Tuesday, but had its first major meeting on Wednesday, during which it is expected to have discussed the action plan for the Government's first 100 days.