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The first 100 days of the new Government


Towards a stronger economy and fairer society: the first 100 days of the new government

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton said today that the Labour-Alliance Government had made a good start on its plans to create a stronger economy and a fairer society during its first 100 days in office.

"The change of direction for New Zealanders since December has enabled the country to start shake off the malaise and despair that had developed under National governments through the nineties," Helen Clark and Jim Anderton said.

"Our older citizens, our students and those on low incomes are among those who have already gained.

"But we are also moving to boost the level of economic development, to close the gaps between Maori and Pacific people, and other New Zealanders, to make the public service more responsive and fiscally responsible, to reduce disparities in our health system and to help the arts and cultural sector flourish.

"Today we are presenting a report setting out the important milestones we have already reached during what has been an energetic start for the new government.

"In the months ahead we will continue to take the country forward.

"The legislation to rebuild the ACC scheme will be passed, labour laws will be overhauled to ensure a fairer balance of power in the workplace and housing for low-income New Zealanders will be made affordable, as we lead an economic and social revival.

"New Zealanders have responded positively because the new government promised change and is delivering it. We are simply doing what we said we would do.

"We have been heartened by the messages and expressions of goodwill for the new government and the direction it is taking.

"We will continue to govern in the interests of all New Zealanders as we work towards creating a stronger economy and a fairer society," Helen Clark and Jim Anderton said.


Contact: Mike Munro 471 9327, John Pagani 471 9172


Milestones reached so far …


ACC

Legislation to restore an effective and efficient single public fund for ACC in its final stages in Parliament

Communications

Established telecommunications inquiry to examine state of competition in the sector

Compulsory education

Eligibility for supplementary grants extended to all school principals, not just those on individual contracts

Signalled there will be extra funding for non-bulk funded schools

Conservation

Passed Hauraki Gulf Marine Park Bill, setting up new marine park

Honoured pledge to stop Timberlands' beech scheme proceeding

Consumer Affairs

Launched the "Power Line" free phone for consumer feedback on National's botched electricity reforms

Defence

Close to making decisions on future of F16 fighter aircraft deal, as promised

Economy

Released Budget Policy Statement pointing to continuing surpluses and improved social spending

Announced the establishment of the Ministry of Economic Development and Industry New Zealand

Energy

Established inquiry into functioning of electricity sector

Environment

Well down the track on establishing the Royal Commission of Inquiry into genetically modified organisms

Health

Moving to disestablish Health Funding Authority and to establish district health boards

Reinstated 24-hour Plunketline

Housing

Plans to restore income-related rents well advanced

Stopped the sale of state houses

Justice

Cancelled expensive Incis inquiry in favour of a smaller ministerial inquiry

Labour

Increased the minimum wage

Introduction this week of Employment Relations Bill, aimed at a fairer balance of power in the workplace

Local Government

Held central and local government forum to chart new ways of working together

Maori Affairs

Established Cabinet committee on closing the gaps and took steps to ensure that government spending on programmes for Maori is effective

Pacific Island Affairs

Closing the gaps committee as above

Police

Axed destructive police review

Revenue/Tax

Passed legislation to change top tax rate

Skills development

Broad policy development completed on the Modern Apprenticeship Programme (MAP), with announcement due this month

Career Services 0800 line launched

State Owned Enterprises

Stopped the sale of the Waikaremoana Power Scheme

New chairperson appointed to board of TVNZ

Stable Government

Introduced a new anti-defection bill to ensure that MPs leave Parliament if they leave their party

Superannuation

Reverse National's cuts to New Zealand Superannuation

Tertiary Education

Reduced the costs to tertiary education for students by ensuring that full time students and part time students on low incomes pay no interest on loans while studying

Froze the student loan interest rate while the scheme is reviewed

Slashed fees for dentistry students at Otago

Transport

Abandoned previous government's plans to corporatise roads

Secured air services agreements with the Cook Islands and Tonga

WINZ

Refocussed WINZ as a more client-oriented public service organisation

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