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Coalition Deal Reached – Business Confidence Up

Published 05 Dec 2023

National, Act and New Zealand First have signed a coalition agreement which will have an impact on businesses.

A summary of the key policy points which are relevant to businesses are:
  • Fair Pay Agreements will be repealed by Christmas 2023.
  • Extending the use of 90 Day Trial Periods to all businesses and employers – no matter how large. Currently only employers who employ 19 or less employees can use trial periods.
  • There will only be “moderate” increases to the minimum wage each year.
  • Changes to the Personal Grievance regime including removal of remedies for employees where they are held to be ‘at fault’ and setting an income threshold above which a personal grievance cannot be pursued.
  • Removing the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax.
  • Introducing legislation to refocus the Reserve Bank on a single mandate of price stability.
  • National’s tax cuts will continue, but will not be funded through a tax on foreign buyers.
  • A Treaty Principles Bill based on Act’s policy will be introduced and supported through to select committee.
  • The establishment of a new agency accountable to the Minister of Regulation which will assess new and existing regulation with the view to reduce ‘red-tape’ and let kiwis get on with business.
  • A Regional Infrastructure Fund, proposed by New Zealand First, will have $1.2 billion in capital funding.
  • Act’s policy to speed up the restoration of interest deductibility has been adopted, along with the party’s tenancy law proposals.
  • National’s fiscal plan, tax plan, 100-day plan and 100-point economic plan will go ahead, with exceptions as specified in the coalition agreements.
  • The current review of the Emissions Trading Scheme will be stopped “to restore confidence and certainty to the carbon trading market.
  • NZ First secured a Select Committee inquiry into banking competition, focused on competitiveness, customer services, and profitability.
  • Assessment and response to the impact of energy prices on inflation, and the impact of inflation on average tax rates will be assessed by 2026.
  • Establishment of an “essential worker” planning mechanism will be investigated.
  • Ban on offshore oil and gas exploration to be repealed.
New Zealand First’s Winston Peters will be the Deputy Pime Minister for the first 18 months of Government and then Act’s David Seymour will take over the role for the remaining 18 months. David Seymour is also the Minister of Regulation, which is a new role that has the responsibility of assessing the quality of new and existing regulation. Act’s Brooke Van Velden as be appointed as the Minister of Workplace Relations & Safety.