We’re breaking down different parties' policies on some of the biggest issues in Aotearoa right now. Here's climate change.
These are condensed summaries, to make it as easy as possible for young voters to get key, relevant information. Parties may have more policies, or there may be more information or more policy detail beyond what we have been able to fit in here.
There are links to the full set of a party’s policies at the end of each section if you want more details or to see where it sits in their policy portfolio.
National wants to double the amount of renewable energy New Zealand currently produces to allow us to more easily transition our industries to clean energy and support electric vehicle use.
They plan to do this by removing consents for upgrading electricity transmission infrastructure and investing in off-shore wind farms.
They also want to install 10,000 more electric vehicle chargers by 2030, and plan to remove the clean car discount and Ute Tax.
Other policies where National mentions climate change as a motivator include
- building a rapid transit network in Auckland, and improving passenger and freight train services in the lower North Island
- removing the ban on genetic editing and genetic modification
- removing resource consents for creating wetlands
National want to remove or change farming regulations to give the agricultural sector more autonomy of their environmental management.
The agriculture sector is the only industry in New Zealand not charged for emissions through the Emissions Trading Scheme, but is set to be included in 2025. National will push this back to 2030.
Labour’s climate change policies focus on continuing the programmes they have already created while in Government, such as
- a $4000 rebate on homes installing solar panels
- rebates on making homes more energy efficient through things like doubling glazing windows
- installing EV chargers every 150-200 km on main highways
But through the election they have made additional climate change-focussed commitments, including
- increasing the NZ Green Investment Finance fund to $1 billion, which industries can borrow from to fund climate mitigating research, development and transitions
- a reform of the Emissions Trading Scheme to increase emissions reductions
- establishing a Minister for Just Transitions to make sure our transition to a low emissions economy is fair and equitable
Labour has committed to making sure the agricultural sector is included in the Emissions Trading Scheme by 2025.
The Green Party’s climate change policies focus on supporting funding for Government and organisations to implement climate mitigation, such as
- strengthening the Zero Carbon Act to ensure all government policies are consistent with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees
- including the agricultural sector in the Emissions Trading Scheme, and investing in on-farm emissions reduction
- establishing a standalone Ministry of Climate Change
- banning new fossil fuel extraction
The party also has a strong focus on resilience and adaptation to the impacts of climate change, with policies like
- passing a Climate Change Adaptation Bill setting specific actions and targets for how the Government will equitably respond to climate change impacts
- reprioritise long-term nature-based solutions to climate change over short-term engineering solutions
- establish a fund for central and local government, as well as tangata whenua and community organisations, to implement climate adaptation and resilience projects
The Green Party wants to introduce a $6k grant for homeowners to cover things like installing insulation and solar panels and replacing fossil-fuel appliances. They also would like to install solar panels on all Government buildings and public housing.
The ACT party want to repeal a range of climate legislation they say is at the expense of New Zealand’s economy, including
- repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Climate Change Commission
- scrapping the goal of reaching net emissions 50% below 2005 by 2030
- removing the ban on oil and gas exploration and the clean car discount
- repeal plans to move to 100% renewable electricity generation
ACT thinks our climate mitigation tactics are making us uncompetitive in the global market, and want us to follow the lead of trading partners in setting emissions caps.
They believe New Zealanders are more likely to engage with climate mitigation if it doesn’t make the cost of living more difficult, and want to introduce incentives such as distributing money from the Emissions Trading scheme to New Zealanders as a carbon tax refund.
New Zealand First:
New Zealand First’s climate policies focus on how climate mitigation impacts business, such as
- rejecting any form of emissions pricing for agriculture unless it is adopted by our trading partners, and focussing on funding emissions reduction research and development in the sector using Emissions Trading Scheme revenue
- working with the fishing industry to upgrade fishing boats that are more modern and climate-friendly
- looking at reopening closed coal mines and the Marsden Point Oil Refinery
They also want to halt the creation of any new landfills and investigate potentially generating electricity from our waste.
NZ First candidates have spoken about the need for New Zealand to not be “frog-marched to the altar of climate hysteria”.
Te Pāti Māori:
Many of Te Pāti Māori’s climate change policies focus on shifting the way we interact with the land in order to improve the atmosphere, such as
- ending onshore oil and gas permits, and withdrawing current permits within five years
- banning seabed mining, and mining on conservation land
- phasing out synthetic fertiliser use by 2025, and bringing the agriculture sector into the Emissions Trading Scheme
- establishing a fund to incentivise Māori farmers to transition to regenerative farming
They also have a range of policies focussed on making sure Māori and Pasifika communities have the ability to adapt and be resilient to the impacts of climate change, including
- a $1 billion fund to upgrade Māori homes, schools, and marae with insulation and solar panels
- the creation of a national Māori strategy for renewable energy and clean technology
- a commitment for New Zealand to take a stronger role in supporting Pasifika leaders in dealing with climate change on the world stage
Read more on Te Pāti Māori’s policies here.
Notes on our methodology
How we chose the parties: We’ve included the parties who currently have MPs in Parliament, (a.k.a. Labour, National, Greens, ACT and Te Pāti Māori) or those who recent polls show are likely to win one electorate seat or meet the 5% threshold to get into Parliament (a.k.a NZ First). Political parties need to get at least 5% of the party vote, or win at least one electorate seat, to get into Parliament.
These are condensed summaries: To make it as easy as possible for young voters to get key, relevant information. Parties may have more policies, or there may be more information or more policy detail beyond what we have been able to fit in here.
These summaries were accurate as of the time of publication: but parties can release policies right up until the day before election day, so some parties may announce policies after we have published.
How will these policies be paid for? Where possible we’ve tried to include information about what the parties say these policies will cost, and how they will be paid for, but not every announcement has that information.
Difference between election promises and government policy announcements:
Some of the things Labour has announced over the last few months are government policy announcements (where work can start on them as soon as they are announced), and some are election promises (where they only happen if that party gets elected). It all gets a bit confusing because both of these things can be referred to as policies, so where possible we’ve tried to indicate which is which.
Check out our other policy breakdowns (so far) here:
And some of our other election coverage: