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Welcome to the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union Bribe-O-Meter. As political parties announce their policies in the weeks leading up to the General Election, we'll be crunching the numbers and showing you just how much all the promises cost. The information below covers all spending policies announced up to Monday 25 July 2017.

And the results are:

Bribe-O-Meter Graph

Graph Graph Graph

Click the shaded area of the parties above for detailed information on the spending promises in each area of spending.

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Bribe-O-Meter - National, Labour, and Green Party totals (as of 25 July):

Party Total cost (saving) of announced promises Cost (saving) per New Zealand household
National Party $1.35 billion $780.18
Labour Party $17.51 billion $10,153.46
Green Party $8.08 billion $4,689.09


As of 25 July, the Labour Party lead the Bribe-O-Meter and has promised $17.5 billion in new spending. This is $11.7 billion more than the 2014 election. $17.5 billion is equivalent to $10,153 per household.

Labour has focussed their policies on social spending, which makes up $14.1 billion of their total new spending. This includes $6.7 billion on welfare, $4.9 billion on health, and $2.5 billion on education.

The Bribe-O-Meter does not include amounts tagged for future policy announcements, as the costs of those policies will be reviewed once they are announced.

This week’s update also adds the Green Party and shows the Green's have pledged $8.1 billion in new spending initiatives, or $4,689 per household. Like Labour, the Green’s have focussed on social spending, committing $6.2 billion so far. Almost all of this, or $6.1 billion, is on welfare. This includes a 20% increase in all benefits, extending paid parental leave and changes to Working For Families.

The National Party remain relatively conservative, offering just $1.3 billion in new spending or equivalent to $780 per household. The majority of National’s current spending commitments are on economic development, including $831 million on infrastructure investments and $425 million on housing development.

National's major policy announcements over the last week were a $231 million infrastructure investment in Kaikoura and a $600 million investment through the repurposed and renamed Crown Infrastructure Partners – an entity aimed at assisting infrastructure funding for new housing areas.

You can read detailed breakdowns of each party's policies (and the costs) here:


What is the methodology and how is the information displayed?

The Bribe-O-Meter compiles the political promises of each of the main political parties and places them within the major spending portfolios.

It assumes that the government elected on 23 September will last for a full three-year term and oversee Budgets 2018/19 to 2020/21.  Policies announced that do not come into effect during the next Parliament will not be included in the figures.

Our analysis includes spending pledges announced between 2014 and now. Given that the purpose of the Bribe-o-meter is to track spending pledges announced by politicians, it does not model the effect of tax cuts or tax increases and the effect they have on households.

Tax credits and rebates have been considered as constituting new spending.

Will you work with political parties to correct or refine the numbers?

Absolutely! We want to provide the public and media with as much information as possible. If there are errors or a party disagrees with our assessment of their costings, we hope that the Bribe-o-meter will encourage the parties to provide the public with more information and transparency.

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