As of September 18, New Zealand First has promised $27.5b in new spending. This is the largest by any party and works out at $15,967 per household.
NZ First has the longest (and least articulate) list of policies of any party. A large chunk of these policies has yet to be included for lack of detail of their costs. We have made contact with NZ First for further clarification and are awaiting their response. If and when more information is provided the Bribe-O-Meter will be updated accordingly.
Of policies that are detailed enough to allow accurate costing, total spending commitments over the next parliamentary term are $22.9b – the most of any party.
The most costly policy so far is the proposed write-down of student debt for those who work in New Zealand following their study. This has been estimated at $4.6b per annum.
New Zealand First plans to halt all 1080 use and replace with trapping. This is estimated to cost the taxpayer an additional $129m each year, which includes savings from stopping 1080 drops.
Implementing 200km of median barriers on particular roads is estimated to cost $444m using previous cost estimates by AA as a guideline.
The promised buy-back of the 2013 Assets Sales (i.e. Meridian, Mighty River Power – now Mercury - and Genesis) at original sales price will cost approximately $4.3b. However, a recent backdown of this suggested they will pay market price. On current market prices this works out about $7.3b.
Other smaller policies include increasing veterans pensions by 10% ($25.6m over three years), insulating all homes ($159m), reintroducing a non-commercial public sector TV channel ($45m), increasing funding for cycling and walkways ($150m) and an Infrastructure Equalization Fund ($100m per year).
New Zealand First has promised an extra $800-$1000 per year for New Zealand’s 650,000 SuperGold card holders. Using the lower bound figure, this is estimated to cost approximately $520m per year.
Note: For consistency, we have decided not to include the proposal to remove GST off food as we do not include tax cuts. However, there is some argument that this policy is similar to a tax credit which we do normally include. For clarity, this policy is estimated to cost $3b a year.