Covid-19 has been the biggest shock to the world economy since the Great Depression. Every country is affected, including New Zealand. One of the key issues this election is the need for a stable government with a rebuild plan.

Jacinda Ardern and Labour have led a decisive response to Covid-19. By going hard and early we have kept New Zealanders safe and saved lives. We have fewer infections and deaths per capita than nearly any other country, and our elimination strategy means that we currently have no active cases in the community. A combination of our team of five million working hard, and strong leadership has put New Zealand in an enviable position.

We have always said that the best health response is also the best economic response. The two are not trade-offs as our opponents have suggested at times. Just look at the countries that did not have a decisive health response – they now have Covid raging at the cost of many lives, and devastating their economies further. Because we have gotten on top of the virus we now have one of the most open economies in the world and the opportunity to rebuild.

Our rebuild plan is already rolling out. Its focus is on protecting and creating jobs for New Zealanders right across the country. The Wage subsidy scheme was a critical initiative that kept hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders employed. Our ‘tax loss carry back’ scheme is delivering $3 billion of tax refunds to businesses to support their cashflow in a tough year. Over $1.2 billion in interest free loans have been provided to small businesses, and we’ve provided support to thousands of SMEs to get free business advice and to help get their businesses online.

We’re also investing to create new jobs. 11,000 people will be employed in our ‘jobs for the environment’ programme which employs people to clean up our environment. Around 20,000 will be employed to build 8000 new state homes, and many thousands more in the most ambitious infrastructure programme in a generation building schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure across New Zealand. We’re providing grants to business to help them take on a new employee who is currently on the benefit, or alternatively for that person to start their own business.

I’m especially proud of our policy to provide free trades training and apprenticeships to our young people. This will give our youth a positive focus in tough economic times, and support our country’s productivity in the years to come.

The world economy faces a tough year ahead and New Zealand will not be immune. We need a stable government with a plan. Our opponents are in chaos with three leaders this year, internal strife, and a budget that doesn’t add up.

In 2020, Jacinda Ardern and Labour have kept New Zealand safe. With your support we will keep rolling out our plan to rebuild our economy. Vote for stability and a plan – Party vote Labour.