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Luxon's Quarterly Action Plan 'Pointless': Labour, Greens

Labour deputy leader Carmel Sepuloni Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The coalition's new action plan for the next three months is unambitious, hollow, and does nothing for New Zealanders' immediate needs, the opposition says.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's 36-point quarterly plan, released on Tuesday, has a deadline of 30 June.

It came with a mix of concrete tasks and easily achievable objectives Luxon said would "ladder up" to getting the country "back on track".

While plans for a new government's first 100 days have become more common, a quarterly approach is unusual - and Labour Deputy Leader Carmel Sepuloni told RNZ it appeared to be trying to capitalise on Luxon's former experience as a chief executive.

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"Putting out points like this and trying to guise it as some chief executive way of running the country is kind of pointless when there's not much in it," she said.

"Some of the commitments are just business as usual including delivering a Budget in May and finalising the GPS on Land Transport ... I think half of the commitments are to take policy decisions, commission a study, or start a review.

"The prime minister is approaching running the country like he's the CEO of an organisation, but as we've said a number of times: A country is not a business."

She said it was not ambitious enough to tackle the real challenges New Zealanders were facing like the cost of living.

While Sepuloni acknowledged the government's plan to provide tax cuts in the Budget was an effort aimed at that problem, "the problem with the tax relief, of course, is 'at what cost?'," she said.

She pointed to the government's decisions to increase minimum wage by just 2 percent, and align benefit increases to the Consumer Price Index (4.7%) rather than net average wage growth (5.3%).

"Our poorest New Zealanders are going to receive less so the government can take money to be able to pay for the tax relief."

Sepuloni said the ACT Party claiming responsibility for half the points in the plan raised questions, too.

"New Zealand First doesn't seem to have much influence at all over what's happening, so it does make us question who is running the country and making the decisions moving forward."

In a statement, the Green Party said the action plan was a pointless and hollow PR spin exercise.

Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and Chloe Swarbrick

Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and Chlöe Swarbrick Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick said it offered no meaningful solutions, and the plan was a "36-point bingo card for environmental destruction and trickle-down economics".

"Christopher Luxon is not in the boardroom anymore. The irony is these bullet points wouldn't even hold up in the corporate world: vague, immeasurable and untethered from reality and evidence," she said.

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them. This government has shown these past six months that its focus is squarely on gutting environmental, climate and social gains in order to line the pockets of a few at the top. They could at least be honest about it."

Co-leader Marama Davidson said the plan showed the government was more concerned with "keeping its wealthy mates happy than building a better future for all".

The vagueness of many of the points "fails to paint over the true colours of this government, which is to prioritise profit over people and planet," she said.

"Climate change is barely mentioned across this plan, and even then, it is to state that the government will be initiating a review of its methane targets that excludes farming related methane, and that it will keep farming out of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

"Looking to reopen an oil refinery in the middle of a climate crisis, rolling back Significant Natural Areas at a time our biodiversity is in decline, leaving agriculture as our most polluting sector to continue as is: this all exposes the fact that this coalition of cowards is too scared to defy the demands of their donors and do what is right and fight for a liveable climate."

She said Three Strikes and the "bootcamps" policy had failed in the past and would fail again.

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