2040 Vision for Aotearoa New Zealand

The Opportunities Party believes that Aotearoa New Zealand should have a long term vision which informs our government's investment goals. Whilst NZ elections are held every three years we want you to know that our commitment surpasses this timeframe, and we have our eyes set on the big picture for future generations as well.

In reality, our major political parties all agree that we want NZ to be a safe and prosperous country where all Kiwis have the opportunity to thrive. This means the parties that make up the Government of Aotearoa New Zealand should be able to sign up to a long-term vision together.

There will still be room for appropriate disagreement between politicians on the balance and trade-offs between different goals; but a long-term vision would provide greater stability, and allow voters to make informed choices between the trade-offs.

Why did we choose 2040? 2040 is an appropriate date to choose as it will be the 200th anniversary of the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and it represents a great time to re-evaluate where we are positioned as a nation.

The TOP contribution to an overarching government vision would include (but not be limited to) the following:

The Right Foundation

By 2040 we will have brought domestic violence, the number of child uplifts, and our prison population down to the OECD average. (Being average may not sound aspirational, but sadly given where we are starting, it is.)

In order to thrive all children must have their basic needs fulfilled. Good food, shelter and security is non-negotiable. They need time to bond positively with their caregivers, affordable safe housing, and to live free from domestic violence.

Creating a vibrant, connected economy

By 2040 we will have moved past our dependency on “working harder” to grow our economy, and we will be focussing on lifting productivity by working smarter, embracing technology and supporting innovation.

New Zealand has some existing economic strengths, and it makes sense that we focus our limited resources there as well.

Honouring Te Tiriti, Clarifying Our Rights

By 2040 we will:

  • Forge a new Constitution which entrenches the Bill of Rights and communicate it widely to everyone.
  • Resolve past breaches and put in place shared decision making (rangatiratanga) for natural resources.
  • Respect and conserve practices of te ao Māori and cultural sites of significance by being guided by tāngata whenua.
  • Honour all communities by opening up the opportunity for a greater say over the services that affect them.
  • Legislate a 50% tāngata whenua representation (in the Upper House).

Environment

By 2040 each generation needs to be leaving our physical environment better than they found it, and we will have:

  • Reduced gross emissions from fossil fuels by two thirds.
  • Ensured we are improving our biodiversity with large parts of the country free of predators.
  • Restored the mauri (lifeforce) of our urban and rural freshwater and whenua.

Housing

We believe that affordable housing is critical for people to participate fully in society. This means affordable to purchase and affordable for travel to and from for people to access their work, schools and community. This will require investing in wastewater and roading infrastructure, public transport, parks and schools which will support denser urban living and create belonging.

Investment

By 2040 all major infrastructure projects need a business case which should be independently prepared, and allow for transparent comparison of projects. Politicians and the public should be able to see which projects can deliver against government goals.

All social investment will also be reviewed through a return on investment lens, and the Treasury should aim to shift public spending out of low return investments to higher return ones where possible.

Measures

By 2040 our government needs to have transparent, comparable measures to evaluate spending. We are unlikely to replace GDP with one guiding “measure” for society. Instead we are likely to have a basket of measures that we monitor as a society.

Population Strategy

A whole of government vision needs to include a population strategy. In order to do this, though, we need to answer some tricky questions:

  • What population do we want? Where are they likely to live?
  • Currently New Zealand has one million citizens overseas who could return at any time. How should we prepare for that eventuality?
  • We are likely to see some displacement from our Pacific neighbours by 2040. Given that our emissions will have contributed to their land being uninhabitable, are we obliged to offer some of them refugee status?
  • We have open borders with another 25 million people in Australia. Given global risks such as climate change could lead to widespread migration and large scale refugees, this agreement looks untenable.

At TOP we believe the rate of migration should be lower than it is currently, and targeted to quality, highly skilled individuals that can assist in building a productive, innovative economy.

Some of these vision areas represent a major departure from existing government practice which rewards parties to create policies with the intention of securing votes on election day. At TOP all our policies are evidence-based, so it should come as no surprise when we tell you that having political consistency on big issues across the whole of government has proven to improve a country’s outcomes. This means regardless of individual party policies, a 2040 vision is something that every party can agree is good for us.

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Page last updated on 23-Jul 2020