UnitedFuture Confidence and Supply Agreement 2011
United Future agrees to provide confidence and supply for the term of this Parliament, to a National-led government
The relationship between United Future and the government will be based on good faith and no surprises.
The Government will consult with United Future on issues including:
- The broad outline of the legislative programme
- Key legislative measures
- Major policy issues; and
- Broad budget parameters.
Consultation will occur in a timely fashion to ensure United Future views can be incorporated into final decision-making.
Formal consultation will be managed between the Prime Minister's Office and the Office of the Leader of United Future.
Other co-operation will include:
- Access to relevant Ministers
- Regular meetings between the Prime Minister and the United Future Leader
- Advance notification to the other party of significant announcements by either the Government or United Future; and
- Briefings by the Government on significant issues before any public announcement.
The Leader of United Future will be appointed to the positions of Minister of Revenue, Associate Minister of Health and Associate Minister of Conservation. These ministerial positions will be outside of Cabinet.
The National-led government has agreed during this term of Parliament to adopt and implement the following broad principles, policies and priorities advanced by United Future:
- Passage of the Game Animal Council legislation currently before Parliament to establish the Council as a Statutory Body
- Reinstatement of the Income Sharing Bill currently before Parliament in the Government‘s upcoming reinstatement of legislation Motion
- Continued development of the long term medicines strategy for quality use of pharmaceuticals in the health sector, Medicines New Zealand, including the enhanced role of Pharmacists in patient medicines management
- Reducing elective surgery waiting lists by greater utilisation of private hospital capacity, in a planned way, where this cannot be met by the public hospital system
- Investigate provision of a no-charge annual health-check up for over 65 year olds for implementation when fiscal circumstances allow
- There will be no sale of any part of Kiwibank or Radio New Zealand
- Introduce statutory limits on the sale of public assets to no more than 49% of shareholding to private interests including limits on the extent of single entity ownership
- Maintain at least current Budget funding tracks to TVNZ and Radio New Zealand to ensure they continue to fulfil their existing public broadcasting roles
- Support Public-Private partnerships for major roading infrastructure developments where these are deemed to be the preferred options regionally and nationally, in particular the Transmission Gully highway
- Put in place the necessary legislative provisions to cease guided helicopter hunting on the conservation estate involving the shooting of game animals from helicopters and the herding and hazing of game animals as part of the hunt, and the inequitable access provisions for guided helicopter hunting in wilderness areas
- The Families Commission will have two broad functions – the existing functions will be headed by a single Commissioner, and new monitoring, evaluation and research functions to drive quality services for families. In addition a Families Status Report will be developed to measure how New Zealand families are getting on, and government will re-direct $4m over four years to fund extra parenting programmes and relationship education in secondary schools
- Investigate cross agency co-operation for the further development of ‘Youth One Stop Shops’ support services
- Introduce pre-release assessments for all sentenced prisoners appearing before the Parole Board regarding their alcohol and/or drug dependency; and
- Maintain free public access to rivers, lakes, forests and coastline.
The government notes that United Future has been committed to its “Flexi-Superannuation” proposal as a key part of its retirement policy and agrees that a government discussion document investigating this issue will be developed.
The Government further notes that United Future has been committed to improving water quality in our lakes rivers and streams, in particular mitigating the impact of agrarian runoff on these waterways, and in ensuring quality standards and existing management of water supplies, and agrees that United Future will be consulted and involved in any initiatives concerning these issues.
The Government has identified the initiatives on National’s Post-Election Action Plan as priorities and United Future acknowledges the electoral support for this plan. Accordingly, United Future agrees to support the legislation required to give effect to the plan, insofar as it is consistent with this agreement.
National will consult with United Future about the details of the legislation that it proposes, before its final decisions are taken. Where any points of difficulty arise, both parties agree to discuss these in good faith seeking a mutually-agreed resolution.
It is agreed that the Leader of United Future will be briefed on significant issues which are likely to be politically sensitive before any public announcements are made.
It is agreed that where briefings are provided to United Future, or where United Future is involved in a consultative arrangement with regard to legislation, policy or budgetary matters, all such discussions shall be confidential unless otherwise agreed.
In the event that government papers are provided to United Future in the course of consultation or briefings they shall be treated as confidential and shall not be released or the information used for any public purpose without the express agreement of the relevant Minister.
In the event that Cabinet or Cabinet committee papers are provided to United Future for the purposes of consultation they shall be provided to a designated person within the Office of the Leader who will take responsibility for ensuring they are accorded the appropriate degree of confidentiality.
United Future agrees to fully represent the government's position and be bound by Cabinet Manual provisions in respect of any areas within the portfolio responsibility of the Leader of United Future, and to support all areas which are matters of confidence and supply.
In other areas "agree to disagree" provisions will be applied as necessary.
Where there has been full participation in the development of a policy initiative outside of any portfolio responsibility held by the Leader of United Future, and that participation has led to an agreed position, it is expected that all parties to this agreement will publicly support the process and the outcome.
United Future agrees to be bound by the Cabinet Manual in the exercise of Ministerial responsibilities and, in particular, agrees to be bound by the provisions in the Cabinet Manual on the conduct, public duty, and personal interests of Ministers.
United Future agrees that it will support the government on procedural motions in the House and in Select Committees, unless United Future has previously advised that such support is not forthcoming.
The Government agrees that it will operate a no surprises policy in terms of procedural motions it intends to put before the House or a Select Committee.
United Future and the Government will consult on the make-up and operation of select committees with a view to reaching an agreed majority position.
Support for particular legislative measures which do not relate to confidence or supply will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Dated 5 December 2011
Rt Hon John Key Hon Peter Dunne
National United Future