The Coalition Government’s first 100 days have been marked by 17 policy backflips and the creation of 10 inquiries and working groups that are the hallmark of a weak and confused Government, Opposition Leader Bill English says.

“The 100 days have been characterised by a number of policy backflips as the three disparate parties try and work out who is on top in policy areas as diverse as justice, immigration, employment, water storage, and the environment,” Mr English says.

“Sometimes the backflips have even occurred as a result of differences within a single party as they have with Stuart Nash’s GST on low-value goods or special visas for police.

“On top of that, we have seen the creation of 10 separate inquiries and working groups that are the hallmark of a Government that has no idea what to actually do across a range of policy areas.

“In addition, the Government has overseen a large fall in business confidence, failed to set meaningful targets for action on child poverty and done away with the social investment approach that would have delivered real improvements in the lives of New Zealanders.

“It is clear the Coalition still has its training wheels on. It seriously needs to pick up its act if it is going to have any success working on issues that New Zealanders care about.

“The trouble is that it only gets worse from here. At least for the first 100 days there is a checklist. From here on they have to deal with very tight fiscal constraints and a widely divergent set of views on the priorities and the policy areas that should be funded.

“This is a weak Government that is struggling to gain any real momentum beyond taking $1060 a year off hard-working middle income earners and giving it to first year tertiary students,” Mr English says.

“They need to start getting their act together.”

List of 17 policy backflips:

  1. Composition of 1,800 police, sworn versus unsworn.
  2. Use of migrant police officers to fulfil 1,800 police promise.
  3. Work for the dole.
  4. Scrapping of partnership schools.
  5. Support for the CPTTP trade agreement.
  6. Rollout of surveillance on commercial fishing vessels.
  7. Imposition of GST on online purchase of goods overseas.
  8. Date of re-entry of Pike River.
  9. Number of new trees to be planted.
  10. Being an open government.
  11. Slashing immigration by 20,000 to 30,000.
  12. Work rights for international students.
  13. Taxing multinational corporations under BEPS agreement.
  14. Compulsory te reo in schools by 2025.
  15. Splitting up Ministry of Primary Industries.
  16. Setting up a new Housing Ministry.
  17. Repeal of all 90-day trials for new employees.


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