The next Government’s environment agenda: We created a one-stop shop to compare parties’ plans

The next Government’s environment agenda: We created a one-stop shop to compare parties’ plans

The climate election survey brings together five parties’ policies in a quick-compare table, and more detailed breakdowns, to show you how your vote could influence environmental action.

Many Stuff readers love nature yet worry about the planet, and know their vote matters.

But busy lives leave little time to go digging through all the political parties’ climate policies – but we’ve got your back.

We wanted a feature that, even if you only have 60 seconds to glance over it, would help you understand what each party plans to do (or undo).

We haven’t gone to every political party gunning for your vote this election. To keep it relatively straightforward, we selected the five parties currently in Parliament.

That’s not to say that a NZ First or TOP party won’t get across the 5% threshold or pick up an electoral seat and then be part of coalition talks. But based on polls at the time of commissioning, we determined the Act, Green, Labour, Māori and National parties were the most likely to sway the climate action the next Government takes.

Once we had our five parties, the Forever Project team narrowed down what we’d ask them.

There are hundreds of things politicians could do to bring down emissions (quite literally, the current Government committed to 284 actions in its most recent plan to bring down the country’s carbon footprint). But no one’s got time for that.

Sungmi Kim/Stuff

Experts say the world must halve emissions by 2030 for a decent shot at limiting global heating to 1.5C.

We’ve picked 15 policy areas. The Zero Carbon Act, which is the bedrock of national climate action, tops the list.

The survey asked about the climate policies that are most likely to affect your lives, such as the EV discounts (also known as the “ute tax”) encouraging drivers to purchase cleaner vehicles.

The parties told us what they’ll do about two of the largest sources of greenhouse gas in the country, agriculture and transport.

Our agricultural questions uncovered some interesting policy stances from the National Party, in particular.

Hot-button issues that we know get readers’ attention – such as the concept of building an enormous energy storage facility at Lake Onslow – are in the mix.


In 2020, a part of New Zealand saw 61 days of drought in a row. For many, it was devastating.

Act, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori got an additional question: would any of the things we asked about be a priority if they were to enter coalition talks?

We thought this might be the most important question of all. The answers showed the policy areas that National or Labour are most likely to be pushed to concede on, if they were in the position to form a coalition.

On the whole, the parties were upfront on what they’d do, giving detailed responses to our survey questions and answering the follow-up questions we sent them. We’ve highlighted where that hasn’t happened.

Labour was a key non-responder. It skipped over a couple of survey questions, and we got nothing further when we asked again.

We’ve tightly summarised what the parties told us in a quick-comparison table. But if you’re keen for a bit more detail, each issue has a page where you’ll find an explanation of the topic and a bit more info on each parties’ plans.

See the full results of the climate election survey here.