New Zealand has been a trailblazer in many important milestones. In 2021 too, it took some of the most monumental steps and decisions that advocate progress, change and improvement.
Here's a list of all the amazing things the country did in 2021.
1. New Zealand officially raised its minimum hourly wage to $20 an hour.
As per reports, the training and starting-out minimum wages were also increased to $16.00 per hour from $15.12 per hour.
2. The country also raised taxes by 39% on the rich.
The new tax rate will apply to anyone earning more than $180,000 a year. It makes about 2% of New Zealand's population. The government estimates that an increase in taxes will bring in an additional $550 million in revenue this year.
3. In a crackdown on smoking, people born after 2008 will not be able to buy cigarettes or tobacco products in their lifetime in New Zealand.
While the proposal was put forth by the health ministry in 2021, a law for the same is expected to be enacted next year.
4. New Zealand became one of the first countries in the world to legalize paid leaves for miscarriages.
As per the new legislation, three days of paid leave will be provided after a miscarriage or stillbirth, without needing to use sick leave.
To quote a member of Parliament, Ginny Andersen:
The bill will give women and their partners time to come to terms with their loss without having to tap into sick leave. Because their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. And loss takes time.
5. Jacinda Ardern fulfilled her election promise by making the Māori new year celebration, Matariki, a public holiday.
The country will celebrate Matariki as a public holiday from 24 June 2022.
6. 90% of New Zealand's population aged 12 and above have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Leading the way one step at a time.