The Labour Party said it will establish an Aged Care Working Group to make changes in the sector if elected to government.
Party leader David Cunliffe said the group would implement agreed staffing levels and work on giving private-sector nurses and caregivers pay parity with their counterparts employed by district health boards.
"So in addition to accessing the new minimum wage increase we'll be setting this review up within the first 100 days to ensure that there are good standards and good remuneration across the sector."
The work would be facilitated by an Aged Care Commissioner, whose role would include investigating claims of elder abuse, neglect and financial mismanagement, he said.
Labour would also extend the rates rebate scheme to those living in retirement villages.