Friday, February 23, 2024

National’s 100-day action plan delivers change

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National has scrapped the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme, started under the previous Labour Government. Photo Wikipedia
  • By Simeon Brown, Member of Parliament for Pakuranga

A couple of weeks ago, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon outlined the National-led government’s priorities for our first 100 days in office to deliver the change that New Zealanders voted for.

As a Minister in Cabinet, I have been tasked with responsibility for several of these priorities and I began last week by scrapping the $16 billion Lake Onslow pumped hydro scheme, started under the previous Labour Government.

It was clear already that this project was going to be hugely wasteful and would not deliver benefits consistent with its price tag, with industry experts in agreement that it would actually be a step backward for our renewable energy production.

As Transport Minister, I will be introducing legislation to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax, providing a sum of tax relief to motorists in our largest city.

I have also begun work to repeal Labour’s Ute Tax by the end of the year, which saw farmers and tradies taxed for buying utes in order to subsidise wealthy EV buyers.

Work will also begin on stopping the blanket speed limit reductions that have been implemented under Labour, with limits reverting to their previous levels where safe to do so.

We will withdraw central government involvement in the failed Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme which, after several years, had delivered just a single poorly located speed bump, and we will cancel the Auckland Light Rail project.

Wasteful projects like these that deliver minimal benefit with massive cost is not the way to improve our nation’s transport network, and National will issue a new draft Government Policy Statement on Transport to properly outline the way forward.

This will include our previously announced Roads of National Significance and public transport projects and will ensure a proper pipeline of new transport infrastructure gets underway.

In my role as Local Government Minister, the Three Waters legislation will be repealed as a priority to restore control of our water assets into local hands.

This will be followed in due time with National’s proposal to better manage these assets, ensure they are fit for purpose, and properly maintain them for future generations.

And as Energy Minister, I have begun work on a National Policy Statement for Renewable Electricity Generation as part of National’s promise to double renewable energy production in the coming decades.

There is a lot to do in our first 100 days to start getting New Zealand back on track, but Kiwis can be assured that, unlike the previous Government, we will deliver the change we promised.

You can read our full 100 Day Action Plan by visiting www.national.org.nz/100dayplan.

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