Wednesday, February 28, 2024

New PM vows: ‘We will deliver for Kiwis’

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Finance Minister Nicola Willis, left, with Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. File photo supplied
  • By Christopher Luxon, Prime Minister and MP for Botany

New Zealand officially has a new Coalition Government with National, ACT and New Zealand First.

At the election, New Zealanders put their trust in these three parties to steer the country towards a better and more prosperous future – and that is exactly what we will deliver.

Kiwis voted for a Government focused on rebuilding the economy, easing the cost of living, restoring law and order and delivering better public services.

I know that the last few years have been incredibly tough for many people across New Zealand and I want to get started right away on improving the lives of Kiwis.

We are starting the way we mean to go on – ambitious for New Zealand. With 49 actions to deliver in the next 100 days, our plan is hugely ambitious, but we will be working as hard as we can.

That plan includes introducing legislation to repeal Three Waters, stopping work on Auckland Light Rail and withdrawing central government from Let’s Get Wellington Moving.

The Coalition Government has promised to rein in the astronomic public sector spending that Labour oversaw and will, as promised, introduce legislation to narrow the Reserve Bank’s mandate to a single focus on price stability.

The explosion of crime under the previous government was shameful, and I have announced the prioritisation of several actions to make Kiwis and their families safer.

That means getting rid of Labour’s prisoner reduction target, which meant fewer offenders going to prison even while violent crime was rising.

The Government is also making good on our promise to crack down on gangs by introducing legislation that will ban gang patches and insignia in public and ensure that gang membership is considered an aggravating factor during sentencing.

The Coalition Government has announced quick actions to improve New Zealand’s public services, which have fallen off a cliff in the past six years.

That means re-introducing key targets for the health system and, to lift educational performance, ensuring primary and intermediate schools are teaching an hour of maths, reading and writing from start of 2024, and banning mobile phone use in class.

It also means introducing legislation to disestablish the Māori Health Authority, because healthcare should be based on need not race, and to unravel Labour’s Polytechnic mega-merger blunder, Te Pūkenga, which has been a disaster for New Zealand’s vocational sector.

New Zealand faces a number of challenges and New Zealanders can have confidence that the Coalition Government has both the team and the strategy to address them.

There is a lot of work to do but I look forward to making a positive difference as we get this country back on track.

It is a huge honour to serve New Zealand as its 42nd Prime Minister.

The Coalition Government and I have been entrusted with a massive responsibility which is to deliver for the people of New Zealand and to give clear, demonstrable and measurable improvements to the quality of their lives.

I will work hard every day to improve the lives of New Zealanders and deliver for this fantastic country.

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