Wednesday, May 22, 2024

‘We are getting New Zealand back on track’

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Botany MP and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. File photo supplied
  • By Christopher Luxon, Prime Minister and MP or Botany

This week I announced nine ambitious targets that our Government has set to get New Zealand back on track.

Improving the performance of our public services is one of our Government’s three key priorities, along with rebuilding the economy to reduce the cost of living and restoring law and order to keep families and communities safer.

We have made great progress already. In our first 100 days, we delivered on 49 commitments we made to New Zealanders that were important steps towards turning around declining outcomes.

However, I don’t want any illusions about the scale of the challenges we face as a country.

Despite the hard work of frontline staff on the ground – people like our brilliant police officers, doctors, nurses, teachers, and principals – New Zealand has been going backwards over the last few years.

The previous Government significantly increased spending while outcomes for Kiwis worsened. We understand that spending more money is not enough in itself to deliver better results.

Our Government has a different approach – one that is focused on having a clear plan and real solutions, rather than simply throwing money at a problem and hoping that will make it go away.

That is why we are bringing back targets, to focus the public sector on driving better results in health, education, law and order, work, housing and the environment.

Having these targets will focus attention, resources and accountability towards improving the public services that matter most to New Zealanders.

Our targets are focused on reducing waits in emergency departments and for surgery, safer communities with less crime, lower emissions, fewer families living in motels and more kids at school getting the skills they need.

We also want to see 50,000 fewer people on the Jobseeker Support Benefit.

We know that targets work. The last National-led Government saw improved outcomes in all 10 targets it set.

Other areas like Singapore, the United Kingdom and New South Wales have used them and experienced significant increases in the outcomes delivered by their public services.

These targets are not going to be easy to achieve. But we’re not here to do what is easy.

This is not a Government that will simply tinker around the edges of a problem. We are prepared to set ambitious targets, take steps to improve performance and measure results.

This Government is prepared to do what is needed to reduce crime, shorten healthcare wait times and improve educational achievement and be accountable to the New Zealand people.

We are already underway with actions to rebuild our economy so we can invest in the world-class public services Kiwis deserve and deliver on our targets by 2030.

Our Government is laser-focused on delivering better public services, rebuilding our economy and restoring law and order to get New Zealand back on track.

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