Wednesday, April 17, 2024

‘We will get things done’

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Botany MP and National Party leader Christopher Luxon says a National Government will deliver for Kiwis. File photo supplied
  • By Christopher Luxon, National Party leader and MP for Botany

What a start to the political year this has been.

Not only do New Zealanders know that the general election will take place on October 14, but in the space of just one week, Jacinda Ardern had announced her intention to resign, and been replaced by Chris Hipkins. Phew!

Despite this change in Labour’s leadership, nothing has changed for National, or for New Zealanders who are struggling to pay their bills.

This is the same old Labour Party, and Chris Hipkins has been a key figurehead in a Government that has delivered five-and-a-half years of failure.

Right now, Labour’s strategists are furiously trying to present Mr Hipkins as a fresh start for Labour. And he’s trying to present himself as a man of action.

It is likely that over the coming weeks, we’ll see Labour throw out some of its policies that have been deeply unpopular among Kiwis, such as the proposed RNZ-TVNZ merger.

But simply ditching one or two unpopular policies doesn’t change the fact that Kiwis are going backwards. Families are being hammered by the cost of living and rising mortgage rates.

The Government’s economic failings have contributed to the cost-of-living crisis, and it’s clear that Labour does not know how to fix it.

The new Prime Minister is saying that addressing the cost of living is his primary focus, but saying what people want to hear is not the same as delivering results.

This Government has been spectacularly bad at getting anything done.

The 100,000 Kiwbuild homes it promised back in 2017 are about 1.3 per cent complete, and the light rail that Labour said would be running down Dominion Rd by 2021 has not yet made it out of the offices of the expensive consultants who are working on it.

New Zealanders need a National government that gets things done.

We’ll focus on creating a strong economy because that underpins the standard of living of all New Zealanders.

We have a plan to tackle the underlying drivers of inflation so Kiwis stop going backwards.

We’ll also deliver tax relief.

The start of the political year saw me at Rātana last week.

Not only are the annual services at Rātana significant for Māori and members of the Rātana church, but over time they have become synonymous with the start of the political year.

Several headlines which followed my visit stemmed from Labour calling my transparency on co-governance “divisive”.

It is not, and I will not shy away from talking about things that are important to New Zealand.

National wants to reduce disparities for Māori, but we oppose the co-governance of public services in things like health and education.

That doesn’t mean that there won’t be kōhanga and kura delivering in te reo, but we don’t support separate governance systems for Māori and non-Māori.

We are one country, and what matters is that all New Zealanders get the services they need when they need them.

So, under National there won’t be separate systems for Māori and non-Māori, though we certainly do support iwi and other providers in delivering services to the communities they know best.

We’ll be focused on getting better results. We’ll do what works.

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