Our Party and our country have been through a lot this past week.
We have lost an amazing man, National Party Leader, and Prime Minister, John Key. But we have gained an exceptional duo of expertise and talent with Bill English and Paula Bennett taking on the political leadership of New Zealand.
Having been elected as leader and deputy leader of the National Party, they have now been sworn in as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
I am proud to have been a part of the National caucus for almost six years now, serving the Botany electorate.
I have worked under John Key throughout that time. He has been an inspiration to the National Party and a much-loved public figure.
I have also been fortunate to have worked with Bill. As a Whip and a Member of Parliament, my role has enabled me to work closely with the leadership.
Bill English has demonstrated exceptional capabilities as the Minister for Finance where he has worked in a dedicated fashion alongside John Key.
Through some incredibly challenging times that New Zealand has faced, Bill has been right there by JK’s side.
These include the global financial crisis, the Canterbury earthquakes, and knocking the public service into shape. He has shown excellent skill in navigating the country safely through both financial disasters and natural disasters.
Our new Prime Minister has been the driving force of many Government policy changes, such as social investment and the Better Public Services programme.
As the Minister for Finance he has driven our Government agencies to provide better outcomes for New Zealanders without drastic budget increases.
He has also championed a model of Government where we identify ways to invest in social services as the front end to ensure better long term outcomes for those most in need.
Getting an education, a job, and a life of greater opportunities has been his driving force behind government economic and social policy.
The past week has seen a very large shift in the political leadership of the country. But we have managed to deliver both continuity and contrast with the election of Bill English and Paula Bennett. I look forward to continuing to work as part of a stable National Government, led now by Bill English.
By: Jami-Lee Ross, Member of Parliament for Botany