Press Release – New Zealand National Party
Building a Stronger Economy New Zealand is not immune to the slowdown in growth in Europe and the United States. This is a time of global uncertainty, but National has a clear and balanced plan to navigate through the challenges ahead. It’s a plan …Building a Stronger Economy
New Zealand is not immune to the slowdown in growth in Europe and the United States. This is a time of global uncertainty, but National has a clear and balanced plan to navigate through the challenges ahead. It’s a plan we’ve been implementing since we came into office almost three years ago, and it’s a plan we’re making good progress on.
We’ve cut personal and business taxes. We’ve overhauled regulation to reduce costs to businesses and consumers. We’re spending billions to improve infrastructure such as roads, rail and broadband. We’re getting on top of government debt. And we’ve set a faster path back to surplus.
Last week ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s downgraded New Zealand’s long-term foreign currency rating to AA with a stable outlook, noting the more uncertain global environment. However, they acknowledge that the Government has made progress in getting its deficits and debt under control, despite the global financial crisis and cost of the Canterbury earthquakes. New Zealand retains a top notch AAA rating with a stable outlook with Moody’s.
BUILDING A SAFER NEW ZEALAND
This week Police Minister Judith Collins announced that recorded crime dropped 7 per cent per head of population in the year ended 30 June. This is a good result and it reflects the hard work by Police and other government agencies to make our communities safer.
National will continue to back our police and build a safer New Zealand. We’ve already provided hundreds of extra frontline officers, passed no-nonsense new legislation, and given police new tools to fight crime.
REMEMBERING LANCE CORPORAL LEON SMITH
It was with sadness that New Zealanders learnt of the death of New Zealand SAS soldier Lance Corporal Leon Smith in Afghanistan last week. Lance Corporal Smith was shot while the SAS were mentoring the Afghan Crisis Response Unit during an operation.
I was privileged to attend the private funeral yesterday, to celebrate the life of this remarkable soldier and to pass on my condolences to his family and friends.
Lance Corporal Smith’s death doesn’t alter New Zealand’s commitment to helping Afghanistan. It remains our intention to keep the SAS in Afghanistan until March as planned.
RETIRING NATIONAL MPS
On Wednesday, four National MPs who will retire at the election gave their final speeches. They were Coromandel MP Sandra Goudie, North Shore MP and Minister Wayne Mapp, Minister Georgina te Heuheu, and Rangitikei MP and Minister Simon Power.
These MPs have all made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand and will be missed. On behalf of the National caucus, I wish them well for the future.
This week Tamaki MP Allan Peachey also announced his retirement due to ill health. Allan has been a great representative for the people of Tamaki and valued member of our caucus, and we wish him all the best for his treatment and recovery.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE QUARTER-FINALS
Although Dan Carter is out of the Rugby World Cup due to injury, we know the mighty All Blacks can still bring home the Webb Ellis Cup. I’m looking forward to watching the quarter-final against Argentina from the Christchurch fan zone on Sunday.
The World Cup and REAL New Zealand Festival are going really well. I’ve had great feedback from the locals and visitors I’ve chatted to throughout the country, and I know the atmosphere will get only better as we head towards the quarters, semis and finals.
FROM MY DIARY
Today I’m in Northland. Tomorrow I’ll be back in Auckland to celebrate the Diwali Festival of Lights in Aotea Square.
Parliament has now risen until after the November 26 general election, so I’ll be on the road a bit more. I’ll be visiting electorates up and down the country, listening to the concerns of people in our communities, and explaining National’s plan to build a brighter future for New Zealanders.