Thank you for your support

I would like to thank New Zealand for giving us another three years of your support. It is not something that we take for granted, and we will continue to work hard for you and our communities.

Your support means a strong, stable National-led Government for New Zealanders for another three years.

National laid out a clear plan to keep New Zealand heading in the right direction, we will remain focused on that, and on delivering better public services for you and your family.

We will continue to build a strong and growing economy that delivers more jobs and higher incomes.

National will continue to support businesses to invest, grow, and create jobs by delivering on our ten Business Growth Agenda priorities.

We will stay in surplus, reduce debt, and keep taxes low. We know New Zealand families work hard and expect the Government to spend their taxes on things that matter.

So National established the Better Public Services (BPS) programme to focus on getting results that make a difference to people’s lives, especially those who are most vulnerable.

We will continue to support those who need it most and we’ll back people to get ahead on their own steam.

One of our BPS targets is increasing participation in early childhood education, as we recognise education provides the opportunity for any child from any background to get ahead and make the most of their life.

At schools, we’re focused on raising the quality of teaching and leadership to raise student achievement. We want highly-capable teachers to work alongside other teachers, to help them develop and improve classroom practice.

In health, we’re investing more so your children can receive free doctors’ visits until they’re 13, and we’re extending paid parental leave so you can stay at home longer with your baby.

To help our exporters move their freight around the country, and help people travel easily around New Zealand, we will continue the Roads of National Significance programme and deliver our $212 million regional roading package.

While we have the lowest crime rate in 35 years, we’ll reduce crime even further by ensuring prisoners complete a 40 hour working week and rehab while behind bars, so they have a better chance of contributing to society when they are released.

Finally, we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Cantabrians as we complete the Christchurch rebuild.

There is a lot to do, and I’m glad we have the opportunity to do it.

National to further reduce ACC levies

Under National, the ACC scheme is financially sustainable and delivering better services. We are focused on rehabilitation, injury prevention, and streamlining processes, while maintaining high levels of service.

Levies have dropped significantly – $1.5 billion over the last four years – and we are committed to further reductions of between $700 million and $900 million starting 1 April 2016.

This is the equivalent of a tax cut for households and businesses.

A re-elected National Government will continue to support ACC’s rehabilitation and injury prevention work while further reducing levies on households and businesses, putting more money back in the pockets of Kiwi families.

For more information, click here.

Safer communities under National

National will make every public prison a working prison by 2017, and offenders who have taken part in intensive drug treatment while inside prison will attend specialist addiction aftercare programmes once they’re released.

We know if offenders can stay off drugs and alcohol, and gain an education and employment training, they are less likely to reoffend.

We are halfway to reaching our reoffending target.  These initiatives will help us reach that target, of reducing reoffending 25 per cent by 2017.

If National is re-elected we will re-set our target of reducing total crime to a 20 per cent reduction against our 2011 baseline.

We’ve made great progress in reducing crime – it’s at a 35-year low – but that doesn’t mean we can’t do even better.

For more information, click here and here.

Supporting our primary sector

A successful primary sector is a key part of our plan to create jobs, raise incomes, and build a more competitive and productive economy.

Our goal is to double the value of our primary sector exports by 2025, from $32 billion to $64 billion.

National is investing in high-quality infrastructure, with $120 million towards irrigation so far, $212 million towards regional roads and $300 million to enhance rural broadband. We want to support rural families and give rural businesses the tools to succeed. We won’t be aimlessly rushing animal emissions into the ETS and we have reduced ACC levies for rural businesses.

We are also supporting innovation and jobs in the primary sector by boosting research and development through the Primary Growth Partnership.

For more information, click here.

Delivering a strong New Zealand economy

National’s clear economic plan and careful financial management is taking New Zealand in the right direction. The economy is growing, new jobs are being created, and wages are rising.  Our plan for the next three years is straightforward.

A re-elected National Government will return to surplus this year and stay there so we can reduce debt. We’ll cut ACC levies for households and businesses, and we’ll start modestly reducing income taxes for lower and middle income earners.

Remember every vote counts on 20 September, we need to stay on course to see more New Zealanders in work, owning their own homes, getting the healthcare they need, and the opportunities they want for their children.

For more information, click here.

$100 million freshwater fund, new fencing requirements

New Zealand’s freshwater makes us an incredibly lucky country. We have over 400,000 kilometres of rivers and more than 4,000 lakes. National is committed to protecting this valuable resource.

We’ve already introduced the first national standards for freshwater and a re-elected National Government will create an environmental buffer alongside some of our important waterways to protect our freshwater.

To do this, we will create a $100 million fund to buy and retire selected areas of farmland next to important waterways and require dairy cattle to be excluded from waterways by 1 July 2017. Farmers have already voluntarily addressed some of these key environmental issues and we’re grateful for their work.

Our approach is about working collaboratively with farmers, communities, and water users because improving the quality of our environment goes hand-in-hand with building a more competitive and productive economy.

For more information, click here.

Working hard to rebuild Canterbury

Rebuilding Canterbury is one of National’s priorities. A re-elected National Government would continue the pace and high standard of the rebuild, building a new, vibrant and exciting city.

On Tuesday we announced the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority will become a departmental agency within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from February next year.

This will maintain the momentum of the rebuild, and puts the recovery work where it needs to be – at the core of central government planning.

The Government is not scaling back its commitment to the region, this move will support Canterbury’s long-term recovery.  The stable leadership of the National Government, and the resilience of Cantabrians, has kept the regional economy strong, with high levels of business and consumer confidence.

For more information, click here and here.