ACC funding boost for ambulance services

Keeping ourselves and our families safe and healthy is important to Kiwis, but if we do need urgent help, we want to know we have a reliable ambulance service to fall back on.

National is investing a further $9.2 million in emergency ambulance services to improve response times, increase the number of frontline paramedics and provide better tailored patient care.

At present, ACC operates under a fee-for-service system where ambulance services invoice ACC for each patient taken to hospital with an accident-related injury, regardless of whether they need to go there.

Under the new funding model St John and Wellington Free Ambulance will be better able to plan the right care, at the right time, in the right place. Ultimately, Kiwis will receive better and faster quality healthcare – part of National’s priority of delivering better public services.

For more information, click here.

Setting our sights even higher

Delivering better public services is one of National’s priorities, and better than expected progress so far means we have lifted the bar for two Better Public Service targets. That’s because we want to ensure the targets remain challenging.

A National Government would work to reduce the total crime rate by 20 per cent from June 2011 to June 2017 – up from the current target of 15 per cent. We would also work to increase the proportion of 25 to 34-year-olds gaining advanced trade qualifications, diplomas, and degrees by 2017 to 60 per cent. The current target is 55 per cent.

For too long governments have considered that throwing money at a problem equates to fixing it, even though evidence suggests otherwise. National considers results rather than spending to be a better measure of a productive public sector giving taxpayers value for money.

For more information, click here.

Working for New Zealand

The Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update issued this week (19 August) confirms New Zealand is on track to surplus backed by good growth, more jobs, and higher incomes.

The Budget surplus for this year is expected to be modest at $297 million and surpluses in subsequent years are not large. More importantly for New Zealanders and their families, the employment market is picking up and steady wage growth is forecast.

This confirms New Zealanders have the opportunity to build on their hard-won gains of recent years – providing we stick with National’s successful programme.

Now is not the time to put New Zealand’s good progress at risk with more taxes and much higher government spending. That would put pressure on families and households through higher interest rates and fewer jobs.

For more information, click here.

Government expands national parks

Under National, the Mount Aspiring, Paparoa, and Westland Tai Poutini National Parks have been expanded by 1,250 hectares – providing protection to these rich forests and pristine river flats.

The areas were previously privately-owned but were strategically acquired by the Government’s Nature Heritage Fund because of their high conservation values.

New Zealand has an outstanding network of national parks, and these latest additions ensure these areas are conserved for their wildlife value and native flora and fauna.

National’s “Bluegreen” approach to conservation is about preserving and protecting our resources now, and for future generations. We enjoy some of the most pristine and accessible natural beauty in the world and National is working hard to protect it.

For more information, click here.


Getting record numbers of Kiwis the surgery they need, sooner

Elective surgery makes a real difference to patients and their families – it reduces pain, restores independence, and improves quality of life.

Improving access to hip, knee, and other elective surgery is a priority for National.  Latest Ministry of Health data shows over 162,000 elective operations were performed last financial year – 44,000 more operations than six years ago.

We’re making each dollar go further – over the past five years record numbers of New Zealanders have received the operations they need, faster than ever before.

Protecting and growing the public health service for Kiwi families is part of our priority to deliver better public services. The National-led Government has provided not only record funding, but record results. This is what careful financial management can deliver to Kiwi families.

For more information, click here.

Teens helped into more productive lives

Going on a benefit as a teenager puts you at high risk of long-term welfare dependency. National is not prepared to let this be the future of our next generation.

The extra support young beneficiaries are getting to turn their lives around is already making a difference, so we’re extending it to all young people under 20 who need it.

They will be linked up with a capable adult from a community-based organisation to get practical guidance on managing their money and getting into education, training, or employment.

Helping set young people up for fulfilled and aspirational lives is all part of delivering better public services and building a more productive and competitive economy.

For more information, click here.

$20m funding boost for hospices

Last year more than 15,000 people received care and support from hospice services throughout New Zealand, and hospice staff made over 145,000 visits to people in their homes.

National will invest an extra $20 million a year to help the country’s 29 hospices expand their community care services into better supporting terminally ill people at home and in aged care facilities; and to create 60 new palliative care nurse specialist and educator roles. These nurses will provide training, mentoring, and hands on support for staff.

Hospices make a huge difference to people’s lives by ensuring terminally ill people are as free from pain and suffering as possible. Supporting the good work they do is a key part of our plan to deliver better care for Kiwis.

For more information, clikc here.