When the National-led Government was elected nearly six years ago, we inherited an economy deeply in debt, a country with high rates of crime, and regulation that burdened small and medium enterprises, stifling economy’s growth.
I shudder when I think back on some early instances of the poor state of our law and order that was experienced by Auckland’s Indian community, including tragic killings of liquor shop owner Navtej Singh and taxi driver Hiren Mohini.
These two examples of violence against the Indian and migrant community left many migrants doubting the safety and security of themselves and their families.
That is why I am proud of the law and order focus of our Government from day one.
We wanted to ensure that all New Zealanders feel safe in their homes, while they run their businesses, or when they are walking on the streets. With this in mind, we set a target to have an additional 600 policemen on the streets across New Zealand – 300 of these were for the Manukau district.
I recently visited the business partner of late Navtej Singh who still runs the liquor shop at the same premises. He shared with me that due to the work of the Manukau Police patrols, there has not been even one minor incident since Navtej’s tragic murder.
In law and order, we have a great story to tell. New Zealand now has the lowest rate of crime in 33 years. We also have the lowest number on record of youth appearing in court, and the number of street-racing offences have halved.
National has also had a strong focus on policies that encourage and support small and medium enterprises prosper. These community businesses are the backbone of our economy.
The effects of our efforts are clearly visible in the New Zealand economy.
Our monetary policy settings are considered the world’s best practice.
In the last few years, we have come through a domestic recession and a global financial crisis and now have sustained economic growth, increasing wages and jobs, and interest rates are just coming off 50-year lows.
There is always more to do, and we continue to be strongly committed to invest in brighter future for all Kiwis.