I want to thank all New Zealanders who voted in the September 20 General Election.
Obviously, the result for National was gratifying, and was a strong message from the public that they have supported the direction we have taken in government over the last six years.
You can be assured that the new National-led Government has a clear plan to support higher growth, more jobs, higher incomes, and better public services.
We want to see New Zealanders and their families get ahead.
Returning to Black
Getting the Government’s books back to surplus and building strong surpluses in the future remains a challenge.
Returning to surplus means that we can start repaying the debts built up to support the most vulnerable New Zealanders through the recession and to rebuild Canterbury.
New Zealand’s economic growth of 3.9% in the year to June was the highest in a decade.
But one or two years of growth will not change our economic prosperity. We need to stay on this course for many years to really lift our long-term economic performance.
National will implement a number of policies to lift our long-term growth rate.
One of these initiatives is to reform the Resource Management Act to provide more certainty, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness in decision-making.
National is negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with Korea, which we hope to conclude successfully. We will also be pushing to conclude a successful Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, with all the consequent benefits of the pact.
Our plans include doubling the level of business research and development investment to 1% of GDP by 2018 so that more of our innovative hi-tech businesses succeed on the world stage.
We will increase the footprint of the Ultrafast Broadband rollout from 75% to 80% of New Zealand homes, businesses, schools and hospitals, and extend Rural Broadband so that all parts of New Zealand have access to high-speed broadband.
We will pass the Employment Relations Bill to ensure flexible labour markets that create more jobs for Kiwis.
We will also continue to remove chokepoints and improve safety on our roads by rolling out the next stages of the Roads of National Significance projects.
If we stay on track over the next three years, we can expect higher wages and more jobs for New Zealanders. It is only by having a strong economy that we can lift opportunities and incomes for families and invest more in the public services they rely on.