Opunake & Coastal News Column Nov 18th 2015
Seven years delivering for New Zealand
I still remember the night of the 2008 election and the nervousness and excitement waiting for the results to be finalised for the New Plymouth electorate. Since winning this seat seven years ago I have seen this electorate continue to grow. New ideas and businesses start, local communities working together for one another and a Taranaki region that is strong and resilient. It is most certainly a privilege to represent this electorate in Parliament.
As a Government we’ve been busy from day one, delivering practical results that make a positive difference for New Zealanders. First up, we rolled out our 100-day action plan to deliver our core election promises on the economy, law and order, education, and health.
We’ve carried on as we began – we’re delivering on our promises and taking New Zealanders with us. As a result of our responsible management we’re making great strides towards helping New Zealanders build a stronger, more prosperous country – a country where we can have a great lifestyle and earn a good income that compares well with the rest of the world, and Taranaki is a region that is iconic as a place to live work and play.
Here’s just a snapshot of our achievements over the past seven years.
We’ve turned the Government’s books around and achieved surplus for the 2014/15 year, a target we first set following the devastating Canterbury earthquakes and the Global Financial Crisis. An average wage of now over $57,000 and almost 200,000 more jobs created over the past four years.
The first real benefit increases in 43 years mean 110,000 vulnerable families with children will be better off.
We’re delivering free doctor’s visits and prescriptions for children aged under 13 – that’s 750,000 kids who are benefitting. We’re also helping families by extending paid parental leave.
More people are getting the operations they need – we’re delivering around 50,000 more elective operations a year than in 2008 as well as ensuring cancer patients are getting treatment faster.
A record $25 billion is now being invested in health and education every year. Our dedication to education is ensuring our young people are getting a better education and achieving better qualifications.
We’ve negotiated major trade agreements to help our exporters, and we’re supporting households and businesses through lower ACC levies, rolling out faster broadband across the country, and cutting red tape.
And we’re stood by the people of Canterbury and supported the rebuild to the tune of $16.5 billion.
We must build on these gains. National is focused and full of ideas for the years ahead to ensure we maintain the momentum we’ve built up since 2008. As your Member of Parliament I am committed to working with you all to ensure Taranaki remains a growing region with the infrastructure and support it needs and strong representation in Government.