10 August 2007
NEWSLETTER: Key Notes No.16
Fighting for the Future
I really enjoyed National’s Annual Conference in Auckland last weekend. It was great to catch up with so many people from around the country and discuss our latest thinking. I’d like to thank Judy Kirk, the party, and the delegates who came from so far away. Your commitment, your energy, and your hard work are vital to our success.
In my speech on Sunday I spoke about Fighting for Tomorrow. I touched on the policies we’ve already announced. I spoke about how New Zealand needs to make the most of our opportunities, how we need to help our struggling families, and how National wants to make homes more affordable for young Kiwis (see below). To read and comment on my speech, click here.
Many of our Shadow Cabinet also gave major speeches including:
- Katherine Rich on Preparing Students for Life Beyond the Classroom
- Tony Ryall on A New Partnership with the Health Professions
- Simon Power on Reducing Crime, Redeeming Lives
- Nick Smith on Simplifying and Streamlining the Resource Management Act
And, in New Zealand: At a Turning Point, Bill English spoke about how we want to achieve success for New Zealand in the global economy, because that’s the best way to look after the old, care for our young, and inspire our youth.
Making homes more affordable
Rising property prices, rising interest rates, and over-taxation have made it harder for young Kiwis to buy their first home.
Home ownership is a big part of the New Zealand dream. When people buy their first home they don’t just shake off the landlord. They make a life for themselves and their families in their neighbourhood. They take a stake in their community, their local school, the economy, and New Zealand’s future.
That's why National wants to make buying a first home more affordable again. And that's why, in my conference speech, I announced our four-point plan to improve home affordability. The four points are:
- Ensuring people are in a better financial position to afford a house.
- Freeing up the supply of suitable land.
- Dealing with the compliance issues that drive up building costs.
- Allowing state house tenants to buy the houses they live in.
There will be more to come. But in the meantime, every young New Zealander should know that, under National, if they work hard and are disciplined about saving, they can expect to buy their own home.
To read my speech and comment, click here.
Labour gets personal
You may have seen Helen Clark and her Ministers attacking me this week. Clearly, Labour is rattled by our polling, the policies we’re rolling out, and our relentless focus on New Zealand’s future. And, just as clearly, they are out of ideas about how to fix the big issues facing our country, such as:
- Our over-stretched infrastructure.
- The 1 in 5 Kiwis who leave school unable to read, write, and do maths at the minimum expected level.
- Skilled people deserting the country in droves – each week 760 people leave New Zealand to live in Australia.
- The frustration that people feel about the bureaucracy and over-regulation that hampers almost everything they try to do.
I won’t get distracted by personal attacks. My team and I are focusing on our job. While Labour spends its last year in office looking back and digging up dirt, we’re looking forward and developing policies to ensure New Zealand’s success.
Bay of Plenty visit
I had a great trip to the Bay of Plenty last week with East Coast MP, Anne Tolley, and our Maori Affairs team, Georgina Te Heuheu and Tau Henare.
We visited Ngati Awa in Whakatane, and went deep into Ngai Tuhoe to the historic Owhakatoro Marae inland of Ruatoki, where we had the privilege of being among the first MPs to be welcomed since Sir Apirana Ngata. It was good to talk with the iwi, hear their concerns, learn about their aspirations, and discuss our vision for New Zealand.
We also visited Trident High School in Whakatane, where we learnt about the innovative forestry programme the school is running. The programme teaches students practical skills that will help them get jobs in forestry. It’s a great fit for the local community, but the school doesn’t get enough funding for it from the Government so has to take money from elsewhere in its budget.
We want more schools to develop practical programmes that suit their community’s needs, and the initiatives we’ve announced on trades and industry training will go a long way towards helping out high schools like Trident and communities like Whakatane.
John Key MP
National Party LeaderTweet