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22 July 2014
Speech to Local Government New Zealand

Thank you for inviting me to the Local Government New Zealand conference. It’s great to be here in Nelson, and it’s great to see all the local mayors, chief executives and elected members.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

The relationship between central government and local government is one of partnership.

We rely on each other to make good choices for our fellow New Zealanders.

Our legislating to ban psychoactive substances earlier this year was in no small part due to your advocacy on this issue. You saw the misery these drugs were causing in your communities. And you made it clear to us that you didn’t want them being sold on your streets.

We listened and we acted.

So it’s important we work together.

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29 June 2014
Address to National Party Conference

Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow National Party members.

Thank you for your warm welcome.

It’s great to be here today.

Doesn’t it feel good to be a member of the National Party?

Doesn’t it feel good to support a government that does things, rather than an opposition that just whinges and says no?

We’re a government that’s practical enough to know that when a storm blows trees over, you can mill them and create jobs.

Compare that with the Labour Party who’d leave all that dead wood lying around doing nothing.

Mind you, we shouldn’t be surprised because that’s what they do in their own caucus.

Today I want to thank my talented team of MPs.

I want to thank our support partners. Together, we are providing stable government that’s making a real difference for New Zealanders.

I want to thank our President, Peter Goodfellow, for his dedication and commitment.

I want to thank my friend and deputy, the author of six great budgets and the proud owner of a new book about yours truly, Bill English.

I want to thank my wife Bronagh for her support and encouragement – I couldn’t do it without you.

And I want to thank all the National Party volunteers who’ll be busy in the coming weeks delivering leaflets, canvassing, putting up hoardings, and sometimes coming back the next day to put them up again.

Your efforts are crucial in this election.

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06 May 2014
Pre-Budget Speech

Good afternoon, it’s great to be here today.

I would like to thank Business New Zealand and Fujitsu for hosting this event.

Today I want to talk about the Budget that Finance Minister Bill English will deliver next week.

I will also announce two important initiatives that will be of interest to this audience.

But first I want to set the scene as Budget 2014 approaches.

This will be the National-led Government’s sixth Budget, and can I say Bill English is doing an excellent job.

Through his previous five Budgets he has steered us through the recession, the global financial crisis, and the aftermath of the destructive Canterbury earthquakes.

It has been a difficult few years for many, and the Government acknowledges this.

We have taken on a considerable amount of debt to protect the most vulnerable families, maintain living standards and support the rebuild of Christchurch.

However, we are moving into a period where we are seeing improved economic and fiscal conditions.

Next week we will see Budget forecasts showing that in the coming financial year, the Government will post a small surplus, followed by increasing surpluses in the years after that.

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17 April 2014
The Christchurch Rebuild – Gaining Momentum: Speech to Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce

It’s great to be here in Christchurch today.

Thank you to everybody attending today, and thanks to the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event.

One of the National-led Government’s four main priorities this term is to support the rebuilding of this, our second-biggest city, and to stand beside the people of Canterbury.

From the first earthquake in September 2010, the Government has totally backed Christchurch and the wider region to respond, to recover and to rebuild.

A lot of that backing is financial.  The Government’s total contribution to the rebuild is now expected to be around $15 billion, of which $7.3 billion is from EQC net of reinsurance proceeds.

At the moment, we are paying an estimated $9 million every working day in rebuild invoices.

And this rebuilding programme is driving the regional economy.

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02 April 2014
Speech to the North Harbour Club, North Harbour Stadium

Today I want to talk about the Budget, which will come out on 15 May.

This will be the National-led Government’s sixth budget.

Some of those budgets have felt at times like an exercise in crisis management.

So I take my hat off to Bill English, who has done a great job of steering the country through the recession, the global financial crisis and the aftermath of a very destructive and expensive natural disaster.

Everyone’s circumstances are of course different and some people are still finding it hard.

But on the whole, New Zealand has come through the trials of the past few years in remarkably good shape.

Yes, we have taken on more debt to protect the most vulnerable families, to maintain living standards and to support the rebuilding of Christchurch.

But that period is coming to an end.

Budget forecasts will show that in the coming financial year the Government is going to post a surplus, albeit a small one.

Once that has been achieved, we can start getting our debt down.

The Budget will show that we remain on track to reduce net government debt to below 20 per cent of GDP by 2020.


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