11 March 2014
Speech at Victoria University
It’s good to be here in a place where ideas are encouraged and discussed, because that’s what I want to do today.
Anzac Day is approaching and, as you know, next year we will commemorate the centenary of that fateful landing by the Anzacs on the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, 1915.
In the struggle, the sacrifice, and the wretchedness of Gallipoli, an Anzac reputation for courage, endurance and mateship was forged that has endured long after those who survived that campaign have passed on.
Each year, on Anzac Day in particular, we remember our fallen as we should and as I hope we always will.
But once the centenary has passed, I think it will be time for us to take some decisions about how we present ourselves to the world beyond 2015.
For more than a hundred years the New Zealand flag has served us well, and we in turn have served it well.
06 February 2014
Prime Minister’s Waitangi Day Speech 2014
E nga Rangatira
E tau nei ki Waitangi
Tena tatau katoa
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Waitangi Day is a special day for New Zealanders. It’s a day when we reflect on the history of our young country, and it’s a day when we think about what we want for New Zealand’s future.
We come together here each year to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The Treaty is more than a document which created a new nation.
The settlement process which springs from the Treaty gives iwi the ability to move beyond seeking redress for past wrongs and instead look forward to seizing future opportunities.
I’m pleased to say virtually all iwi willing and able to settle, are engaged with the Crown.
That’s a big achievement.Read full article
28 January 2014
Prime Minister’s Statement to Parliament
The Government is continuing to implement its plan to build a faster-growing economy with more jobs and rising incomes, and to support New Zealanders and their families.
The plan involves returning to surplus and then reducing debt; pushing ahead with a wide-ranging programme of microeconomic reforms to create a more productive and competitive economy; driving better results and better value for money from public services; and supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch.
This plan is working.
After much hard work, the Government is effecting a remarkable turnaround in the books, with the latest forecasts showing a budget surplus in the next financial year – 2014/15 – after which government debt begins to fall.
The New Zealand economy continues to stand out amongst developed countries, growing 3.5 per cent between September 2012 and September 2013. The Treasury’s latest forecasts show the economy growing at a similar rate in 2014.
On average, wages are growing faster than inflation. Business confidence is at its highest level since1999 and the terms of trade are expected to remain high. There are 53,000 more people employed now than there were a year ago, and the unemployment rate is expected to drop further as the economy continues to gather strength.
Alongside our economic agenda, we are also driving results from our public services. Recorded crime is at a 33-year low, for example, welfare dependency is reducing, and more elective surgery is being performed in the public health system.
The Government has also been working hard to support Cantabrians through the aftermath of the earthquakes and the rebuilding of their city.
Our approach is always to take the public with us by clearly outlining our actions and priorities, and always keeping in mind why we are in government – to make this country a better place for New Zealanders and their families.
In the coming years we need to lock in the hard-won gains that have been made and reject the alternative prescription – high spending, untried economic experiments and a lack of focus on what really matters.
Over the next year, the Government has a comprehensive policy agenda, and a substantial legislative programme that we intend to put before the House.
We look forward to continuing strong and effective relationships with our confidence and supply partners, the ACT, United Future and Maori parties.
The agreements we have with these parties, and the goodwill and respect that exists between us, will enable the Government to operate in an effective, stable and inclusive manner.
The Government’s policy agenda and legislative programme reflects our four priorities:
- to responsibly manage the Government’s finances
- to build a more competitive and productive economy
- to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, within the tight budgets the Government is operating under; and
- and to support the rebuilding of Christchurch.
23 January 2014
Speech to the West Auckland Business Club
Good morning. I hope you all had a good Christmas break and you’re starting 2014 eager and energised.
I know I am.
And I know the Government is, because there are a lot of things to get done this year.
Later in the year there’ll be an election, where I’ll seek the support of New Zealanders to continue the direction this country is going in.
The economy is growing. More jobs are being created. Family incomes are rising. Crime is falling. More elective surgery is being done in public hospitals. Long-term welfare dependency is falling. And we’re continuing to help families and older New Zealanders with generous income support.
As a country, we can keep going in this direction and continue to make gains, or we can change direction and go backwards.
And moving forwards is the only way to ensure we achieve the long-term growth that really changes New Zealand’s fortunes and provides more opportunities for Kiwi families.
I can assure you I take nothing for granted when it comes to the election.
Each and every vote will have to be earned.Read full article
30 October 2013
Speech to the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce
Good afternoon, it’s great to be here today.
I want to thank the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce for hosting this event.
And I want to congratulate Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown on her recent re-election, as well as Fran Wilde and all the other successful local body candidates in the region.
I’m sure we will continue the constructive relationship we enjoy with Wellington City and the other councils in the region.
Last week I talked to Celia and it’s good to hear the Council is planning to boost the resources it puts into economic growth initiatives and partnerships.
The Mayor was good enough to run me through the quite extensive series of initiatives they are looking at, ranging from housing upgrades through to a new interactive film museum.
She also tells me the Council has reorganised itself to more effectively engage with business, including an “Open for Business” programme, which I’m sure will be welcomed.
Ladies and gentlemen, nine days from now marks five years since the National-led Government was elected – November the 8th, 2008.
Much has happened over that time.