29 November 2013
Video: A Solo Mother's Story
This week I want to share a story with you from my recent visit to the Waitaki electorate. I met a young mum there who was on the benefit. I was inspired to find out how she had later made a positive change in not only her life, but in her daughter's life as well.
11 November 2013
Video: Five years in Government
Five years ago, a combination of the Global Financial Crisis and poor government-decision-making meant New Zealand was teetering.
The economy was in recession.
Government spending under Labour had risen by fifty per cent in five years.
Families were battling high inflation and mortgage rates of over 10 per cent.
One in five teenagers were leaving school unable to read and write properly.
Forecasts for unemployment were growing.
That was when voters turned to National.
New Zealanders wanted change.
They wanted greater security, and better prospects.
They wanted policies that they knew made economic sense.
The day after we were elected, we got to work.
And we haven’t stopped working since.
A Global Financial Crisis and devastating earthquakes would have knocked back the most robust of economies, and the most resilient of people.
But the Government and New Zealanders have persevered.
We have worked together and it’s that combination of effort and direction which has got us to the much stronger position we enjoy today.
New jobs are being created.
The economy is growing, and forecast to be among the top handful of countries for growth in the OECD.
Inflation is at record lows.
And so are mortgage interest rates.
The government is on track to surplus.
We’ve made big improvements to healthcare and education. More surgery is happening than ever before, and if you have children at primary school, under our government you are actually entitled to know how they’re going.
It’s taken five years to reach this point, and there is so much more improvement to come.
Our clear four-point plan is working.
We’re responsibly managing the government’s finances, because that’s our job.
We’re building a more competitive and productive economy, because that will provide more opportunities for job-seekers whether they’re just entering the workforce, or whether they’re gradually moving out of it. It will also provide more security for all of us, and our children.
We’re rebuilding Christchurch because it needs to be done.
And we’re delivering better public services, because you deserve better results from your taxes.
We know things are still tough for lots of people, but five years after we were first elected, the economy is in much better shape, prospects are good and the future is brighter.
Have a productive week.
01 November 2013
Our continuing share offer programme
25 October 2013
Investing smart in infrastructure
18 October 2013
Action on affordable housing
A lot’s been said about housing affordability, and now it’s time for action.
The Housing Minister, Nick Smith, and Auckland’s Mayor Len Brown recently announced the first batch of 11 Special Housing Areas that will see 6000 new homes being built in Auckland.
This is a significant step towards our target of consenting 39,000 new homes in Auckland over three years – which is far more than the current average of fewer than 4000 a year.
And that’s just the beginning.
We all know that our housing market is not working as well as it could be. Too many families are having to spend too much of their income on housing.
House prices doubled in six years under the last Labour government, while floating interest rates increased to nearly 11 per cent.
What did Labour do about that?
I am proud that under this National Government mortgage interest rates have been at 50-year lows.
National values home ownership and we want to help more Kiwis into their own home.
One of the biggest contributors to the housing affordability problem is actually very basic. There isn’t enough land being supplied for housing.
That’s why we’re working with local councils to free up land.
We passed a new law which will see councils enter into Housing Accords with the Government. They’ll be able to create Special Housing Areas, like the ones just agreed in Auckland.
Developments in these areas will be fast-tracked, so new homes can be consented and built faster.
It’s one part of our wide-ranging package of measures to improve affordability.
We’re seeing the start of some real momentum.
I feel encouraged that National is helping more people to achieve the Kiwi dream of owning their own home.