Home > News > Archive > 11th December 2007

Key message for voters

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
John Key and Shane Ardern
NATIONAL leader John Key addresses guests at the opening of Taranaki-King Country MP Shane Ardernís Te Awamutu office on Friday. 345071AD

By Dean Taylor

The opening of local MP Shane Ardern’s first office in Te Awamutu on Friday was a chance for him, and his leader John Key, to emphasise that if the country wanted change they needed to give both their votes to National.

Mr Key was at the opening as part of a national tour of 40 towns and cities. He told the gathering on Friday support for his party was throughout the country, even from some unexpected quarters, such as the site union delegate of one of the South Island’s larger freezing works.

"At a time when political party membership throughout the world is on the decline, New Zealand’s National Party membership is at a 20 year high,” he said. “We are in good heart heading towards the 2008 election.”

Mr Key was also taking the opportunity to distribute that ‘DVD’ - promising the revised soundtrack meant it was the message that was the important factor, not the controversy.

Mr Key says it is obvious Labour is about staying in power, and that is not good for the country. He cited the recent troubles in Wellington’s hospital system, where the solution was to get rid of 50 doctors to save costs, not 50 bureaucrats. And he says everyone can see through the Government’s hedging on tax cuts scenario.

Mr Key says 40,000 New Zealanders leave the country every year for Australia, and the same number for other parts of the world, because they believe they have better opportunities. He says one of his aims is to address that issue, initially by bringing New Zealand incomes more in line with Australia’s - and tax cuts would form part of that strategy. He pointed out that we have been sold the argument that tax cuts would result in higher interest rates, yet in fact we have both high tax and high interest.

“When we left power the cash rate was half the current rate,” he said. “We are being told interest rates will stay high for some time and that is bad news for the economy. Government’s own officials have stated an immediate $1.5 Billion tax cut would make no difference to interest rates. National believes that money would be better in the taxpayer’s pockets, or preferably helping them reduce debt levels."

Their plan would be to carefully roll out tax cuts to help people improve their lifestyles. As a Government, National would aim to get closer to the real issues and cut out the red tape to resolve issues.

Health is a concern, as is the level of educational achievement. Mr Key says it is not acceptable that one-in-five New Zealand young people leave high school without literacy or numeracy skills.

“We can do much better as a country,” he said. “We have an ambitious view of how New Zealand can be, and it will take hard work, but it can be done. National wants to see every New Zealander having success.”

Mr Key concluded his public address by saying he knew he was in heartland New Zealand by the morning tea. He said he was going to start with a cream cake because ‘Helen wasn’t going to tell him what he should eat for morning tea’.