Happy New Year
What a hot start it has been. It has given us, as a family, loads of time outside, including sleeping under the stars with my boys.
Sleeping under the stars with my boys
On Tuesday I had the privilege to lead National's delegation at Waitangi and to take part in really important discussions about the future of our country. At dawn on Waitangi Day I joined hundreds of other Tauranga locals for the ceremony held on Mt Drury. It was a great opportunity for our community to get together and celebrate this significant day.
As we near the end of the week, there is much to look forward to with our two day annual Caucus retreat, followed by the Young Nats Conference at the weekend. It is exciting to be surrounded by our talented team who are all focused on moving New Zealand forward.
Last week I delivered my State of the Nation speech on our vision for New Zealand leading into the 2020 election.
We are proud of the record we left in Government and more importantly we are excited about our plans for New Zealand, should we earn the right to govern next year. If that happens we will hit the ground running.
It is New Zealand businesses and workers that grow our country’s wealth, not the government. When National left government in 2017 our economy was one of the best performing in the developed world. But for the first time in years our growth per person is falling behind Australia. Incomes are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Cancelling National’s tax relief and replacing it with Labour’s package has made three quarter of New Zealand families worse off. By 2022, New Zealanders on the average wage are expected to move into the top tax bracket. That is not fair and it is not right. Under a National Government we will amend the Income Tax Act to make sure income taxes are adjusted every three years in line with the cost of living.
The Government is likely to confirm a Capital Gains Tax. New Zealanders already pay too much tax. The skill is creating growth and prosperity, not more taxes. That is why, if National is elected next year, we will repeal Capital Gains Tax, repeal the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax, and ensure no increase in petrol taxes and no new taxes in our first term.
We all know the housing shortage remains serious. This year National will release a draft Bill that will overhaul the Resource Management Act and unlock development, while protecting our environment.
New Zealanders have always trusted National to manage the economy. But I want you to know you can trust us to care for the environment as well. Economic growth and improving the environment can, and must go, hand in hand.
The Future of Education
As you probably know I am a Dad to three beautiful children. My middle child Harry starts school next month. I want him and every child in New Zealand to have the opportunity to succeed, no matter who they are or where they come from.
What I see from this Government, concerns me. It plans to take power away from parents in favour of bureaucrats. It intends on making it harder for parents to measure their children’s achievements. I worry that we are about to see change that cannot be taken back, and cause serious damage to our education system.
National has a plan. First we will keep fighting the Government’s bad decisions. Second, we will listen to you. Over the next couple of months New Zealanders will be invited to 40 nationwide public meetings to discuss how the Government’s changes to our education system will affect your family. The first of these meetings is this Friday, 8th February, in Hamilton. To find the schedule of all the meetings, click here Future of Education : 40 Meetings Nationwide Third, we will announce a fully costed, comprehensive and ambitious education policy.
This is the start of us outlining our plans that will set us apart from a Labour-led Government.
I look forward to continuing to focus on the issues that matter to New Zealanders and holding this Government to account.
Parliament is in session
Our first sitting day of Parliament is this Tuesday 12th February. I can’t wait to get back into it.
Until then, enjoy your weekend. It looks set to be another fine one.