The challenge is to sustain growth
New Zealand is now growing strongly – stronger than most countries.
Under the National-led Government we have got back on our feet after the global financial crisis, got people into jobs, got back to surplus, and tackled natural disasters. The challenge now is to sustain that growth, build for growth, and act for the people most under pressure.
We need to be ready to adapt to a still fragile and uncertain world, and prepare ourselves for longterm prosperity.
Our PM Bill English and our united team are building on the successes of the last few years, with a clear and strong plan to make Kiwis better off at work and at home, with the means to achieve it. New Zealand will not achieve a brighter future by accident and under an unstable Labour-Greens government with an inexperienced leader we risk going backwards, and losing all we have fought so hard to achieve.
National backs Southland and Otago to succeed, and we are focused on strengthening local businesses and supporting initiatives to increase local jobs, incomes and investment.
Since coming into office nine years ago, National has accomplished some very impressive achievements for Otago and Southland.
We’re currently investing $2.4 million to support the Southland Action Plan developed by the region to diversify and boost the local economy. Our investment focuses on the areas of aquaculture, tourism, international education, skills training and the primary sector.
We’re also helping Southland better connect to the rest of the country and the world through our $22 million investment in rolling out ultra-fast broadband in Invercargill, with another five Southland towns in the next phase to be connected.
We have added 37 more police for the Southern Police District and Balclutha. In addition, a yetto-be-announced location in Southland will soon have a 24/7 police presence.
We have allowed 48,000 children in Otago and Southland to benefit from free GP visits and prescriptions for all children aged under 13. Furthermore, 3100 more Otago/Southland patients a year received elective operations than in 2008. 49,000 60 to 74-year-olds in Otago and Southland will be eligible for our bowel screening programme, which is being rolled out across NZ to help prevent some of around 1200 deaths each year.
This election is about two questions for voters to consider. Do you want New Zealand to keep going up the right path of strong, steady growth? Or to venture down into the unknown?
Labour seems to be announcing a new tax every second day at the moment. The most recent tax, a water tax for industries they don’t like such as farming, will devastate our rural communities. Our primary industry sector is the back bone of New Zealand and contributes significant economic gains to New Zealand. Do you want to continue up the same path of strong growth? Or risk it for a number of new taxes you don’t know anything about that has the potential to destroy our rural communities? ❚ Hamish Walker is the National candidate for Clutha-Southland
As part of our election coverage, we invited candidates standing for the main parties in the Clutha-Southland electorate to submit opinion pieces ahead of polling day on September 23. Others have appeared over the last few weeks.
Hamish Walker is standing for National in Clutha-Southland.