South Waikato News - - ELECTION 2011 -

How and why did you get into pol­i­tics?

I be­lieve that laws made by Par­lia­ment can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the qual­ity of peo­ple’s lives.

How do you nor­mally spend your time?

As the Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Taupo, I spend time work­ing with peo­ple from one end of the elec­torate to the other. I cher­ish time with my fam­ily. Why did you choose National? My val­ues are National’s val­ues, es­pe­cially equal­ity of op­por­tu­nity, in­di­vid­ual free­dom and choice, en­ter­prise and re­ward for ef­fort, and strong fam­i­lies and car­ing com­mu­ni­ties.

Why are you stand­ing in the Taupo elec­torate?

I strongly sup­port National’s plan to Build a Brighter Fu­ture and if re-elected will con­tinue to be strong voice for you in Welling­ton.

What do you be­lieve are the big is­sues na­tion­ally? How do you be­lieve National’s pol­icy can ad­dress these?

I think one of our big is­sues right now is still the econ­omy. Long-term eco­nomic growth is es­sen­tial to cre­ate jobs, lift in­comes, and raise liv­ing stan­dards.

National has guided the coun­try through the global eco­nomic cri­sis, fi­nance-com­pany col­lapses and the Can­ter­bury earth­quakes.

We’ve main­tained in­comes for the most vul­ner­a­ble, stopped bal­loon­ing growth in govern­ment spend­ing and got the Govern­ment back on track to sur­plus by 2014/15.

We’ve im­proved the tax sys­tem and made it fairer, boosted in­vest­ment in in­fra­struc­ture, cut red tape and im­proved pub­lic ser­vices such as health and edu- cation. We’re also boost­ing sci­ence, driv­ing in­no­va­tion, and build­ing trade agree­ments for our ex­porters.

This work is al­ready pay­ing off.

The econ­omy has grown over the past two years, with 63,000 new jobs cre­ated. In­ter­est rates are at 45-year lows and in-the­p­ocket wages are con­tin­u­ing to rise faster than in­fla­tion.

Any­thing else you think is im­por­tant?

We have just an­nounced that we’re putting $1 bil­lion from the Fu­ture In­vest­ment Fund into mod­ernising and trans­form­ing New Zealand schools.

The 21st cen­tury Schools pro­gramme will build new, modern schools, rejuvenate ex­ist­ing schools and con­nect New Zealand schools with ul­tra-fast broad­band ac­cess.

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