Tar­get­ing the ser­vices that mat­ter to all

South Waikato News - - NEWS/OPINION - By LOUISE UP­STON

We are now more than half­way through the year and it’s school hol­i­day time. I’m look­ing for­ward to a two-week re­cess from Par­lia­ment and be­ing in the elec­torate, where there are lots of events, and I’m look­ing for­ward to some fam­ily time.

This week I’d like to talk about pub­lic ser­vices. De­liv­er­ing bet­ter pub­lic ser­vices to New Zealan­ders within tight fi­nan­cial con­straints is one of the Na­tional-led Gov­ern­ment’s key pri­or­i­ties this term. That’s why the Prime Min­is­ter an­nounced spe­cific tar­gets this week; part of our plan to build a brighter fu­ture for you and your fam­ily.

We’ve out­lined 10 chal­leng­ing re­sults and their re­lated tar­gets to get fur­ther trac­tion on difficult is­sues such as re­duc­ing crime, longterm wel­fare de­pen­dency, and ed­u­ca­tion un­der­achieve­ment. Some of th­ese tar­gets are very as­pi­ra­tional; in fact, some of them will be ex­tremely difficult and de­mand­ing to achieve.

Over the next five years we aim to re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple on work­ing-age ben­e­fit for more than 12 months by 30 per cent, or more than 20,000 peo­ple; re­duce the in­ci­dence of rheumatic fever by two-thirds; and re­duce vi­o­lent crime by 20 per cent.

We’ve al­ready seen some good progress, which gives us some con­fi­dence about achiev­ing bet­ter re­sults. In the jus­tice sec­tor, where jus­tice, corrections and po­lice are work­ing to­gether, we can see ef­fects al­ready. We have de­clin­ing crime rates, and by the end of this year we’ll be clos­ing pris­ons; that will be a sig­nif­i­cant sav­ing.

The Na­tional-led Gov­ern­ment makes no apol­ogy for hav­ing high ex­pec­ta­tions in want­ing New Zealan­ders to get the best out of their pub­lic ser­vices.

Th­ese changes are about set­ting spe­cific and mea­sur­able tar­gets to get re­sults from the ser­vices that mat­ter most to you and your fam­ily.

Th­ese changes are a big shift to­wards bet­ter re­sults that mat­ter to New Zealan­ders. We are de­liv­er­ing on our prom­ises.

Over the past fort­night I have met a num­ber of school prin­ci­pals, in South Waikato and across the elec­torate. There have been some great dis­cus­sions and I’m al­ways very grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to hear their thoughts and feed­back on is­sues, par­tic­u­larly ed­u­ca­tion as I am so pas­sion­ate about this.

If you would like to share your views with me, re­quest more in­for­ma­tion or need as­sis­tance with an is­sue, please phone the elec­torate of­fice on 07 886 5554 or email Up­ston.sth­waikato @par­lia­ment.govt.nz.

GEN­EROS­ITY: Free­dom Road cre­ator Natasha We­hipei­hana-Kaea was over­whelmed with do­na­tion of a large mo­saic ta­ble from Progress to Health’s Tam­sin Grant, Au­drey Mohi and Valda Ta­here. Mrs We­hipei­hana- Kaea was over­whelmed with the gift dur­ing the hand­ing over cer­e­mony last Fri­day morn­ing say­ing the ta­ble, which will be placed at Toko­roa YMCA, will be cher­ished and utilised by the youth of the South Waikato. ‘‘The youth that I work with will love it, it is beau­ti­ful,’’ Mrs We­hipei­hana-Kaea said.

MP for Taupo

Louise Up­ston

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