Our first year through
Our first anniversary as a coalition government passed last week, and one year on we can say that this government is one with fresh thinking, energy, and a determination to improve the lives of everyday Kiwis.
New Zealand First recognised that many Northlanders were struggling to make ends meet, that essential infrastructure and services were crumbling in the face of chronic underfunding, and that some communities no longer felt safe. They felt the region had lost out to investment in the big cities and in big business.
A year in, we are seriously focused on solving those problems. We set an ambitious agenda for action, and we are working tirelessly to provide the positive outcomes all would like to see.
Our focus has been on restoring lost capacity in public services like health, education and housing, regenerating the regions and regaining our respected voice in the world. We are addressing the deficits in public services spending left behind by the previous government, and ensuring Northland families are healthy, well-housed and well-educated.
We inherited a public healthcare infrastructure in ruin, but we’re aiming to turn that around. This year’s budget set aside a record $750 million as a first step to rebuilding hospitals. Whangārei Hospital’s $24m upgrade and the $14m Bay of Islands Hospital redevelopment will ensure proper healthcare is delivered.
We’ve made 180 more public housing places in Northland; we’ve announced investment of around $10m for 10 classrooms at three schools in Tai Tokerau to support growing rolls — just the start.
Northland is getting a 25 per cent boost in police numbers. We read your letters and listened to you speak of dairy robberies, youth offenders, and understaffed or closed police stations, and knew something had to be done.
To date more than $80 million from the Provincial Growth Fund has been earmarked for Northland, for projects to improve regional connectivity through rail, air, road and sea links, to increase tourism potential, enhance the region’s forestry industry, and develop business cases for future projects that will deliver serious economic opportunities for Northland.
New Zealand First is proud to be part of a government with a regional focus, one that recognises the economic potential waiting to be unlocked in Northland, and is doing something about it.
We have increased the minimum wage to ensure fair pay for a fair day’s work, and retained 90-day trials for SMEs.
We have introduced programmes for long-term unemployed to improve work readiness, and help employers give young people a chance. We introduced a winter energy payment to help senior citizens cope with their winter power bills and a Families Package to help our most vulnerable.
We will continue to take our common sense approach to negotiate balanced policy outcomes for the benefit of New Zealanders.
"New Zealand First is proud to be part of a government with a regional focus, one that recognises the economic potential waiting to be unlocked in Northland, and is doing something about it. "