This year will be key in New Zealand’s history.

On one side, you have parties like the Green Party who are promoting responsible investment, prudent fiscal settings and a managed approach to solving the many issues that we as a country face.

On the other, you have irresponsible parties like the National Party and their coalition partners. National has spent about nine years in office now and we’ve seen the results. Our hospitals choked with untreated patients, our rivers polluted and our streets teeming with too many families without a home.

It’s not an accident that New Zealand is now the most expensive place to buy a home (according to the Economist) and has the highest rate of homelessness (according to both the OECD and Yale University) in the developed world.

Meanwhile news about long hospital waiting lists and exhausted medical staff continue to make headlines. Is it any wonder with the consistent underfunding that our hospitals and clinics have to cope with that they’re feeling the strain?

And more and more we are seeing that communities are feeling unsafe. No wonder when there’s an aggravated robbery almost every week. No wonder that a stretched police force is failing to provide the protection because of the lack of resources. Too many dairies are being robbed and police are taking too long to respond.

New Zealand used to be the envy of the world for our clean rivers, our pristine drinking water and our 100% pure clean green image. But now our rivers are unswimmable, 45,000 New Zealanders are drinking water mixed with faecal contaminants and our emissions are the fifth highest in the developed world.

None of this has happened by accident. This is the result of National spending it’s time in government looking after special interests. The Greens will put you and your family first. We will fix broken public services so that you or your kids can get the help you need – whether from a doctor or a police officer – when you need it. We will make sure that every New Zealander has access to affordable, warm, dry and healthy housing. We have a plan to clean up our drinking water so we can drink pristine water without faecal contamination. And our real climate action plan with a Green Infrastructure Plan will generate jobs and keep New Zealand safe from climate change.

 Because the Green Party knows that it is only when we put aside our individual differences and work as one – that we can be Great Together.