This election is about the policies to build on the successes New Zealanders, supported by this Government, have achieved.

National is rolling out rock-solid, well thought-out policies to take New Zealand forward while our opponents reheat old policies with no detail and plan taxes on hard-working New Zealanders. In just one week the opposition has announced a fuel tax on Aucklanders and a water tax that will hit our producers and regions. More taxes will increase living costs, slow down the economy and stop job growth.

National is busy delivering an election year agenda and a clear plan for our country’s future.  We’re backing businesses and we’re backing families. We started the year with strong policies to increase police staff and make our communities safer, a bold international trade agenda and extending the ultra-fast broadband programme to a further 151 towns and 43 fringe areas.

In Budget 2017 we’ve rolled out a raft of policies to improve public services, invest in the infrastructure needed for a growing country, reduce debt, and share the benefits of growth by lifting family incomes.

As we head into the final six weeks to the election we’ve got a Prime Minister and Leader, a Cabinet and a caucus all is very focused on what the public are interested in and what we can deliver for New Zealanders.

The economy is front and centre of everything we do. This is because we have to keep the economy growing before everyone can share the benefits.

A growing economy and improving public finances will allow the Government to focus on the following key areas:

·       Delivering an ambitious infrastructure programme to invest more than $32 billion in schools, roads, hospitals and broadband.

·       Lifting incomes and reducing taxes to help hard-working New Zealanders get ahead and reduce the pressure on families most in need. We believe that taxpayers make better use of their own money than politicians. We believe in hand-ups, not hand-outs like our opponents.

·       Protecting the environment for future generations, and growing the value of New Zealand’s clean green brand, by investing extensively to clean up our lakes and rivers and ensuring all significant waterways are monitored.

·       And of course, delivering better public services for all New Zealanders. This includes investing further in education – with a focus on ensuring our children have the maths and digital skills to thrive. Ensuring all our young children have a healthy start to life, by reducing hospitalisations for preventable illnesses such as asthma and dental conditions. Rolling out programmes to target gangs, organised crime and drugs to reduce the harm they cause.

Let’s take a quick look at the good progress we are making on infrastructure in Auckland. We are working on the Southern Motorway corridor, which is a 50 per cent expansion. The Waterview tunnel opened recently, delivering massive time savings to Aucklanders travelling between the west and south of Auckland and also between the airport and the city.  

We’re also making a significant number of transport investments across all modes. These include the East-West Link, the new motorway linking the Southwestern Motorway with the Southern Motorway; electrifying the commuter railway line between Papakura and Pukekohe; and our intention to construct the third main line. Of course, there is also the Northern Motorway corridor between Constellation Drive and Albany, and the extension of the busway. The Government, in partnership with Auckland Council, is considering further investments in areas like the Mill Road corridor and the Northwestern Motorway busway as part of a comprehensive plan to unlock land for housing development projects around the city.

Our continued investment in business, in trade, in infrastructure, and in innovation will help keep New Zealand on the productive and prosperous path it is on today. It will help us deliver more jobs and higher wages for Kiwis, while also ensuring New Zealand families are supported by the public services that matter to them.