#TeamKey #3more years

June 30, 2014

National’s candidates for September’s election – sitting and aspiring MPs – lined up on stage at National’s annual conference.

 New Zealand National Party's photo.

They are from a range of backgrounds and offer a broad mix of experience, skills and freshness.

All have been working for New Zealand in public or private capacities, all want to be working for New Zealand in a third term National-led government.

This provides a stark contrast to Labour, as Prime Minister John Key said:

Doesn’t it feel good to support a government that does things, rather than an opposition that just whinges and says no?

We’re a government that’s practical enough to know that when a storm blows trees over, you can mill them and create jobs.

Compare that with the Labour Party who’d leave all that dead wood lying around doing nothing.

Mind you, we shouldn’t be surprised because that’s what they do in their own caucus. . .

 

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All National candidates and their teams are working hard because none are under any illusions that winning a third term will be easy.

Some know they have very good odds of holding or gaining a seat.

Some know the outcome is less certain.

Some know their chances are slight.

But all are working hard to convince voters to give #TeamKey their support to allow National to keep on working for New Zealand for #3more years.

And all know the party vote is key because winning an electorate will only get them into parliament, it’s the party vote which will determine if they’re in government.


Strong economy not end in itself

June 30, 2014

Prime Minister John Key began his speech to National’s conference yesterday by looking at what motivates him and the party:

 . .  I know that what motivates me also motivates you.

It’s about working for New Zealand to make this country the best it can be.

It’s about being proud to call yourself a New Zealander.

I want to tell you that what we do is making a difference.

When National came into office the economy was in tatters.

Getting it back on track has been tough.

But this month we recorded the third-highest growth rate in the developed world.

Our country’s trade surplus is at a 20-year high.

And next year, after all we’ve been through as a country, I’m proud to say that the Government’s books will be back in the black.

Ladies and Gentlemen, those are all good things.

They are economists’ measures and they’re hugely important.

But actually, they’re not the way most people measure progress.

Most people use measures that are closer to home and closer to their hearts.

Their questions are more likely to be: “Can I provide the best for my family?”; “Will my kids get a job when they’ve finished their education?”; “Will the health system be there when my family needs it?”; “Am I safe in my home and on our streets?”; and “Will my parents be looked after in their retirement?”.

In answer to all of those questions, we can say “yes”.

A strong economy isn’t an end in itself.

It’s a way of delivering the things people care most about.

A strong economy matters because without it we can’t afford the other things that matter.

And my real sense is that New Zealand has become a much more assured and much more optimistic country.

People are confident they can make a difference in their own lives, and that their children and grandchildren have good prospects.

New Zealanders know that our country is well managed and on the right track.

And they are demonstrating that by their actions.

When we first came into office, a net 3,000 people every month were leaving New Zealand to live in Australia.

That’s now dropped to only 200 a month because people know they’ve got a brighter future here in New Zealand.

We have a plan, and that plan is working for New Zealand.

Over the last year an extra 84,000 jobs were created.

Wages are rising every year, faster than inflation.

New Zealanders have worked hard to get our country back on its feet.

And the Government is ensuring that families share the dividends of that growth.

That’s why the heart of this year’s Budget was a $500 million package for families.

We’re increasing paid parental leave, we’re boosting support for families with new-born children, and I’m proud to say that we’re the party that’s bringing in free doctors’ visits and prescriptions for children under 13.

In our party we believe in supporting families.

Some people think that caring about people and their families is solely the territory of the Left.

Well that is complete and utter nonsense.

And the actions of our government are proving that.

I’m in politics because I care about other New Zealanders, particularly those families who need a hand to pick themselves up.

My family was one of those and I’ll never forget it.

I know where I come from.

My government has been very focused on making sure that the taxpayers’ money we spend helps people lead more independent, productive and hopeful lives.

You’d be surprised at what a novel approach that is, compared to the previous government. . .

This government has focussed on the quality of spending rather than the quantity.

In doing so it’s made positive differences to the lives of individuals and their families and significantly reduce the long-term liability of welfare.

We’re seeing positive change.

It’s under a National-led government that around 1,500 people a week are coming off welfare and into work.

Compared with two years ago, nearly 30,000 fewer children are living in homes dependant on welfare benefits.

I want to share with you a story I read in the paper a little while ago.

It was about a woman who’d raised six kids on the sole parent benefit.

She’d been on it for close to 20 years, until one day her nine-year-old daughter said, “It’s cool being on the benefit. I’m going to go on the benefit like you.”

That sentence – that simple sentence from the mouth of a nine-year-old – made her mother stop in her tracks.

She went out and she got a job.

I don’t imagine it’s easy for her – far from it.

But I absolutely do know that work offers the sort of independence, opportunity and self-esteem that a life on welfare never can.

I’m proud of our welfare reforms under the leadership of Paula Bennett, and I know you’re proud of her too.

The work we are doing in that area is one of the unsung stories of this government, and it’s led to profound changes that are truly transforming people’s lives.

There are other great stories to tell.

Achievement at school is rising and under our Government, more apprentices are being trained.

Just this week I was at WelTec and a young man got up to speak to us.

He said he wasn’t too proud of his past but he’s had the opportunity to do a Pacific trades training course, he’s completing his apprenticeship, and he’s already had job offers – including on the McKay’s to Peka Peka roading project.

To me, that’s what we mean when we talk about investing in our young people.

That’s what we mean when we talk about changing peoples’ lives.

And that’s what we mean when we talk about a brighter future.

We have in front of us right now the best opportunity in a generation to have a long, stable period of rising incomes, as long as we stick to the path we’re on.

But that opportunity will be lost without another National-led government.

It’s just 83 days to the election.

In that time we will be putting in front of New Zealanders a range of exciting new policies.

Our policies will build on the strong foundations we’ve laid over the last six years.

We are proud of what we’ve done, but there is so much more to do.

We’ll have new health initiatives.

We’ll have new ideas to raise achievement in our schools.

We’ll have new policies in economic development, transport, science, justice, welfare, law and order, and the environment.

And that’s not all.

Of course, all the policies we’ll announce are underpinned by our strong commitment to grow the economy and carefully manage the Government’s finances.

We’ll continue to focus attention on what matters.

And we’ll continue to support Christchurch through the rebuild.

I want to specially thank Gerry Brownlee, who has a huge commitment to his city and his community.

We made a commitment to the people of Canterbury on day one and we will not waver from it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the future is positive for New Zealand.

National is the party for people who care about that future.

It’s for people who want to ensure that New Zealand keeps moving in the right direction.

And not just next year, but well beyond that, so New Zealanders find opportunities in an economy that values their skills and produces new jobs and higher wages.

Treasury is forecasting 170,000 more jobs in the economy over the next four years, together with rising wages – if we stick to the path we’re on.

Our challenge is to match and better those predictions.

I know we can.

But as I said yesterday, there is another way things could play out in this year’s election.

National is ahead in the polls at the moment but this election is going to be much, much tighter than many people realise.

We’re going to have to work hard for every vote.

Because that’s what our opponents will be doing, despite their shortcomings.

Labour has David Cunliffe, who takes himself so seriously that other people don’t have to.

The Greens have two co-leaders who want to be co-deputy-prime ministers in some kind of bizarre job-sharing experiment.

Internet Mana – the Maori radical meets file sharing party – is a strange mix standing for goodness knows what.

So if our opponents got into government it would be a complete circus – a recipe for political and economic instability that would be hugely damaging for New Zealand.

The weaker the bigger party is the more power the wee parties have.

A government led by a weakened Labour Party dominated by the Green and New Zealand First parties and also beholden to the Internet and Mana Parties would indeed be a circus and a very unstable one at that.

Our opponents will be cavalier in their spending promises. It’s already started.

They can do that because if they waste money they’ll simply tax you more.

In only five years, the last Labour government increased its spending by 50 per cent, driving mortgage rates into double digits.

In contrast, National respects New Zealanders and their hard-earned incomes.

If we can’t use that money as well as you can, you should keep it.

That will be one of the choices we’ll have as we post surpluses in the years ahead.

Repaying debt, spending a bit more on public services, putting money into the Super Fund, investing in infrastructure and modest tax reductions are the kinds of choices we’ll have.

One of those will be our investment in infrastructure.

Over the last six years, our Government has invested heavily in vital infrastructure to make up for years of underinvestment – from ultra-fast broadband, to schools and hospitals, to roads and rail.

I think of national infrastructure like the framing in a house.

Framing is not usually visible, or glamorous, but everything else in a house depends on it being solid and reliable.

The solid framing of this country is our infrastructure, and households and businesses depend on that.

On good roads, for example, you get better public transport, more efficient freight movement, faster journeys and – very importantly – safer trips for New Zealand families.

One of the key things we did on coming into government was designate seven Roads of National Significance in, or around, our largest population centres.

Of those important projects, we’ve already completed the Victoria Park Tunnel.

The huge tunnel boring machine, affectionately known as Alice, continues to drive progress on the Waterview connection in Auckland.

We are making rapid progress on the Waikato Expressway, the Tauranga Eastern Link, the Kapiti Expressway and the Christchurch Southern Motorway.

And the first sod will soon be turned on the long-awaited Transmission Gully project north of Wellington.

A lot of time was spent discussing and debating these projects in the past.

Under a National-led Government, we’re getting on and making them happen.

Our Government has also been busy in the regions.

We’ve built the Kopu Bridge on the way to the Coromandel, and the Kurow bridges in North Otago.

We’ve extended the Hawkes Bay Expressway and Dunedin’s Southern Motorway.

But there are still more regional roading projects that need to get underway.

The National-led Government has always recognised the vital importance of our regions.

The regions have led this country’s economic recovery and the regions supply a lot of the exports that pay our way in the world. . .

National has already made significant improvements to transport infrastructure and plans more.

The chances of a left-wing government in which the Green Party held sway placing any importance on keeping the regions moving are slight.

. . . Taken together, these roading projects represent a significant new commitment in our regions.

They are another example of the Government’s focus on ensuring that the benefits of the recovery are spread across all of New Zealand.

And they are an example – just one example – of our economic plan to support growth in a modern economy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow National Party members.

Our country is firmly on the right track.

Our party is in good heart.

Our government – our National-led government – is delivering strong and stable leadership.

The choice at this election could not be clearer.

That choice is between a positive direction for New Zealand, or a leaderless circus of parties that would do great damage to our country.

That’s why we need you to redouble your efforts to ensure that the choice this country makes on September 20 is the right one.

Together, let’s keep working for New Zealand!

The right choice is the one that’s working.

The wrong choice would reverse the gains made and destroy many of the dividends of the hard work that’s been done.


Roads to somewhere

June 30, 2014

The single-lane Kawarau Falls Bridge at Frankton has been a bottle-neck for years.

Over the peak holiday period last summer traffic waiting to cross it queued for several kilometres.

Delays like this don’t just waste time, they waste money and fuel.

But in spite of pleas for urgency the best the NZ Transport Agency could come up with was:

. . . The project is now ready to proceed to detailed design and construction when funding is available.

The next phase of the project is not currently programmed but is likely to be included in the 2015/18 Otago Regional Land Transport Programme. From there it may be approved for funding as part of the 2015/18 National Land Transport Programme and an expected construction date can be set. . .

That was until yesterday when Prime Minister John Key announced $212 million from the Future Investment Fund for a package of 14 regionally important State highway projects.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says the government is committing up to $80 million from the package to accelerate five critically important regional projects, with work beginning next year.

These five projects are:

  • Kawarau Falls Bridge, in Otago
  • Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek realignment, in Canterbury
  • Akerama Curves Realignment and Passing Lane, in Northland
  • State Highway 35 Slow Vehicle Bays, in Gisborne
  • Normanby Overbridge Realignment, in Taranaki.

“These projects are fully investigated and designed, and address current safety, resilience or productivity issues, but construction wasn’t due to begin until late this decade or after 2020,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Following today’s announcement construction on these projects could begin in 2014/15, and be completed by 2016/17.

“The government is committed to fund the next six projects with an additional $115 million and subject to the usual investigations, construction would be expected to begin within three years on each of these projects.

The six projects are:

  • Whirokino Trestle Bridge replacement, in Manawatu/Wanganui
  • Motu Bridge replacement, in Gisborne
  • Opawa and Wairau Bridge replacements, in Marlborough
  • Taramakau Road/Rail Bridge, on the West Coast
  • Loop road north to Smeatons Hill safety improvements, in Northland
  • Mt Messenger and Awakino Gorge Corridor, in Taranaki.

“A further $12 million will be available to accelerate investigation and design of three large projects in Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and the Bay of Plenty,” Mr Brownlee says.

These projects are:

  • Port of Napier access package, in Hawke’s Bay
  • Nelson Southern Link, in Nelson
  • Rotorua Eastern Arterial, in Bay of Plenty.

“Each project could then be considered for funding under the proposed Regional Improvements activity class in the next Government Policy Statement on land transport.

“By directly funding some of the most crucial State highway improvements, the government is freeing up more funding in the Regional Improvements activity class for other priority projects.

“This funding package also strongly complements the government’s Roads of National Significance programme, ensuring people and freight reach their destinations quickly and safety,” Mr Brownlee says.

 Not all of these roads will get as much traffic as the Kawarau bridge but all are important links in the regional roading network.

When National announced its policy of partially selling a few state owned assets it said some of the money would be invested in other assets and infrastructure.

Without the proceeds from the partial sales these projects would either not go ahead so soon or would have had to have been funded from more borrowing.

With the money the roads will be improved sooner, making transport faster and safer.

#‎TeamKey‬ is working for New Zealand, building roads to somewhere in stark contrast to the left whose policies will take us nowhere.

We're committing an extra $212m across 14 regional roading projects that will make these roads safer, increase regional productivity and improve the way our roading network operates. http://ntnl.org.nz/1jxfGlO


June 30 in history

June 30, 2014

350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, was defeated and killed by troops of the usurper Magnentius.

1422  Battle of Arbedo between the duke of Milan and the Swiss cantons.

1520  The Spaniards were expelled from Tenochtitlan.

1559  King Henry II of France was seriously injured in a jousting match against Gabriel de Montgomery.

1651 The Deluge: Khmelnytsky Uprising – the Battle of Beresteczko ended with a Polish victory.

1688  The Immortal Seven issued the Invitation to William, continuing the struggle for English independence from Rome.

1758  Seven Years’ War: The Battle of Domstadtl.

1794 Native American forces under Blue Jacket attacked Fort Recovery.

1859  French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

1860  The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

1864 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln granted Yosemite Valley to California for “public use, resort and recreation”.

1882  Charles J. Guiteau was hanged for the assassination of President James Garfield.

1886 The first transcontinental train trip across Canada departs from Montreal.

1905 Albert Einstein published the article “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”, in which he introduced special relativity.

1906  The United States Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act.
1908 – Winston Graham, British writer, was born (d. 2003).

1908  The Tunguska explosion in SIberia – commonly believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3.1–6.2 mi) above the Earth’s surface.

1912  The Regina Cyclone hit Regina, Saskatchewan, killing 28.

1917 –  Susan Hayward, American actress, was born (d. 1975).

1917 – Lena Horne, American singer and actress (d. 2010)

1934  The Night of the Long Knives, Adolf Hitler’s violent purge of his political rivals took place.

1935  The Senegalese Socialist Party held its first congress.

1936  Emperor Haile Selassie of Abbysinia appealled for aid to the League of Nations against Mussolini’s invasion of his country.

1939 The first edition of the New Zealand Listener was published.

First issue of NZ Listener published

1941  World War II: Operation Barbarossa – Germany captured Lviv, Ukraine.

1943  Florence Ballard, American singer (The Supremes). was born (d. 1976).

1944 Glenn Shorrock, Australian singer-songwriter (Little River Band) was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Cherbourg ended with the fall of the strategically valuable port to American forces.

1950 Leonard Whiting, British actor, was born.

1953 Hal Lindes, British-American musician (Dire Straits) was born.

1953  The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.

1956 – A TWA Super Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 (Flight 718) collided above the Grand Canyon killing all 128 on board the two planes.

1959  A United States Air Force F-100 Super Sabre from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, crashed into a nearby elementary school, killing 11 students plus six residents from the local neighborhood.

1960 Murray Cook, Australian singer (The Wiggles) was born.

1960  Congo gained independence from Belgium.

1962 Julianne Regan, British singer and musician (All About Eve), was born.

1963  Ciaculli massacre: A car bomb, intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco “Ciaschiteddu”, killed seven police and military officers near Palermo.

1966  Mike Tyson, American boxer, was born.

1966  Marton Csokas, New Zealand actor, was born.

1968  Credo of the People of God by Pope Paul VI.

1969  Nigeria banned Red Cross aid to Biafra.

1971  The crew of the Soviet Soyuz 11 spacecraft were killed when their air supply escaped through a faulty valve.

1971 – Ohio ratified the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18, thereby putting the amendment into effect.

1972  The first leap second was added to the UTC time system.

1985 Thirty-nine American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days.

1986  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

1987 The Royal Canadian Mint introduced the $1 coin, known as the Loonie.

1990 East and West Germany merged their economies.

1991 32 miners were killed when a coal mine fire in the Donbass region of the Ukraine released toxic gas.

1992 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joined the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher.

1997  The United Kingdom transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.

2007 A car crashed into Glasgow International Airport in an attempted terrorist attack.

2009 Yemenia Flight 626 crashed off the coast of Moroni, Comoros killing 152 people and leaving 1 survivor.

2013 – – 19 firefighters died controlling a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

June 29, 2014

Percipient – having good insight or understanding; perceptive; discerning; discriminating; a person who is able to perceive things; one on whose mind a telepathic impulse or message is held to fall.


Rural Round-up

June 29, 2014

Far North Iwi take over station lease:

A Far North iwi has taken over the lease for land it will take ownership of in a Treaty of Waitangi settlement next year.

Ngati Kuri has held a blessing for Te Paki Station, at Te Rerenga Wairua, to mark taking over the lease of the 3300ha sheep and cattle station.

Ngati Kuri trust board chair Harry Burkhardt said many kaumatua and kuia worked on the farm, and the blessing was a process they wanted as a way of acknowledging the history connected to the land. . .

Sheep intestines to China do a runner – Gerard Hutching:

New Zealand’s $160 million sheep intestine trade with China is in a mystery temporary halt as officials work through access issues.

The intestines – familiarly known in the trade as “green runners” but in export parlance as casings – are used to make sausages and a variety of other products.

The total global value of the trade to New Zealand is $300 million. . .

Aspire to dairying’s heights, drystock farmers told – Gerald Piddock:

Sheep and beef farmers have to stop viewing the dairy industry as competition, a meat industry leader says.

Dairying had set the benchmark for success, and there were some valuable lessons that drystock farmers could learn from their dairying counterparts, Beef + Lamb chairman James Parsons told farmers in Taumarunui.

Sheep and beef farmers should not be jealous of the dairy industry and should celebrate its success and contribution to the national economy, he said.

“They are humming along really well, and as New Zealanders, we should be really proud that we have a really strong dairy sector.” . . .

Dog teams ready to patrol

Five new biosecurity dog detector teams are about to start work.

Four are in Auckland and one in Christchurch, where they will sniff out exotic pests and diseases that pose biosecurity threats.

Kim Hughes and labrador Enya, Lucy Telfar with beagle Clara, Gerrie Stoltz with Snoop and Mikaella Pearce, who has yet to be assigned a dog, are in Auckland while Kimberley Sell and labrador Helga are in Christchurch. . . .

LiC bulls win awards –

Two LIC bulls have taken out this year’s sire of the season awards from the Jersey and Holstein-Friesian breed societies.

William SIA Duetto was named Jersey New Zealand’s J T Thwaites Sire of the Season and Hazael Dauntless Freedom was awarded Holstein-Friesian NZ’s Mahoe Trophy. . .

ECAL: In wool we trust:

At the Design Miami/ Basel fair this June will be the satellite exhibition In Wool We Trust by ECAL/ University of Art and Design Lausanne. Led by designers Ronan Bouroullec and Camille Blin, the project is the result of a one-week student workshop from the Master in Product Design program. The installations celebrate the numerous qualities of Merino wool in an unconventional way. The exhibition was supported by The Woolmark Company, the world’s leading wool textile organisation, and Mover Sportswear, a pioneer in designing ski garments combining wool and technical fabrics. . . .


Members matter

June 29, 2014

Last night it was my honour and pleasure to accept the  National Party’s Membership Cup for regional growth on behalf of the  Southern Region, which I chair.

The significant boost in membership which the award recognised was given impetus by candidate selections but it was very much a team effort throughout the whole region.

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Growing membership is a sign of the health of the party but we all know there is a lot more work to be done.

There’s an election to win and the very strong message from this weekend’s conference was that in spite of the encouraging poll results, there is absolutely no certainty about which party will lead the next government.

Membership will play a very significant part in whether we win or not.

It’s lots of little amounts of money from many members which build the strong financial foundation for the party.

It’s members who support and encourage candidates and MPs and form the team they need to campaign.

It’s members who provide the people-power for the old-fashioned party to people contact which wins elections.

Members matter and never more than now when the election result is in the balance.


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