This is a good boost for Prime Minister Bill English as he heads into the final leaders’ debate:
The opposition and many on the left focus on how much the government spends.
How much matters but not nearly as much as how well.
More spending isn’t always better spending.
More spending can be wasteful.
More spending can be entrenching dependency rather than helping people towards independence.
Bill English says:
Our opponents think caring is promising more money.
But the need for more spending is often a sign of failure, not success.
I call it servicing misery.
Our aim is simple, to change lives.
This rock isn’t for moving. We stand by our plan. #backing bill #partyvotenational
Prime Minister Bill English had a very clear message in Ashburton yesterday:
. . .”We want to achieve higher environmental standards and apparently no one’s thought of this until about six weeks ago. It’s all new, apparently, lifting the quality of water in our rivers – brand new idea,” he said.
“All that tells you is they [opposition parties] take no notice of you. They have no idea what you do, how you do it or why you’re so good at it.
“We’re backing you”.
Farmers were “being lectured” by people who did not understand the regions and National was committed to both raising productivity and environmental standards.
“Any politician who does not know about the intensive, difficult, critical, collaborative work that’s gone on around water quality must be living on another planet,” he said.
“It will be cash sucked out of your business, taken out of this region, sent off to Wellington and people who don’t even know what you do or how you do it will be deciding how to make you do it better. And that’s a ridiculous waste of time and money.” . .
That’s so true – it will be cash sucked out of your business, taken out of this region, sent off to Wellington and people who don’t even know what you do or how you do it will be deciding how to make you do it better.
This is what happens when parties don’t have MPs in the regions.
They are out of touch and have no idea what’s happening.
National knows, understands and values the regions.
But the PM and the party aren’t just pushing farming :
National leader Bill English has strayed from the expected message of cows and crops in regional New Zealand.
English hit the campaign trail in Palmerston North and Levin on Monday but there was more than just fancy farming promises in his bag of tricks.
The leader once again turned his attention to pressing social issues, saying it’s worth focusing on vulnerable people one-by-one. . .
English started his day at Te Tihi in Palmerston North, where the staff brought him up to speed on Te Tihi’s clients: 95 Housing New Zealand households, 224 individuals – 43 per cent of which run out of food every week due to lack of money.
They also told English about their alternative resolution model pilot, which offered a pre-charge alternative resolution to non-serious offenders.
The programme, which launched in 2013, has included 39 local Māori. Between the 39 there was a total of 1039 offences, costing the community $14.25 million.
Of the 39, 22 continued to engage with Kainga Whānau Ora over the past few years and the total cost of their offending dropped from $663,000 in 2013 to $105,725 in 2016. Meanwhile, 16 of the 22 haven’t come back into the justice system.
In the past, Palmerston North man Rodney Wilson received up to 80 police callouts relating to domestic violence in a year. Since becoming part of the programme, Wilson has had one callout relating to domestic violence.
“If it hasn’t been for Whānau Ora, I’d be locked up in jail,” Wilson told English. “I live for my daughter and her children, and I can’t be with them if I’m in jail.”
Wilson was picked up by police after trying to pawn a stolen laptop and he was given the choice of joining the programme.
With the help of his navigator – similar to a case worker – he set goals for himself and put a plan into motion in order to achieve his aspirations. He now works as a cleaner and has a closer relationship with his family.
English asked Wilson what was different about this programme.
“When you’re finished with the programme, it’s not over. They’re always here to help me.”
Then the National leader turned his attention to the staff: What works well? How is this programme different? What do you need from central government to get the programme to scale?
English was engaged with the clients, directors, navigators, police, Housing New Zealand staff, and DHB staff in the room.
He truly wanted to know how to help break the cycle for more New Zealanders in the same situation. . .
But in each location he finished with social issues, sharing the story of what was happening in Palmerston North and a similar programme run by Life to the Max in Levin.
“If they can change 39 families, they can change Palmerston North,” he said.
These were families with the most challenging set of social circumstances, and English said National wanted to help them, and other struggling Kiwis.
“It’s worth focusing on them one by one.” . .
“We’ve been in Government a long time but we still have a lot of things we want to do. We haven’t run out of steam and we haven’t run out of ideas,” English said.
Focusing on people one by one is National’s social investment policy in action, turning lives around.
This is why we’re #backingbill.
Newshub political editor Patrick Gower tweeted:
The poll showed:
Dramatic maybe, but not devastating if you want a strong economy and the sustainable social services and environmental protection and enhancement that depend on it.
It is of course only one poll, but a very welcome reversal of the trend of other recent ones.
Poll after poll show that Prime Minister Bill English and National have the most trust when it comes to running the economy.
If that trust doesn’t translate into votes, people don’t understand the importance of sound economic management and the economic, environmental and social dividends that flow from it.
Nor do they understand what a poorly managed economy would deliver but John Roughan spells it out:
Until now the economy has been flying on four good engines: good government (which means above all controlled spending), business confidence, population growth and a strong currency. Loosen control of public spending and all those engines start to splutter. If business confidence drops, immigration drops and the dollar drops it is going to be ugly. Growth will stall, import prices will rise, interest rates will have to go up against inflation, house prices will tumble and heavily mortgaged owners are going to be in trouble. I hope this is not where we are next year.
Voters have a choice – we can keep four engines firing with PM Bill English and National or let them falter.
“We understand that being in government isn’t about us, it’s about what we do for people, making a difference to their lives because National is a party that cares about people and gets things done. I strongly believe that if we can build on our current success we can offer better opportunities for everyone.” – Bill English.
In my time in Parliament I have learned and grown a lot, often from the people and communities I’ve met with all over NZ. You have always shown me how unique New Zealand truly is.
When I look ahead, I am still inspired by just how far we have come as a country together. We worked through the GFC, we banded together after the Canterbury earthquakes, and we will continue to face future challenges with determination and optimism.
This election is important. Our campaign is for every New Zealander who wants to bring their dreams to life. It’s a campaign for Kiwis who are prepared to work hard and back themselves. It is a campaign for you. – Bill English
Bill’s resilience, his intellectual grunt, and his great capacity to get things done is why he is the right person to lead the government and our country. – NZ National Party.
Government needs the right leader with the right team.
Bill English has proven he is that leader with that team.