10th By 2010 – ACT Conference Shows The Way
ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble said the party aimed to set the political agenda for the year with its annual conference starting in Christchurch tomorrow, which has as its theme “10th by 2010.
“I’m looking forward to robust debate as we continue to develop the policies which we believe can take New Zealand to 10th place in the OECD ratings of per capita income by 2010.
“ACT is seeking prosperity with a purpose. There is not a single social problem – from education to welfare to health that greater productivity wouldn’t help resolve.
“Extra income is the only way we can solve what I think is possibly the most serious threat facing the country, the loss of our best and brightest young people. Only this week came the news that in the 12 months to the end of January we had our worst net loss of skilled people since comparative records have been kept. This Government is driving the people we need away
“Today New Zealand is 21st out of 29 OECD nations in per capita income. We need to substantially improve this to keep our people here. Real success will come when we have a government that sets the framework, establishes a favourable environment and then lets the creative force of free enterprise work.
“Helen Clark needs to be told - Governments do not create wealth - the private sector creates wealth. The goal of 10 by 2010 is achievable, we just need to let the private sector achieve the goal.
“Our conference this weekend will be working through the issues to help establish the policies that will do that. ACT MPs will be leading a series of workshops to discuss the vital matters. A series of discussion documents have been prepared by MPs to help stimulate the debate.
“I will be taking a workshop on race relations. Sir Roger Douglas and Rodney Hide will be taking us through superannuation.
“Other workshops will be Stephen Franks on both justice and the constitution, Rodney Hide on the economy, Donna Awatere Huata - education, Dr Muriel Newman on building a better welfare safety net, Ken Shirley - the way forward – issues and options for Accident Compensation, Owen Jennings – the Resource Management Act: what’s wrong and what will fix it, Penny Webster –immigration and Gerry Eckhoff – Environment. The party’s unofficial youth wing, ACTivists, will also take a workshop.
“From the vibrant discussion I’m expecting will come the policies which will enable ACT to show New Zealand the way to become 10th by 2010,” Hon Richard Prebble said.