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NZ desperately needs vision and leadership

NZ desperately needs vision and leadership

New Zealand's living standards will continue to slip while it has a Government which panders to union officials, Maori radicals and every greenie with an opinion, says National Finance Spokesman Don Brash.

Dr Brash outlined his vision for New Zealand and a 7-point plan to achieving a better society in a speech to the Orewa Rotary Club this evening.

Dr Brash said the average Australian was $250 better off per week than the average New Zealander, and that as a result people could earn more doing the same job and get better health care in Australia. "We will continue to see our children and those of our friends disappear overseas, never to return, unless we make a more serious commitment to increasing our rate of economic growth.

"Without vision and strong leadership, we are at risk of ending up like Argentina, or worse still like Papua New Guinea or Fiji - yet another Pacific Island basket case where no one wants to live."

Dr Brash also said that New Zealand's welfare system needed to be reviewed. "One of the biggest challenges facing New Zealand today is the large number of people on a benefit - 300,000 people who are able to work but don't, despite worker shortages in many parts of the country.

He strongly endorsed Bill English's comments that there was no basis for special rights and privileges for any race. "Much of the legal obligation to consult particular races on many issues is unproductive window-dressing; indeed, much of it is counterproductive."

Dr Brash said our education system was failing people, with many young adults completing school unable to read and write, or do basic arithmetical functions. He said the Government was taking education in totally the wrong direction- towards less parental choice, a more centralised system, and giving teacher unions more power.

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