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Dunne on 2005: It’s the family, stupid!

Dunne on 2005: It’s the family, stupid!

United Future leader Peter Dunne told Eastern Hutt Rotarians tonight that United Future’s total focus this election year would be on promoting policies to strengthen New Zealand families.

In his first major address of the year, Mr Dunne paraphrased Bill Clinton’s famous slogan “It’s the economy, stupid” to emphasise his party’s focus on family friendly policies.

He also recalled Norman Kirk’s declaration that the primary responsibility of any government was to promote policies that strengthen the family unit. He said this was the basis of United Future’s approach.

“When families are strong and confident, the country will be too,” he said.

Mr Dunne said that since the September 11 attacks, many people in western societies were seeking to reassert traditional values in modern ways. New Zealand was no different in that regard, but it was wrong to interpret this fresh search for security as no more than a rise of moral conservatism, he said.

“It is far more widespread than that.

“Most families still want to be able to get on with living their own lives the way they see fit, so they are looking for a government that supports them in their choices, not one that tells then what they can and cannot do,” he said.

Mr Dunne called for:

• Safe and secure communities, with more support for the police and a crackdown on gang earnings from promoting illicit drugs;

• More support for outdoor recreation and high performance sport to promote family and community development;

• More recognition for the role of parents, through income splitting for parents raising children;

• Security in retirement for older New Zealanders, with superannuation payments more reflective of cost of living changes;

• More opportunities for young people, through a reformed student loans scheme to cut current and future student debt levels;

• A new sense of national pride, built around the promotion of national identity and a new national day;

• Stable government, where commonsense has replaced political correctness.

Mr Dunne said United Future had shown over the last two-and-a-half years that it could not only stand up for middle New Zealand families, but could also work constructively with the Government to keep it honest.

The OECD had attributed New Zealand’s strong economic growth over past three years in part to political stability.

“United Future has been the first support party under MMP to ensure stability, so the contribution of a stable political environment to economic growth and prosperity has been very much United Future’s.

“It is the same role we intend to play on behalf of New Zealand families in the next government,” he said.

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