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The Mapp Report: Going For Growth

Going For Growth

As the election comes closer, the shape of the contest becomes clearer. For National, the economy is the most important campaign issue. Voters have the right to expect that political parties focus on what matters. New Zealand's continuing relative economic decline, the loss of so many people (nearly 80,000 in the last 12 months) overseas, and the current recession demand that political parties deal seriously with the big economic issues. That means looking at the root causes, not just a band aid approach.

A plan for infrastructure

That is why National has focussed on infrastructure. John Key's speech at the National Party Conference set out why infrastructure is so important to our country's economic growth; the ability to transport goods quickly to market, the need for people to get about our cities, the absolute necessity for secure energy supplies, and catching up with the rest of the world in high speed broadband.

To guarantee these things requires a new co-ordinated approach. National will:

· Develop a 20 year infrastructure plan

· Allocate an extra $5 billion Crown money over six years for nationally important infrastructure

· Appoint a Minister of Infrastructure to drive the plan

· Prioritise consents within nine months of application for nationally important infrastructure (major roading, transport or major energy projects)

· Use public-private partnerships, where these are economically appropriate

· Establish an Emissions Trading Scheme that meets New Zealand's needs within nine months of taking office.

Balancing the environment and the economy

These initiatives are paralleled throughout advanced OECD countries. It is possible to get modern infrastructure, balancing economic growth and the environment, without needing to take years to get projects off the ground with a multilayered consent process.

New Zealand has found itself in a position where every public hearing or inquiry into virtually any issue takes years to be concluded. We must do better than this.

A National led government will place the economy and the prosperity of New Zealanders at the forefront of its agenda.

OUT AND ABOUT

This week I have been busy in the North Shore and in Auckland, ranging from talking to members of the Committee for Auckland, to visiting the Devonport Community Crèche.

Two particular discussions were with Neighbourhood Watch, which has a new approach to community patrols, and with the promoters of the Korean Community Garden.

On Sunday at the Lakehouse AGM, there was wide agreement that Barrys Point would be the ideal place for the Garden. I will be working with the Korean leaders, and the city to help realise this vision, which can be a major part of the ongoing improvement of the Barrys Point Reserve.


ENDS

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