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Pansy Speak: Time for a fresh start

Time for a fresh start

Helen Clark confirmed the worst-kept secret in the country when she announced last week that the election will be held on November 8. She was forced to make the announcement early to try to get the Peters donation saga off the front page. Only a handful of Labour’s hoardings were up over the weekend and the only thing on Clark’s ‘busy’ schedule was to make a surprise appearance and put up a few signs.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that things don’t look good for Helen Clark and Labour. I was part of the team that went to the Otara markets yesterday with John Key. We were made to feel extremely welcome, with people cheering John. Shoppers and stall-holders echoed the same concerns that National has on issues that are holding the country back. Everyone is concerned about the rising cost of living, their ability to make ends meet, rising crime rates, and the overt PC culture that has taken over the country. It’s time for a change.

Given Helen Clark’s assurances that Labour is in touch with voters, it was interesting that she didn’t focus on these important issues in her election announcement. Instead, she claimed crime is coming down and the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia is decreasing. Labour continues to think we are all fools and can have the wool pulled over our eyes with a bit of spin. Why should they be given yet another chance to fix the problems plaguing the education system and reduce the ever-growing hospital waiting lists when they’ve had nine years to do so?

Her contempt for voters was highlighted last week when Parliament went into urgency to consider last-minute major changes to the Public Transport Management Bill. These changes, introduced by the Greens, give regional councils the power to prohibit commercial services. The changes were rejected by Cabinet and NZ First, which shows that now NZ First’s use-by date is past, Helen Clark is looking to the Greens to prop up her Government.

In the foreword to this bill, it was stated that this amendment would undermine business confidence. The rush to pass the bill with changes rejected by the Government is an outrage. Submitters were not aware this was an option that would be considered. Helen Clark threw what should be a transparent and open process out the window when this bill was pushed through under urgency.

John Key has made a stand against cloak and dagger behaviour by categorically stating that National will not negotiate a coalition deal with Winston Peters. National wants to restore public confidence and transparency in the political process.

My ongoing door-knocking in Botany has also disproved Helen Clark’s theory that it’s just young people leaving for Australia. A 47-year-old told me he wants to shift to Brisbane because opportunities there will allow him to retire in three years. A retired real estate agent told me rising crime, racial tension and the PC culture here are forcing them across the Tasman. A Taiwanese family is returning to Taiwan because of the opportunities available for their children. The only consolation in losing these people is that they will be voting for a change of Government.

National’s immigration policy will tackle the tide of people leaving New Zealand. Immigration NZ pulled their advertisements in Britain and Australia asking Kiwis to return home because they didn’t do the job. Meanwhile, our country continues to offer low wages, rising crime, and limited opportunity under the command of Helen Clark. Australia’s average wage is $73,000 a year while New Zealand’s is $48,000.

Our policy for business migrants will focus on job creation and businesses with export-earning potential. Labour’s attacks that we have a cheque-book policy for immigrants is laughable, given that both the Finance and Immigration Ministers in 2005 floated the idea of selling New Zealand residency for $5 million a pop!

The number of people leaving New Zealand also includes immigrants who have arrived in the past 10-15 years and are lured by opportunities overseas. It is the nature of immigrants to get ahead and give their families a better future. They are ambitious people who have aspirations that aren’t being met under the Labour-led Government.

The only way we can reverse the number of people fleeing our shores is to have policies that reward hard work, encourage high education standards, ensure safe environments, and provide a reliable healthcare system. People are crying out for ambitious leadership which trusts in and supports the ability of people to make decisions which are best for them and their family. It’s time to look towards a brighter future.

Pansy Wong


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