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Key launches action plan

John Key MP
National Party Leader

4 November 2008

Key launches action plan

National Party Leader John Key has today laid out his plans for the first 100 days of being sworn into office, should National be elected by New Zealanders on Saturday to lead the next Government.

“There are big challenges ahead. National is ready to deliver a fresh approach. That will start almost straight away, with a strong economic plan, and improvements to law & order, health, and education.

“National has a comprehensive plan to tackle the issues that matter to New Zealanders. Our policies have been fully costed and funded. If National is elected to lead the next Government, I will see to it these first actions are carried out in our first 100 days.”

“New Zealanders need to have the confidence that a new Government will be ready to embrace the challenges that lie ahead and has a strategy to deal with them. That’s why I am releasing this action plan today.”

Mr Key says his first actions on the economy include:

• The introduction and passage of National’s tax package into law before Christmas, with tax cuts beginning on 1 April 2009.

• Updating and publishing the economic and fiscal forecasts to gauge the true state of the government’s books and determine the on-going effects of the international economic crisis.

• Appointing a Minister of Infrastructure and begin implementing National’s infrastructure plan.

• The introduction of an RMA reform bill to reduce the costs, delays, and uncertainties in the Act.

• The introduction and passage of National’s transitional relief package into law to offer extra assistance to Kiwis who are worst hit by redundancy.

• Calling in public service chief executives and instruct them to undertake a line-by-line review of their department’s spending.

On Law and Order, Mr Key says National will:

• Introduce legislation to remove the right of the worst repeat violent offenders to be released on parole.

• Introduce legislation to clamp down on criminal gangs and their drug trade.

• Introduce legislation to toughen the bail laws to make it harder for criminals awaiting trial to get bail.

• Introduce legislation to tackle increasing violent youth crime by bolstering the Youth Court with a range of new interventions and sentences.

• Introduce legislation to require DNA testing for every person arrested for an imprisonable offence.

• Introduce legislation to give police the power to issue on-the-spot protection orders to help them protect victims of domestic violence.

• Introduce legislation to compensate victims by levying criminals and putting the money into a Victims Compensation Scheme.

In education, Mr Key says a National-led Government will:

• Amend the Education Act 1989 so the Minister of Education can set agreed National Standards in literacy and numeracy.

• Publish requirements for primary and intermediate schools to report to parents in plain English about how their child is doing compared to the set National Standards, and compared to other children their age.

• Begin work on allocating the additional $500 million capital investment in schools in preparation for our first Budget to start future-proofing our schools.

• Introduce a “voluntary bonding” scheme which offers student loan debt write-offs to graduate teachers who agree to work in hard-to-staff communities or subjects.

• Amend the Education Act 1989 to increase the current fines for parents of truant children from $150 and $400 for first time and repeat offenders respectively, and allow the Ministry of Education to take prosecutions.

And in health, National will:

• Instruct the Ministry of Health and DHBs to halt the growth in health bureaucracy.

• Open the books on the true state of hospital waiting lists and the crisis in services.

• Fast-track funding for 24-hour Plunketline.

• Instruct that a full 12-month course of Herceptin be publicly available.

• Begin implementing National’s Tackling Waiting Lists plan.

• Establish a “voluntary bonding scheme" offering student loan debt write-off to graduate doctors, nurses, and midwives agreeing to work in hard-to-staff communities or specialties.

This is not an exhaustive list of National’s policies, but a concise summary of the party’s first priorities.

“Our commitment to move immediately to tackle the issues that matter demonstrates our determination to build a brighter future for all New Zealanders.”

ENDS

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