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Prime Minister Revisits Blenheim

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley today visited Blenheim as part of her programme to visit provincial New Zealand. "We intend to tell voters what National is doing to keep New Zealand prosperous, positive and innovative now and in the future."

"National has a good story to tell the hardworking folk of provincial New Zealand and today marks the beginning of the delivery of our message," Mrs Shipley said in Blenheim.

"The towns and smaller cities that make up provincial New Zealand are the engine room of the economy of this country, as well as the backbone.

"We want to tell them about the money that the ACC reforms will put back into their businesses and their communities, in services like health. We also want to tell them how we are going to ensure that we continue to compete effectively with the rest of the world, by being innovative, and harnessing the energy of provincial New Zealand to keep and expand job opportunities in their regions - not diminish them.

"We will also tell them what National will do in our next three years in Government including lowering income taxes, and matching the tax cuts with a dollar for dollar increase in social spending.

"I have already visited many smaller cities and towns, and everywhere I go New Zealanders are roaring ahead, no longer shackled to Wellington, but finding their own solutions in partnership with central government. Our commitment to provincial New Zealand is that we will expand that partnership in the next three years," she said.

Mrs Shipley said the message from provincial New Zealand is that while New Zealanders are having to work harder, people are positive about their lives and their futures.

National’s message to provincial New Zealand would also contain a warning about what could happen under a Labour-Alliance Government.

"We want to tell them how the jobs of Blenheim people will be affected under changes to the Employment Contracts Act being promised by Labour. If change occurs we will see jobs go off-shore and out of towns like this.

"We want to warn them about what Helen Clark and Jim Anderton are planning. The Labour-Alliance bloc does not just want to tax more of what you earn, but also to start taxing what you own.

"Increased income tax and wealth tax will hit provincial New Zealand hard.

"Provincial New Zealand matters - if they prosper we all prosper, and National intends to ensure they do," the Prime Minister said.

ENDS

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