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Ian (Inky) Tulloch - United Future Party Launch

Ian (Inky) Tulloch
President, United Future

Address to the Launch of United Future New Zealand
Sheraton Hotel, Symonds Street, Auckland

Thursday 16 November, 2000at 12.30pm

Ladies and gentleman, invited guests and media thank you for your interest in the launch of United Future today.

For me personally I step into the role today as president of the new party after a very short time as president of Future New Zealand.

Indeed I will probably be on record as one of the shortest-term party presidents, now I have become president of the new coalition party United Future!!

But of course as I stand today alongside Peter, Anthony and Aditya it is a new political organisation I am proud to be serving as president.

Over the past few months it has been my priority to ensure that the membership of Future New Zealand – that is the hard working volunteers, party candidates and supporters – have been kept informed of our talks with United New Zealand and our reasons behind it and of course getting them on board to support this exciting new venture. 2/

Bringing two autonomous and distinct political parties together as one is no easy task, but I have to admit I have been pleasantly surprised at the relative smoothness of this operation. I have no doubt this is because of the degree of commonality of values and policies, but perhaps more the huge degree of determination and good will between the two parties to make this coalition work. So why did United and Future start talking and why have we ended up in this coalition today?

Perhaps I can best answer this for you by looking at things from my own perspective.

As a businessman (from Southland) and father of four I have long appreciated the need for interdependent economic and social policy. One cannot operate without the other, despite the rigid ideological approach of recent decades which has tended to see things in isolation.

Of course it is not startling to hear politicians say we can only build a strong, compassionate social system if we first create a robust economic environment. The more interesting, and I suggest more frequently unanswered question, is how do we realistically achieve this?

The basics I see is a business friendly government which has as its core values, reward for initiative and innovation, lower compliance costs, 3/
a fiscally responsible taxation system, less red tape and bureaucracy – in other words government policy that makes business easier to transact not more difficult – and offering “appropriate” (and I emphasise “appropriate”) strategic intervention to help business achieve its goals.

I want to be quite clear. This is not about stripping away the essential New Zealand way of life to grant the Business Roundtable everything they want or repealing the Resource Management Act to make life easier for a few at the expense of the many. It is about, as Peter has already said, balance and moderation.

But this of course is just the beginning. We must as a priority create a compassionate social policy that helps people by giving them a “hand-up” in times of need or put a different way to help them through a transitionary phase of their life. For United Future we value people as our greatest resource. Believe it or not there are some parties that don’t!!

If we expect people to be our greatest resource and make responsible contribution for an important part of their lives then we must demonstrate beyond doubt that government values their contribution and will reasonably stand by them and their families in their hours of need!! 4/

This isn’t about welfare so much (though that is part of the equation). It is about what we call a Citizens Charter, which is broadly an agreement between government and the citizens, to provide for example a first rate,
accessible education systems, access to health care as a right and a safe and secure community.

It is about the security of receiving quality health care when our loved ones need it, it is about ensuring our children can attend schools that are well funded with a high standard of education and the security of knowing that our parents, grand-parents and we ourselves can live in security and relative dignity in old age.

But it is more than all this. It is about preserving those uniquely New Zealand things like the green open spaces, the clean air and abundance of natural resources. Our environment must be secured for future generations and United Future’s environment policy is unashamedly green. We are committed, for example, to pesticide and hazardous waste reduction and we will be ambitious in our targets and steadfast in our determination. If we are going to create a safer, cleaner environment for our children and their children we must totally commit 110 per cent to improving our performance in this area.

So in closing I would like to briefly touch on the role of the United Future in an organisational sense. As president I want to welcome all the current United and Future members into the fold as members of the new coalition. 5/
But I also want to extend an invitation to all those New Zealanders from the different strands of our multi-cultural community, something Aditya our vice-president will talk about shortly, to come on board. All we ask is that you have a commitment to the values of fairness, equality of opportunity, reward, compassion and a better New Zealand.

I’ll be perfectly frank. As a new coalition we need you and your unique contribution. You don’t have to agree with everything we say, but if you broadly identify with some of the things we are talking about today then we want your contribution. What we can offer in return is the opportunity to be involved in a new coalition where good ideas, enthusiasm and common-sense will not only be welcomed, but embraced. You can play a part in new policy formulation and even look to running for office. As many say the best time to join a political party (or new colaition) is at the beginning.

Thank you for your attention today. I look forward to the coming months with a sense of challenge and excitement.

END

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