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Speech: Grant Tyrrell - Young Nats Policy Chair

Speech: Grant Tyrrell - New Zealand Young Nationals Policy Chair

In welcoming delegates to Young Nationals Conference 2001 Grant Tyrrell said:

Thank you Daniel and welcome everyone to Young Nationals Conference 2001. We have an action packed agenda with a number of exciting topics for discussion. I look forward with expectation to this conference sending a positive message of advancement - something that has been missing in this country since this fair city became Helengrad. The success of this conference relies on you all and it great to see so many people from around the country. I look forward to the input of you all.

I want to take this opportunity to share a few thoughts I have on policy direction, for Young Nationals, the Party and the country. It does not take a brain surgeon to work out that we are currently suffering under the yoke of a government that takes an attitude of "we know best". A government that refuses to trust the people and seems to be determined to interfere in every facet of our lives. Whether it be the TV we watch, where our children go to school, how we insure our workplaces or last weeks coup de grace the Margaret Wilson Compulsory Marriage Act. That's right ladies and gentlemen; Auntie Helen and Uncle Jim know what's best for us - all we have to do it breathe ad wait to be told what to do.

I don't know about you but I actually enjoy making decisions for myself. What's more I love this country and I do not want to join the hordes of my peers looking beyond our shores for opportunities - too many of whom will not be back.

The only option therefore it to fight. To fight fiction with fact, bureaucracy with common sense, closed government with honest debate and incompetence and shady dealings with open and common sense direction. And above all contrast the stifling policies of the Left with the open and fair values shared by those of us to the Right of Centre.

We can not fall into the trap of hiding our lights under metaphoric bushels, we must be proud of our values and offer New Zealand a true choice. For too long we have allowed ourselves to be seen as the Party which is strong on Economic policy but weaker on Social policy. Can someone explain to me how it can be said that centre-right values do not lead to good social policy? Values of thrift, hard work, freedom of choice and expression, freedom of the individual and equality of opportunity are hardly anti-social values. These are all values that we should be proud of, and we should promote at every opportunity.

Despite this winning in 2002 is not a foregone conclusion. It is up to all of us as activists to sell the good message - the Right message. To constantly challenge the Left wing rhetoric of the current government with a message of prosperity for all; something that can only occur under a National led government.

Welcome to conference 2001.


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