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Right Talk: Christmas and New Year Message

The Right Talk
From the Office of Bill English -20 December
A Christmas and New Year Message from Hon Bill English

2002 has been a test of character for me, for National and for our supporters. I have been inspired by the loyalty of the many people who want National to succeed. Your advice, and criticism, has galvanised the Caucus into a strong determination to get back on its feet and get on with restoring credibility and support for National and its philosophy.

There is no easy road back, as many of you have told me. We have started with ourselves - re-establishing the principles we stand for, reorganising the team, lifting our performance in Parliament and with the media.

Today Global News political editor, Lindsay Perigo, gave National staff the thumbs-up in his political comment as the best team in the entire Parliamentary complex - a bouquet.

I am also proud of the strong team developing in our National Caucus. Even the Listener gives credit when it's due, talking about reinvigorated National MPs determined to make their mark on New Zealand politics.

Then there is the National Party and I would like to pay tribute to Michelle Boag for the energy she put in, and for the great job incoming President Judy Kirk has done during her short time in the position. We are working through a review necessary to renew National as a responsive and respected political machine.

In recent months, National has fought for homeowners affected by the leaky homes crisis, for the nation's volunteers burdened by safety requirements, and for the travelling public who will lose out if Air New Zealand is sold to Qantas.

In 2003 National will be setting out its own direction for the country. I am looking forward to that challenge. Backed by a competent, united Caucus, a dedicated motivated team in my office and a Party moving on, it will be a good year.

For Christmas, Mary and the family and I will be in Wellington for a few days followed by a trip south to Dipton. I will be combining a number of work projects with a bit of time off.

I would like to wish you all the best for the festive season. Enjoy a time of togetherness and cherish warm memories of absent friends and family. In particular, I wish every parent all the best for the New Year. You are doing a great job for your children and for the nation. I hope 2003 is as good for you as I know it will be for me and for National.

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