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Statement from National Leader, Don Brash

Don Brash National Party Leader
28 October 2003

Statement from National Leader, Don Brash

National Party Leader, Don Brash, says his first priority is to build the Party and a programme based on its traditional fundamental values.

"I believe most New Zealanders agree with our principles, both because of what those principles deliver in terms of economic and social benefits and because, as a nation, we value freedom and choice."

Dr Brash acknowledges his promotion to Leader is "swift", but says he has taken on the leadership for the same reason that he decided to resign as Governor of the Reserve Bank and stand for National last year.

"I believed - and I believe even more strongly now - that the Labour/Anderton/Green Government is slowly but surely destroying New Zealand.

"It is destroying the New Zealand in which we grew up. It is destroying the New Zealand which we still love today. And - most importantly - it is destroying the New Zealand that, with leadership, we could be.

Dr Brash says he has "no intention of following the example of Sir Robert Muldoon and being both Leader and the only Finance Spokesman."

"In our Caucus, we have many with expertise in economic policy and we all have an interest. I will retain an oversight role in economic policy but will name somebody else who will have day to day responsibility for this area of policy.

"I expect to be in a position to set out the rest of the Caucus line-up by the end of the week. I expect there will be some significant changes."

Dr Brash says that under his leadership, policy development will be accelerated.

"We have made considerable progress already, especially in developing our education and social policy.

"I want us to attack what the Government is doing with more urgency and vigour - and rigour.

"And I don't want us to be afraid of the electorate, by watering down our message," says Dr Brash.

Ends

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