Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Key Notes - Happy Christmas

18 December 2009

Click here to watch my latest video journal on You Tube!

Happy Christmas

It's been a busy year. National has worked hard to protect New Zealanders from the sharpest edges of the recession and prepare for future growth, while delivering on our election promises in law and order, health, and education.

Treasury's half-yearly fiscal update shows that we've come through the recession better than many people thought. And we're seeing some strong signs of recovery. That's great news, but the pressure on government finances is still tight.

2010 will be another big year. We'll be working to unleash New Zealand's potential for growth and lift wages. We'll also stay focused on the issues that matter - making our communities safer for families, lifting achievement in our schools, and providing better healthcare for all New Zealanders.

Thanks very much for your support this year and for reading Key Notes. I hope it's given you a sense of where we are taking New Zealand. This is the last issue for 2009. I'll be back in your inbox in January.

And thanks for your comments. They give my staff and I a good idea of what concerns you. Please keep them coming.

I hope you and your family take some time off and relax over the holiday season. Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Tackling Greenhouse Emissions

I'm in Copenhagen this week for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Yesterday we announced that New Zealand will invest $45 million over four years in the Global Research Alliance on agriculture greenhouse gases. The Alliance brings together researchers to find solutions to emissions from farm animals and horticulture. Twenty countries so far - including the United States, Canada, and India - have joined the Alliance.

Fourteen percent of the world's greenhouse gases and almost half of New Zealand's emissions come from agriculture. The Alliance has huge potential to help our farmers cut emissions and help global food supply keep up with the world's growing population.

Lifting Achievement in Schools

This week the Education Review Office released a report into reading and writing in Years 1 and 2 at primary schools. It found that almost two out of three school leaders aren't properly monitoring how well their pupils achieve. It also found that 30 percent of teachers aren't teaching reading and writing effectively. Children - and parents - deserve better.

The report goes some way to explaining why one-in-five young New Zealanders leave school without the basic skills they need. And it shows just how crucial our National Standards policy is. Under National Standards, primary and intermediate schools will be required from next year to assess each child's progress in reading, writing, and maths, and report this in plain English to parents. We want to work constructively with teachers and principals to introduce National Standards. And we're providing extra funding to roll them out and help children who are falling behind.

Improving our Highways

On Tuesday the Government gave the go ahead for Transmission Gully - a project to improve State Highway 1 north of Wellington. This is part of the Wellington Road of National Significance, which will see a four-lane expressway built in stages between Wellington Airport and Levin over the next 10 years.

Earlier this year we identified seven initial Roads of National Significance around the country. With our announcement of $11 billion in new State Highway investment over the coming decade, National wants to significantly improve our road network and help unclog New Zealand's growth arteries. In coming months, we'll have more to say about our progress on the Roads of National Significance.

Reining in Electricity Prices

Under Labour, electricity prices rose about three times faster than inflation. That's just not on. And that's why we've introduced a new bill into Parliament to put in place many of the recommendations of the Ministerial Review Group into the electricity market.

The changes are designed to improve the security of our electricity supply, boost competition in the market, and rein in increases to the family power bill. Since the review began, price rises have flattened. I hope that trend will continue.

Celebrating Waitangi Day

National wants a harmonious New Zealand where all Kiwis respect each other. That's one of the reasons why Cabinet has approved the flying of a national Maori flag from Auckland Harbour Bridge, Premier House, and some other sites on Waitangi Day. The Maori flag won't replace the New Zealand flag. It will fly alongside it, to celebrate Waitangi Day and recognise the partnership which the Crown and Maori entered into when they signed the Treaty of Waitangi.

Best wishes


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Herd Immunity Isn’t A Valid Option, And What’s With Our Reluctance To Wear Masks?

Herd immunity has recently bounced back into the headlines as a tool for managing Covid-19, and as a supposed alternative to lockdowns. In the US, a group of scientists was recently brought together in the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts by a think tank funded by the Koch brothers. The assembled scientists signed the so called Barrington Declaration, which promotes herd immunity as a rational means of re-opening US public schools and the economy at large... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On National Being Shafted By Its Own Creation

As it licks its wounds, let’s hope the National Party can still find time to look back with some pride at what it has achieved in Epsom. The Act Party’s nationwide success on Saturday night has been a tribute to National’s foresight, and to its ... More>>


Green Party: 'Fruitful Discussions ... Further Discussions To Have'

The Green Party says there is a negotiation going on with the Labour Party, but there are more discussions to be had. More>>


Border: No Changes To Border Exemptions After Fishing Crew Test Covid-19 Positive

The cases were detected after routine day three testing but the immigration minister and air commodore agree there's no need to change border exemptions. More>>

PSA: Labour-Led Government Has Mandate For Transformation, Equality And Transparency

The Public Service Association welcomes the progressive electoral landslide New Zealand voters delivered on Saturday, and the union says its members look forward to implementing policies that reduce poverty and inequality, support affordable housing ... More>>


Stats NZ: New Report Shows Significant Changes To New Zealand’s Climate

Climate change is already happening in New Zealand and could have a profound impact on future generations of New Zealanders, a new report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ says. Our atmosphere and climate 2020 , released today, includes analysis ... More>>


Judith Collins: Obese People Must Take Responsibility For 'personal Choices'

National Party leader Judith Collins has described obesity as a weakness and says people should not 'blame systems for personal choices'. More>>

Māori Party: Poll Reveals Tamihere On Cusp Of Historic Māori Movement Election Victory

John Tamihere’s election campaign is on the rise and on track to return the Māori Party to parliament, a new Māori TV poll has revealed. The poll released on 11 October during the seventh and final Māori TV Maori Electoral campaign coverage has Tamihere ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Four-Year Terms Of Parliament, And On How The US Courts Are Dismantling Democracy

Last week, the issue of four-year parliamentary terms surfaced again. Infuriatingly, it is being discussed purely in terms of its convenience for political parties. They’d get so much more time to enact their policies, free of scrutiny or sanction by voters ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels