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UF will push health, transport and outdoors

Peter Dunne: UF will push health, transport and outdoors

November 13

Short term thinking and priorities that chase funding rather than funding that follows well-planned priorities are selling New Zealand short, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said today.

“We see it in health; we see it in transport, we see it in so many areas. This country simply does not perform as well it could because we are locked into short term, short vision thinking,” he told the party’s annual meeting and policy conference in Wellington today.

In unveiling a series of new UnitedFuture initiatives for the 2011 election and beyond, Mr Dunne said New Zealanders could count on the party because of its track record of delivering.

“We don’t do short term-ism. If Wellington is the greatest little capital, then UnitedFuture is the greatest little support party.

Mr Dunne signalled that key policy planks for UnitedFuture in forming part of the next government would include:

Protecting New Zealanders’ health: “We will maximise what we have; money will follow the patient; we want to introduce a Universal National Health Insurance.”
Improve transport in major cities: “Again, priorities need to determine funding, not the other way around. We need to end under-investment in transport infrastructure and think long term … the road versus rail debate is over. It is a mix of both, and we need public-private partnerships.”
Ban 1080 poison: “Animals are being destroyed indiscriminately and waterways poisoned by 1080. It needs to go and the millions spent on it need to be diverted to other forms of pest control and scientific research.”

“We take a long term view of what is good for New Zealand and New Zealanders, and if it is an idea worth backing, we really commit to it, drive it and follow it through, and we put it on the table in Government negotiations, and we get it there,” Mr Dunne said.

“If we want smart policies to take New Zealand forward, then we have got to get out of the three-year cycle of just picking the low hanging fruit.

“UnitedFuture commits to long term thinking and goals, and I commit to that.

“You don’t make change from the Opposition benches, and we get with governments – be they Labour or National – and we moderate them, and we push key policies for New Zealanders, and we do it successfully,” he said.

“Even our harshest critics can’t deny that UnitedFuture has consistently delivered what it has said it will deliver, and I am proud of that.”

Mr Dunne said key UnitedFuture achievements included the development of the Medicines New Zealand Strategy, under which nearly 250,000 more Kiwis get access to the medicines they need, the Families Commission, tax deductibility for charity donations, business tax reform, payroll giving, major personal tax cuts, the abolition of gift duty, and the go-ahead for Transmission Gully.

“It’s a roll call of achievement.”

Mr Dunne said all UnitedFuture policy was viewed and developed “through the prism of making New Zealand the best place in the world to live and raise a family”.

“That’s our goal. It is very simple and straightforward and it is all about getting results,” he said.

Mr Dunne said UnitedFuture’s Income Sharing legislation, currently in the select committee process, was not only a signature policy, but it summed up the party’s values.

“This legislation will allow families to do what businesses can already do – share their income to maximise their tax benefit. Some 310,000 families will benefit by up to $9000 a year.

“Again our test is simple: what is good for New Zealand families?” he said.


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