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PM outlines key priorities for 2nd term in Govt

Rt Hon John Key

Prime Minister
26 January 2012 Media Statement
PM outlines key priorities for 2nd term in Govt

Prime Minister John Key today outlined the four key priorities the National-led Government will focus on during its second term in office, and also provided an update on the path towards a surplus in 2014/15.

In a speech in Auckland, Mr Key said the Government’s four key priorities for the term are to:

• responsibly manage the Government's finances
• build a more competitive and productive economy
• deliver better public services
• rebuild Christchurch.

"Over the past three years, we have proven that we can deliver strong and stable Government in very difficult times – including through a global economic crisis and the series of destructive earthquakes in Canterbury," Mr Key said.

"The next three years will be about rebuilding and strengthening the country. We are in a good position to do that compared to a lot of other nations."

Mr Key said that the Government’s focus on responsibly managing its finances includes a commitment to return to surplus in 2014/15 – which National campaigned on at the election. The Budget Policy Statement, which will be released on February 16, will update the track toward that surplus.

"Today I can confirm that we are still on track to post a surplus in 2014/15, and the upcoming Budget Policy Statement will show a forecast surplus in the range of $300 to $500 million in that year," Mr Key said.

"Given the events in Europe, this surplus is understandably smaller than was previously forecast. But we remain on our tight fiscal track."

Mr Key said New Zealand is in a relatively good position to deal with any fall-out from the European crisis in the near term.

"In both 2012 and 2013, the New Zealand economy is forecast to grow more strongly than the Eurozone, the UK, Japan, the United States and Canada – so we are in relatively good shape. However, it is important that we get back to surplus and make our economy more competitive."

The Government will be implementing the 120-point economic action plan released during the election campaign, while also focusing on delivering better public services and rebuilding Christchurch.

"We have a busy agenda. Within our public services work we will be implementing major welfare reforms, focusing on raising achievement across the education sector, improving health services and introducing legislation to strengthen sentencing, parole and bail laws.

"On top of these initiatives we are taking a hard look at the way public services are organised across the board. The state sector could do much better at achieving results and at delivering value for money. I will have more to say about this when we release the Better Public Services Advisory Group report and outline our direction for state sector reform in the next month or two.

"Finally, this year we will be getting on with rebuilding Christchurch, which is a top priority for this Government. We are totally committed to the reconstruction of Canterbury and I’m determined to see that momentum is maintained.

"It will be another busy and challenging year but I am very confident about New Zealand’s prospects.

"We need to get out and seize our brighter future because it won’t come delivered on a plate. My Government is committed to that task," Mr Key said.

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