Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader
A year ago New Zealand was given hope for a brighter future, as New Zealand First and Labour became partners in a Government with fresh thinking, energy, and a determination to improve the lives of everyday Kiwis.
After years of neglect under National, we had our work cut out. We set an ambitious agenda for action and have achieved much in just 12 months.
Our priorities are clear. We have been working to regenerate the regions in order that they can fulfil their economic potential. Our flagship $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund is already making a tangible difference in parts of New Zealand which were being left behind. We are restoring lost capacity by making essential and long-overdue investment in health, education, housing and transport.
We are working to make lives better for New Zealanders. We have raised the minimum wage, introduced new and targeted industry training schemes, launched our Families Package, and restricted foreign ownership of New Zealand property in order to give hard-working Kiwis a better chance of owning their own home and land.
In an increasingly turbulent world, we also need to be clear about the external challenges we face, ready and well-equipped to respond. We are increasing our defence force capability, strengthening our representation globally, building our influence and activity in the Pacific through our Pacific Reset policy, and regaining our place in the world.
New Zealand First is proud of its role at the heart of Government. We have worked constructively with Labour and had a real influence in shaping a better future. That said, there is still much to do. We will continue to work in the best interests of New Zealanders. It is what has driven our party since it was formed 25 years ago.