As we reflect on the strides made by the Coalition Government, it’s clear that a tide of optimism and contentment is sweeping through New Zealand. The collective sigh of relief echoes the sentiment that a competent group of individuals with real-world experience is now at the helm, steering the country toward a brighter future.
One of the most tangible victories for everyday Kiwis was the timely repeal of the ute tax just before Christmas. This decision has been met with widespread appreciation, particularly from our hard-working farmers and tradies. Now, as they contemplate upgrading their petrol or diesel wagons in 2024, there’s no need to scramble for an extra $8000 to subsidize Tesla buyers. It’s a welcome shift toward fairness and practicality, ensuring that those who keep our nation running can do so without shouldering unnecessary financial burdens.
The staggering reality that over $100 million was extracted from farmers and tradies since 2021 to support electric vehicle (EV) buyers, while still leaving a $300 million shortfall in the Clean Car Discount account, highlights the wasteful spending on misguided policies by the previous government. Fortunately, such fiscal irresponsibility came to an abrupt halt when the new government, with ACT Ministers in pivotal roles, took charge. The commitment to delivering what the voters asked for is not just a promise but a reality shaping the course of our nation.
ACT Minister Brooke Van Velden wasted no time in delivering on the party’s campaign promises, passing two crucial laws within the first two weeks of Parliament. These laws are designed to set up employers and workers for better work stories in 2024, marking a swift departure from the complex and unworkable “Fair Pay” laws. The removal of these rules prevents scenarios where a supermarket worker could be tied to three separate agreements with different unions, a bureaucratic nightmare that would have hampered businesses and reduced national productivity.
The replacement of the Fair Pay laws with a 90-day trial period for workers is a forward-thinking move that fosters a more flexible and inclusive job market. This change benefits workers with marginal employment histories the most, providing them with opportunities they might otherwise miss out on. It also addresses the concerns of employers who may hesitate to hire individuals coming out of prison without the safety net of a trial period. The Coalition Government, with ACT at the forefront, is actively delivering solutions that bridge the gap between workers and businesses.
In your community, the north-west of Auckland is poised to benefit significantly from a greater investment in roads and public transport, thanks to the accelerated efforts of the Coalition Government. As the Under-Secretary for Resource Management Reform and Infrastructure, I am proud to announce the initiation of a work program aimed at making the process of obtaining consents and building approvals more straightforward. After six years of discussions, the next three years are dedicated to action and tangible results.
Helensville, as we navigate through this era of change and progress, rest assured that the Coalition Government, with ACT Ministers leading the way, is committed to delivering on its promises. The newfound optimism and enthusiasm are not just sentiments; they are the building blocks of a more prosperous and equitable New Zealand.