“When the history of this period is written, it will record New Zealand was in an economic and social crisis, without realising it. Just look at the evidence in every area, and ask yourself whether Labour or National are proposing real solutions,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Kiwis reading the news today see a country in terminal decline. Almost every part of life is becoming more expensive, less productive, and less safe. This year’s election can’t be about just changing the Government, it needs to be about changing the direction of the country.

“Police don’t turn up to crime because there’s too much, health waiting lists are divided by race, youth offenders get bribed with fast food to stop rioting, food prices rise faster than any time in three decades, hundreds of thousands of kids don’t turn up to school, rent increase at record rates. People rightly ask themselves, is my best future in New Zealand?

“The health and education systems are chaotic despite spending increasing by 68 and 38 per cent, respectively. Serious assaults resulting in injury up 121 per cent, leading to widespread concern about safety. New Zealanders feel divided by Labour’s reinterpretation of the Treaty. Productivity – the fundamental driver of higher wages – has been in the tank for years. Our biggest competitor – Australia – is luring New Zealanders across the ditch with the promise of higher wages and a passport.

“The Government has shown no indication they even want to slow the decline, their policies have the depth of a sausage roll selfie and amount to removing a $5 fee on prescriptions the same day they put up a bunch of taxes on Kiwis, and pledging to keep things the same like superannuation age.

“ACT is the only party putting real change on the agenda. We have produced a fully-costed, alternative budget. We say it should be a priority to cut taxes. And we can afford to cut taxes by cutting wasteful spending.

“We’ve also released policies to get rid of red tape and bureaucracy that makes it too difficult to build homes, businesses and prosperity. To invest in public safety with more prison beds and real consequences for criminal behaviour. To end separatism and racial division caused by co-government. And to invest in primary health care, infrastructure, defence, and education so that those vital areas of government activity play their part.

“Much of New Zealand’s problems are rooted in a productivity crisis. We want first world services, but we’re not producing enough as a nation to afford them.

“Over the past three years labour productivity growth continues at a woeful 1.1 per cent for the years 2019-2022, only fractionally better than the 0.9 per cent from 2008-2019. The reason New Zealand feels increasingly poor is that labour productivity is so weak.

“This is why Kiwis can’t afford pharmaceuticals. Its why families have been hit harder by the cost of living crisis. Its why public services are becoming increasingly harder to access. It means there’s less money to put away for retirement.

“We say government should be zero-based. Every year the government should ask… if this activity or department didn’t exist today, could we justify starting it up? If not, it should stop.

“The next Government can’t just carry on managing the decline of a great nation. That’s why changing the government isn’t enough. We need to change direction too. History tells us the courage to reverse Labour’s policies and have real change won’t exist unless ACT is a big part of the next government.

“We can again build a country united behind good ideas. ACT is the real choice for real change.”

Press Contact

[email protected]