It‘s been a tough few years for New Zealand. When National came into office, the global financial crisis was at its peak, and our economy had shrunk 3 percent in a year.
Budget 2011 builds a platform for savings and investment to set our economy on a stable track to growth during these difficult times.
The Budget protects vulnerable New Zealanders while boosting frontline services such as law and order, health and education, and helps rebuild Canterbury.
We’re making amendments to KiwiSaver, Working For Families, and the Student Loan Scheme, to ensure these programmes are more affordable, and will survive into the future.
As Minister of Police, I’m pleased that $8.3 million has been allocated to the Serious Fraud Office over the next two years to continue the fight against white collar crime.
I’m also delighted that spending on early childhood education will be boosted to $1.4 billion to make sure children who are likely to miss out will now benefit from early learning.
This month Police released the third Tackling Methamphetamine report. The report shows excellent progress is being made to combat the abuse, manufacture and supply of P in our communities.
All 60 dedicated residential and social detox meth treatment beds are being used nationwide - to date they have taken 276 admissions, in addition to those beds available at District Health Boards.
This Government’s commitment to tackling this seriously destructive drug has seen 19kg of P seized this year alone – about 10kg less than the total amount seized in 2010.
It’s clear that collaboration between our Police, Customs officials and other government agencies is continuing to achieve great results.
Back in the electorate I enjoyed visiting Te Hihi Primary School to open their new Native Bush Reserve. The Reserve will give students the opportunity to directly engage with their environment – through planting, culturing and growing their own plants and vegetables.
The planning and fundraising efforts of the Te Hihi school community and the dedicated teams of parents, caregivers and volunteers has been amazing.
Applications for the 2011 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards opened this week, giving high-achieving young New Zealanders of Pacific descent the opportunity to have their talent and leadership potential recognised.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Pacific communities to encourage their future leaders to realise their dreams. For more information on the awards visit www.pacificyouthawards.org.nz. Applications close on 4 July 2011.