Opinion: Focused on action, delivery

National Party MP for Southland Joseph Mooney. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
Joseph Mooney. PHOTO: ODT FILES
It is great to be part of a government absolutely focused on rebuilding the economy, easing the cost of living for New Zealanders, restoring law and order, and delivering better public services.

Part of this is the announcement of the government’s next action plan for New Zealand, which will include delivering a budget that reduces wasteful spending while investing in frontline services, delivering tax relief for hardworking New Zealanders, setting targets for improving public services such as education and health, and launching an attendance action plan to get children back to school.

It was great to have the Minister of Education Erica Stanford in Alexandra recently to talk to principals and teachers in our region, outlining her priorities and seeking their feedback.

Ensuring New Zealand’s curriculum is world-leading is a vital part of the government’s plan to deliver better public services and ensure all students receive the education they need to set themselves up for life.

We’re reducing the expectation for schools to write curriculum documents themselves, ensuring teachers have more time to focus on what they do best, and a ministerial advisory group has already been appointed to review the curriculum for English and maths and provide advice on a national curriculum in these areas.

Another part of the government’s plan is focused on reducing costs and removing unnecessary red tape so we can get the economy back on track.

For example, the government has removed dam regulations put in place by the Labour government so smaller dams won’t be subject to excessive compliance costs.

Feedback from farmers and growers was the last government’s new regulations would add an unreasonable amount of compliance costs for the low risk posed by small dams that are used in farms across New Zealand for water storage.

Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk also announced the coalition government was eliminating barriers to the use of overseas building products to make it easier and more affordable to build in New Zealand.

The cost of building a house in New Zealand has increased by 41% since 2019.

It is about 50% more expensive to build a stand-alone house here than in Australia, and part of what drives up costs is the amount of red tape.

That is why the coalition government will recognise building product standards from trusted overseas jurisdictions, removing the need for designers or builders to verify standards which is time-consuming and costly, and require building consent authorities to accept the use of products that comply with specific overseas standards that are equivalent to or higher than those in New Zealand.

As well as working on getting tax relief to hardworking New Zealanders, we have been doing things like delivering our Family Boost policy, which will ensure eligible families can receive up to $75 per week to help with early childhood education expenses from 1 July.

This is a government focused on action and delivery for all New Zealanders.

— Joseph Mooney, Southland MP