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Yet another mistake

The Government has proved once again they aren’t fit to handle the Covid-19 recovery. Over the weekend reports came in of personal details being leaked that reveal the identity of New Zealand’s current active cases. This is yet another serious failing from this Government.

 

It is unacceptable that those suffering from the threatening virus must now suffer further with their private details being revealed. The Ministry of Health assured New Zealanders from the beginning of the pandemic that personal details would remain private, it is baffling they couldn’t handle this simple task. The Government needs to get to the bottom of this, and quickly.

 

Waikato Expressway extension

Last week, as part of National's plan to create jobs and boost the economy, Todd Muller announced the build of a new four-lane expressway between Cambridge and Piarere. Estimated to cost approximately $570 million, the 16 kilometre motorway will connect the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway to the intersection of State Highway 1 and State Highway 29.

 

This logical extension of the Waikato Expressway will help bring the country’s most important transport corridor between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga up to world-class standard, featuring:

  • A continuous four-lane state highway (two lanes each way)
  • A median barrier separating traffic travelling in opposite directions
  • Wide lanes and wide, sealed shoulders
  • Mainly grade-separated intersections
  • Safe roadsides clear of obstacles and ditches
  • A new roundabout at the intersection of SH1 and SH29

 

Moving large volumes of freight and commercial activity across the upper North Island, the Waikato Expressway drives our economy forward. Extending the expressway toward the major export port of Tauranga will help stimulate economic activity for the whole country.

 

The new expressway will also address safety issues. There were 121 crashes along the Cambridge to Piarere route between 2013 and 2017, with 22 deaths or serious injuries. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) estimates the number of deaths and serious injury crashes will reduce by more than 70 per cent through these improvements.

 

This project was progressing under the last National Government only to be cancelled by Labour following its $5 billion cut to the state highway budget in 2018. It made no sense to cancel this expressway. National will build it.

 

The Labour-led Government has spent three years hiking fuel taxes and delivering no quality transport infrastructure in return. Only National has the track record of delivery and the competent team to get quality infrastructure built and get New Zealand moving again.

 

Higher taxes unavoidable from a Labour-Greens Government

We've gained a glimpse of what a Labour Greens government would like, and it involves a lot more taxes. The Greens have proposed a wealth tax on people with more than $1 million in assets, and a higher income tax, up to 42 cents in the dollar.

 

The wealth tax would be particularly severe. A successful small business person, owning a $1 million house and a business worth $1 million would have to pay $40,000 a year for the 2 per cent wealth tax. At a time we desperately need our successful small business to generate more jobs and invest, the Greens seem to want to punish them, rather than celebrating our Kiwis doing well.

 

The Greens would push a Labour Greens coalition in the direction of higher taxes, and Labour, so far, have refused to rule out taxing people more if they win the election.

 

The very real fear many New Zealanders have is that this current government, which has $20 billion available for election spending, will spend whatever it takes to try to keep its poll numbers up until the 19 September election. Then, if they win, New Zealanders will be presented with the bill – higher taxes. 

 

While the economy is going down, the Greens want to tax us more, and Labour hasn’t ruled out doing the same. National has committed to no new taxes for Kiwis in our first term.

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