THE Prime Minister, in his first major speech of the year, outlined clearly the aspiration this Government has for all New Zealanders.
He also put a peg firmly in the ground concerning growth and how we can achieve it.
He said New Zealand has to become a magnet for investment by individuals and small businesses. Without this investment, we can't have the jobs and growth in the economy that our families and communities need.
The Government is working hard to encourage more investment through our Business Growth Agenda by reducing costs and uncertainties for business, ensuring our people have the right skills to contribute to the workforce, building infrastructure that New Zealanders can rely on, unlocking the potential of our natural resources, delivering more and higher quality trade agreements, boosting our capital markets, and investing more in innovation.
This year we are launching five vocational pathways that signpost the subjects young people should take to prepare for careers in construction, manufacturing, the primary sector, the service sector and social services.
I am excited by the direction we are taking and the emphasis on the five critical areas for growth and employment is going to be great for all New Zealanders, particularly the Rangitikei electorate.
We rely so heavily on tourism and agriculture for our living, and certainly have need for social services to be operating at optimum levels.
The other point that encourages me is the fact that Government's programme is continuing to help Kiwis and their families get ahead, rewarding people for hard work and enterprise. There is no doubt that this will be another tough year for the Government, and many of our people, but at least we can be confident that the economy is performing comparatively well because of the courage of this Government to continue to manage our country's economy in a responsible manner.
One last thing: The recently announced PGP between Beef+Lamb NZ and the major meat industry players could just lead to a turnaround in our meat industry fortunes, as at last we have the major players being seen to work together. It may also give the young people involved in our industry the confidence to invest in our futures and encourage other young people to work in the sector.