A large number of people packed the Connect Church auditorium in Paraparaumu to listen to National Party leader Christopher Luxon last night.
Luxon, supported by National’s Ōtaki candidate Tim Costley and Mana candidate Frances Hughes, unsurprisedly heavily criticised the Government and outlined his party’s focus.
He said the country was “utterly, totally, completely going in the wrong direction”.
The Government had done three things to “take us off track”.
There had been “economic mismanagement on a scale we’ve never seen before in this country”, “a government who has believed in centralisation and control”, and “a huge amount of identity politics where the Government has pitched one group of New Zealanders against other groups of New Zealanders”.
He said there were three things his party had to do if it got into government.
“We have to rebuild and fix this economy so we can lower the cost of living ... restore law and order and personal responsibility ... and we need to deliver better health and education.”
Regarding crime rates, Luxon said, “I think we get to say ‘we don’t feel safe in our homes, in our businesses and communities, and enough is enough’.”
“We don’t have to accept that this is the standard, and this is the way things are in the world, in New Zealand.
“We are going to back our police and make sure they can do the job without one hand behind their back, we’re going to tackle these gangs and that means, sorry, we are going to ban gang patches ... and make sure there are serious consequences for serious young offenders so we are going to introduce military academies ...”
Overall, Luxon pitched to the audience: “We can get this show turned around, we can get it sorted and we can get things done.
“I think this election is going to be a really important one in our history.
“I think it is a defining moment to say that the decision the New Zealand people make on October 14 is going to shape where New Zealand goes for generations to come.
“I think the choice is very stark.
“Do you want a coalition of chaos and more of the same of going backwards with Labour, Te Pati Māori, the Greens, and I’ll throw in Harry Tam and the Mob just for good measure?
“Or do you want a National-led Government that’s going to manage the economy so we afford the public services we all want and deserve?”
About 400 people attended the public meeting.