As a businessman and a politician, I firmly believe that only through being smarter than the competition will NZ achieve any sort of sustainable global competitive advantage. The simple reality is that we are a small economy a long way from major markets, therefore we need to be innovative in business in the same way we are on the sports field. This is a fantastic country, but until we get the fiscal settings right, we will struggle to maximise all opportunities around economic development.
The issues that matter to me:
- Jobs, jobs and jobs: creating opportunity for the thousands of Kiwis who just want a fair go.
- 270,000 NZ kids in child poverty is the Nation’s shame. Govt policy can make a difference.
- Refocusing healthcare around prevention as well as cure (2 in 3 adults are either overweight or obese; massive burden on the health system that will only get worse).
- Putting more money in the pockets of the vast majority of hard working Kiwis who are struggling to make ends meet.
- Equitable tax system: it makes no sense that different forms of investment are subject to different tax rules: no capital gains tax simply doesn’t make sense.
- Education is the key: it provides opportunities where they otherwise wouldn’t exist. Equality of opportunity is what we must strive for.
I am involved in politics because I believe that I have the skills, experience and passion to really make a difference in helping come up with solutions to the issues I have outlined. There are no easy remedies, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t work incredibly hard to come up with the answers; because they do exist – but only under the Labour philosophy.
Oh, I am also extremely passionate about my hometown of Napier. The best city in a wonderful country and a fantastic place to bring up my family.