The National Party has laid out the 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda over the next three years as it works to lift New Zealand's long-term growth rate and create more opportunities for New Zealanders and their families.
"The Business Growth Agenda is doing a good job of giving companies the confidence to invest and grow jobs here in New Zealand,” National Party Economic Development Spokesman Steven Joyce says.
"The Deloitte Business New Zealand survey last week showed that 62.5 per cent of New Zealand businesses endorse the Government’s co-ordinated plan of action focused on raising New Zealand's economic performance.
"The challenge now is to keep working hard across all 350-odd initiatives in the Business Growth Agenda to remove capacity constraints in the New Zealand economy, and lift our growth rate while carefully managing the environmental impacts."
In particular, a re-elected National government intends to focus on the following ‘next 10 things’ to lift our long-term growth rate:
1. Negotiate and sign Free Trade Agreements including Korea, Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the WTO Government Procurement Agreement so our exporters can compete on an equal footing in other economies and further lift our exports.
2. Introduce and pass the Resource Management Act reform package to provide more certainty, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness in resource allocation decisions.
3. Hold Kiwi expat Job Fairs in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to recruit skilled Kiwis for jobs back in New Zealand and help remove skills constraints for key sectors of the New Zealand economy.
4. Deliver more skills relevant to industry by setting up three new ICT Graduate Schools across New Zealand and investing to lift the number of engineering graduates available to employers.
5. Double the level of business R&D to 1 per cent of GDP by 2018 so that more of our innovative high-tech businesses succeed on the world stage.
6. Lift the footprint of the Ultrafast Broadband rollout from 75 per cent to 80 per cent of New Zealand and extend the Rural Broadband Initiative so that all parts of New Zealand have world-leading 21st Century broadband coverage.
7. Complete the passage of the Employment Relations Bill to ensure flexible labour markets that create more jobs for Kiwis.
8. Deliver Inland Revenue’s Business Transformation Project and simplify the tax system for SMEs so that New Zealand businesses spend less time calculating their tax and more time working on their business.
9. Accelerate petroleum and minerals exploration through our new data acquisition programme so that we increase exploration further from the $1 billion spent last summer.
10. Roll out the next stages of the Roads of National Significance and key regional roading projects so that we remove chokepoints and improve the resilience of New Zealand's core land transport system.
"These 10 projects are crucial to lifting New Zealand's growth rate and providing more opportunities for Kiwi businesses to invest and grow jobs," Joyce says.
"If re-elected, we will seek early support from other parties in Parliament to advance our Business Growth Agenda further.
"National understands that it is only by having a strong economy that we can lift opportunities and incomes for Kiwi families, and provide world-leading public services.
“Our Business Growth Agenda, along with our broader economic management, will turn what has been one or two years of a world-leading growth performance into a sustained long-term lift in New Zealand's prosperity."