We are well into the second half of the year and the daffodils blooming everywhere are once more heralding in the season’s change. It has been a busy six months and we’ve seen some changes but I am confident that these all help in building the brighter future National promised when they came into Government.
Today’s Budget, delivered by the Minister of Finance, Bill English, provides evidence our economic plan is working. National’s fifth Budget shows we’ll reach surplus in 2014/15 as promised – ahead of most developed countries. New Zealand families and businesses have faced some challenging times over the past five years following the international financial crisis and Christchurch earthquakes. While these challenges remain, our economic recovery is gaining momentum, with economic growth the highest in five years.
All over Canterbury today people from all walks of life and backgrounds will stop to reflect on the tragedy that literally rocked our small pocket of the world two years ago. My thoughts go out to all those who suffered loss and to those who today are still struggling to rebuild their lives.
A new year has started in the House and, while 2013 has been marked by personal change, I am focused on and excited about the year ahead. It was an honour and a privilege to have served as a Minister in the National-led government and I am proud of my contribution to Cabinet over the past four years. Looking ahead, I am excited about putting all my energy into serving the people of Waimakariri as their local MP.
The bells have rung in Parliament for the last time in 2012, the House has risen, summer is here and the holiday spirit is alive and well! It’s been an incredibly demanding year and now is a great time to take a break and to reflect on both the triumphs and challenges of the year gone by. I’m looking forward to the simple pleasures of spending some time at home with family and friends and enjoying all the wonderful things the Canterbury Region has to offer. I hope you all have the chance to do the same!