Tuesday, 19 August 2014

PREFU: surplus, jobs and higher incomes still on track.

The PREFU (PRe-Election Financial Update) was released by Treasury this morning. Key points from the forecast are:
  • The Government’s operating balance before gains and losses is expected to be in surplus by $297 million in 2014/15 – down from $372 million in the Budget forecasts. Surpluses in each of the following three years will be smaller than forecast in the Budget.
  • Core Crown expenses are forecast to fall to 30.3 per cent of GDP by 2015, down from 35 per cent of GDP in 2011.
  • Because residual cash deficits continue for a year longer than forecast in the Budget, net government debt is expected to fall below 20 per cent of GDP in 2020/21 – when contributions are now scheduled to resume to the New Zealand Superannuation Fund.
  • Annual average GDP growth for the year to March 2014 was 3.3 per cent compared with the 3 per cent Budget forecast. Growth for the year to March 2015 is forecast to be 3.8 per cent (compared with the previous 4 per cent forecast) and then largely in line with previous forecasts. There were 83,000 more New Zealanders in jobs in the year to June 2014. 
  • Treasury’s Pre-election Update forecasts another 151,000 new jobs will be created by mid-2018. Unemployment is forecast to fall to 4.5 per cent by 2018 – down from 5.6 per cent in the June quarter of this year. 
  • In the two years to March, the annual average wage has increased by around $3,000. The Treasury forecasts it will increase further by around $6,600 to $62,000 by mid-2018.

We're heading in the right direction - let's stay on it!

Monday, 18 August 2014

MEDIA RELEASE: Cycleway fund opportunity for Rimutaka

With Gerry Brownlee and Chris Bishop at today's announcement.
"Today's cycleway fund announcement is a great opportunity for Rimutaka and the Hutt Valley" said Lewis Holden, National's candidate for Rimutaka

Announced by John Key and Gerry Brownlee in Petone today, $100m has been allocated to be spent over the next four years on accelerating cycleways in urban centres

An Urban Cycleway Investment Panel will investigate opportunities to invest in urban cycleways that would expand and improve the cycling network. In addition to this funding, up to $30 million is available from the National Land Transport Fund for walking and cycling projects in the 2014/15 financial year.

This investment will be complemented by funding from local government.

"As your strong voice for Rimutaka in a National-led government, I will work with NZTA and the two Hutt valley local authorities to see that cycleway projects, such upgrading the cycleway next to SH2, are championed" continued Mr Holden.

More information on the new fund is here:



CIT "rotting away"

The Dominion Post reports that the former CIT site in Heretaunga, closed since 2001, is costing taxpayers $450,000 per year to maintain.

CIT featured in our meet the candidates meeting on Thursday last week. One of the questions we were asked was what we'd do with $100m. I responded that I'd reopen CIT as a science & technology park.

I'm aware of an investor who is interested in the CIT site, but the potential future owners, Ngati Toa, will need to be convinced. I will strongly advocate that CIT is used, and not left to rot.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Rimutaka Electorate Public Meeting this Thursday

From the Rimutaka Lion's Club:

Media Release: Rimutaka Electorate Public Meeting

Thursday 14 August - 7:30 pm ( at Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club -all welcome )

The five currently announced electorate candidates for the Rimutaka electorate will take part in the public meeting on Thursday 14 August at 7.30 pm at Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club.

Rimutaka Lions Club President Colin Cheeseman says the club has organised the meeting in line with Lions voluntary community service role which includes promoting the principles of good government and good citizenship.

Lions Club member Paul Lambert says the club was motivated to organise the forum for local residents when it appeared none had been planned. The club has arranged similar events in the past . ( Lions Club members do not debate partisan politics and sectarian religion as part of club activities )

Candidates attending

Chris Hipkins -Labour
Lewis Holden -National
Aaron Hunt -NZ First
Philip Lynch -Conservative
Susanne Ruthven-Greens

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Special Voting

I've had a few people come in to our campaign shop on Main Street in Upper Hutt and ask about casting a special vote. A special vote is different from an advanced vote in that you will need to cast a special vote if you:
  • are voting outside your electorate
  • are unable to get to a voting place in person
  • enrolled to vote after Wednesday 20 August
  • are on the unpublished roll
To cast a special vote you will need to fill out this form. In most cases casting an advanced vote makes sense - we were given the list of advanced polling booths in Rimutaka the other day, there's a number in the electorate from Upper Hutt to Naenae.