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The National Party will meet for its annual two day caucus in Tauranga tomorrow, with a focus on developing plans and policies to help New Zealand continue to get ahead, National Party Leader Bill English says.

“The National Party continues to develop plans and policies to take New Zealand forward and to build on the immense progress we have made while in Government in recent years.

“We made real inroads in growing incomes and providing jobs and opportunities, tackling child poverty, ensuring New Zealanders are healthier and better educated, our environment is better protected and our people are safer.

“But there is more to do, and National Party will continue to outline a clear plan and direction to make that happen as we attempt to earn the right to govern again in 2020.

“By contrast, the new Government has just spent five days in Waitangi and not presented a single specific idea on how to improve the lives of New Zealanders – a pattern which has quickly emerged since October.

“Worse, it’s actively standing in the way of progress.

“It’s dumped the valuable Better Public Services targets and National Standards in schools.

“It’s refusing to back irrigation projects which are funded and ready to be built, to roll out the 17 mental health initiatives developed and funded by the previous Government, to allow parents to share paid parental leave, to enable the development of Maori land to help our regions grow and to build the transport infrastructure all of New Zealand deserves.

“These are just a few policies and projects which should be benefiting New Zealanders already but which have been parked while this Government tries to catch up and seeks advice through inquiries and working groups.

“The focus of the National Party caucus will be on building on the policies which received such significant support at the election, and on coming up with new ones which will help our businesses and economy to grow, better protect our environment, keep New Zealanders safe and help them to make their mark on the world.

“National is Parliament’s largest party and its most popular, with the backing of many New Zealanders.

“We have the people and the plans to continue to build a brighter future and we will continue to focus on doing so and earning the right to govern again in 2020.”

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