This election is about who has a track record of delivering the results that matter to New Zealanders. Labour couldn’t do it when they were last in government, and they haven’t changed.
1. The Economy
The global economy boomed in the early 2000s. Despite that, in 2008 Labour left nothing in the kitty, and Treasury was forecasting massive increases in debt, and a decade of government deficits. New Zealand was consuming far more in imports than we produced in exports, with a trade deficit of $5.6 billion. Labour didn’t control government spending, so consumer price inflation was high, causing the cost of living to rapidly rise.
While Labour was in charge, health services went to ruin. Between 2003 and 2008 waiting time for heart surgery in Auckland more than doubled. Overcrowding and delays in care caused as many deaths as the entire road toll. Hospitals were allowed to be on “code red” with more patients than they could handle.
3. Unsafe Communities
Labour left a legacy of crime and unsafe communities. They gave up, and admitted defeat in the war on P. Youth crime, and violent youth crime was rising. More people were being killed and injured in stabbings on our streets. Murders, youth violence and domestic assaults were increasing year on year. Prisons were places where inmates ran riot.
Under Labour thousands of kids were allowed to leave school with no qualifications or prospects for a better life. A 2008 report showed that 150,000 pupils were failing at school, whilst thousands of teachers lacked necessary skills. In 2007, a third of students left without NCEA Level 2, and a fifth did not even get NCEA Level 1. Violence in schools was rampant. Businesses were not getting the skilled workers they needed out of the education system.