Strong Message is Needed for Change

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great privilege and a real challenge to be selected as ACT’s candidate to contest the Mt Albert by-election.

I have a personal family link to the electorate that goes back over a century.

My great-grandfather, Hugh Boscawen, was aide de compe to five Governors-General.

He was also an early surveyor in the Department of Lands, and Boscawen Street in Pt Chevalier – in the northern part of the electorate – is named after him.

Let me say from the outset that the result of this by-election will not result in a change of Government. However the by-election represents a unique opportunity for its residents to send those in Wellington a clear message of what is important.

I believe the most important issue facing the residents of Mt Albert today – and indeed all New Zealanders – is that we live in a country that is facing falling living standards, rising debt levels and declining productivity.

If this is allowed to continue we run the risk of even greater numbers of New Zealanders leaving for Australia – and farther afield – while those who remain will endure an ever decreasing standard of living.

We also have a health system that struggles to cope, a lack of parental choice in education, and increasing crime and violence on our streets.

This is despite the fact that, over the past 13 years, we have seen a massive increase in real per capita government spending.

This has occurred under both National and Labour governments. In fact, one has been as bad as the other.

For example: over the 13-year period 1996-2009, total per capita government expenditure (expressed in 2009 dollars) rose from $11,300 to $18,800 per person.

This represents a massive increase of $7,500 for every man, woman and child in the country and occurred despite the fact that in the 10 years prior to 1996 total real per capita Government spending actually decreased.

Over the next six weeks I will be asking the people of Mt Albert what they could have done with this money had they been able to spend it themselves.

Mt Albert – like most New Zealand communities – suffers from rising crime and violence.

If ever there was a time to pass ACT’s ‘Three Strikes’ Law – it is now.

ACT wants to protect New Zealanders from the most violent and repeat serious offenders and I will be asking the people of Mt Albert for their support to ensure that this law is passed.

While there are some in the National Government who back ACT on this issue, there are others who are yet to be convinced. I will ask the voters of Mt Albert to show their support for ‘Three Strikes’ by voting for John Boscawen on June 13 2009.

Ladies and gentlemen make no mistake I would be delighted to represent the people of Mt Albert in Parliament. It would be a real privilege.

However I realise it will not be easy.

I will need all the help and support I can muster over the next six weeks.

The challenges facing this country are huge.

However the problems we are facing are man made.

We have brought them on ourselves and only we have the power to make the changes needed to correct them.

Far too much money has been wasted, and far too many opportunities have been squandered over the last 13 years for it to continue.

I want to be the MP for Mt Albert in order to make these changes, and over the next 6 weeks I will ask the residents of Mt Albert to vote for John Boscawen to send a strong message that these lost opportunities cannot continue.