From Peter Dunne’s speech to the United Future AGM: United Future – your Liberal Democrat party
All of which leads me to the role UnitedFuture plays in the current Parliament. Let me give you three examples.
First, for years UnitedFuture was a lonely and sometimes sole campaigner for the development of the Transmission Gully Highway north of Wellington.
We included support for Transmission Gully in both our 2002 and 2005 confidence and supply agreements with Labour, and got Labour to agree to set aside funding for the construction of the Highway, provided there was a matching contribution from the region’s local authorities.
Similarly, we included support for Transmission Gully in our 2008 and 2011 agreements with National, and it was a moment of special delight a couple of months ago when Transmission Gully was finally signed off by the Environment Court, and the government confirmed it will proceed as one of the Roads of National Significance.
Second, last month I launched New Zealand’s first National Medicines Formulary.
This is an initiative I have been pursuing as Associate Minister of Health since 2007 that will have real benefits to patients and doctors alike, and is an important adjunct to the National Medicines Strategy that we promoted and introduced under the previous government, which this government has now embraced as the overarching approach for its approach to the availability of medicines in New Zealand.
Over a quarter of a million more New Zealanders are now getting access to the medicines they need than was the case four or five years ago.
Third, the Game Animal Council which arose out of the pest management strategy we developed with Labour, and which was given life under National should be in place around the end of the year.
It has been a particular delight for me as Associate Minister of Conservation to be steering the legislation through Parliament, to establish the Council to give recreational hunting and the outdoors community generally, a greater say in the management of recreational opportunities in this country.
These are just three illustrative but by no means exclusive examples of our influence at work in this Parliament alone – I could give a separate speech on our achievements in the tax field over many years, from charitable donations, to business and personal tax cuts, income-sharing and child support changes, but that would take many hours.