As a Government, we have a clear vision for New Zealand’s future. It’s one where everyone has access to world-class healthcare, no matter who they are or where they live. It’s also one where our economy provides security and opportunities for every New Zealander and their family.
We’ve delivered significant progress on this in the past few months, and I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the specifics.
We recently took the next step in our health reform. The main way people interact with the health system is through primary care, such as GP clinics. Under our new Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand model, these providers will be better connected – meaning people will get the care they need faster and before little issues become big problems, requiring hospitalisation.
Specialist and hospital services are being planned at a national level and managed through regional networks creating more consistent healthcare – improving care for rural and smaller communities – as well as ensuring there’s greater certainty around access to services.
There will also be less bureaucracy for doctors and nurses, and less hassle for patients, thanks to greater coordination.
This builds on the work we’ve already done to make sure New Zealand has a health system we can be proud of, including record investments in health, upgrades to hospitals, extra funding for lifesaving medicines, more nurses and ambulances, and significant efforts to boost our workforce.
When it comes to the economy, New Zealand is in a strong position.
Unemployment is at a near record low thanks to our support for families and businesses, with more people in work and rising wages.
Exports are in demand, tourists are returning and we’re continuing to position New Zealand globally as a great place to trade and do business with.
This means we’re able to continue supporting people with the cost of living, through initiatives like our fuel tax cut and increases to Superannuation, while investing in vital services and keeping a lid on debt.
There’s more to do, but I’m proud of our progress so far, as we work towards our vision for New Zealand.