Over the weekend, Simon Bridges announced that National would refuse to work with New Zealand First after the next election. I believe this is strategic error for Bridges and I agree with the Rt Hon Winston Peters statement that Simon has a lot to learn about politics.
It is of utmost importance that politicians remain open-minded and are able to work collaboratively and collegially with other politicians, no matter where they sit on the political spectrum. This government has shown a great deal of stability and efficacy due to its ability to work cooperatively as a coalition, even though the three parties don’t necessarily agree on everything.
New Zealand First is committed to providing a sensible, pragmatic and commonsense option for voters. We have a proven role of being a moderating influence by bringing these qualities to the table with anyone that we work with. Our approach means that we will moderate the ‘extremes’ of the left and the right of the political spectrum.
We provided balance by stopping the introduction of a complicated capital gains tax, ensured that small businesses were exempted from the repeals of the 90-day trial, keeping the ‘Three Strikes’ for violent recidivist offenders, and provided a balanced zero carbon act by ensuring that farmers were part of the solution.
This is while we re-invested in public services that were victims of funding freezes, banned sales of residential land to overseas buyers, rejuvenated the regions with the innovative provincial growth fund and worked to slow the immigration rate.
We understand that we can’t allow ideology to determine the political direction of our country. What matters is a sensible, pragmatic and commonsense approach with the wellbeing of New Zealanders in mind. We’re confident that New Zealanders want this approach and it would be interesting to see what Simon will do if voters deliver a possibility for New Zealand First and National to work together.
As the Rt Hon Winston Peters said ‘If Mr Bridges doesn’t pick up the phone, someone else within his caucus will do it for him.’