Addressing all MPs of the 54th parliament, the speech from the throne delivered by Dame Cindy Kiro, the governor-general, noted that New Zealanders had “voted for change” on October 14. “The government enjoys the confidence of a clear majority of members in the 123-seat House of Representatives, but it is the people outside parliament who will be the government’s priority in decisions made over the next three years,” said Kiro, reading from the speech.
“The new government is committed to delivering; to getting things done. It wants people to see demonstrable, measurable results that make their lives easier, and help them to get ahead.”
Much of the speech was devoted to lines and themes similar to what was heard on the campaign trail, across subjects like the cost of living, health and law and order. The government was committed to working for “all New Zealanders” and would spend public money safely. “[It] has many priorities and among them are rebuilding the economy to ease the cost of living, delivering tax relief and increasing prosperity for all New Zealanders.”
The government would achieve its spending promises by “restoring discipline to government spending”, Kiro said.
The performance of Kāinga Ora was noted as a “concern” for the government. “There will be a review of its finances, procurement, development and asset management practices,” said Kiro.
“The lives of some neighbours of some Kāinga Ora properties are being made miserable because of inadequate action against anti-social behaviour by some Kāinga Ora tenants. Under the new government, there will be appropriate consequences for tenants who engage in repeated anti-social behaviour.”
On transport, the speech reiterated the government’s pledge to cancel planned fuel tax increases, remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax and build a four-lane highway alternative for the Brynderwyns in Northland.
The decision to repeal the pseudoephedrine ban was also given a shout out as part of a commitment to health, as was the removal of the Māori Health Authority. “There will be no co-governance of public services and emphasis will shift to the frontline rather than the back office. Services will be delivered on need, using a range of effective providers, including iwi and community groups who have the best reach into the communities they serve.”
The transition from Labour to National was also recognised. “Perhaps New Zealand’s strong sporting traditions help New Zealanders to be generous in defeat, and humble in victory. Whatever the reasons, few countries in the world change governments as smoothly as New Zealand does. It is something of which New Zealand, as a nation, can be justifiably proud,” the speech said.
“It has put the government in a good position to start on its 100-day plan of action. The 100-day plan is a forerunner of three years of action because New Zealanders voted for change, and the government will be tireless in executing it.”
Today’s proceedings will also include the first debate of this parliamentary term, with the opposition given the opportunity to respond to the substance of the speech from the throne.
Tomorrow will be the first time Labour leader Chris Hipkins goes directly up against PM Christopher Luxon, with question time resuming at 2pm.