John Key’s speech went down well. My favourite line was “we don’t have a debt problem, we have a growth problem”.
Other good extracts:
It might be useful, before looking 25 years into the future, to take an equivalent step back into the past and see how things have changed since then. I’m aware when I dabble in history that this is, of course, the previous occupation of Michael Cullen. I’m sure, however, that Michael will forgive me straying into his former area of expertise, history, just as I forgive his occasional amateur forays into the areas I know about, namely business and finance.
If the New Zealand economy grows at 3% a year, then in 25 years it will have slightly more than doubled. If it grows at 4% a year, the economy will be well over two-and-a-half times as big in 25 years. The difference is substantial.
In 1950, for example, Japan had a standard of living, measured in terms of GDP per capita, that was about the same as Turkey, Portugal and Greece. Now, Japan is one of the richer countries in the OECD and Turkey is by far the poorest.
Then President Judy Kirk delivered her annual address. She made a useful reference to how Don Brash came within a whisker of becoming Prime Minister after just three years in Parliament. The comparisons are:
Sir Keith Holyoake 26 years
Norman Kirk 15 years
Sir Rob Muldoon 15 years
David Lange 8 years
Jim Bolger 18 years
Helen Clark 18 years.
She summed up with “Labour deserve to be in Opposition, and it is our job to make sure they get what they deserve”