Christopher Luxon’s maiden speech is here. I’m highlighting it because he made some very important points.
It seems it has become acceptable to stereotype those who have a Christian faith in public life as being extreme; so I will say a little about my Christian faith. It has anchored me, given my life purpose, and shaped my values, and it puts me in the context of something bigger than myself. My faith has a strong influence on who I am and how I relate to people. I see Jesus showing compassion, tolerance, and care for others. He doesn’t judge, discriminate, or reject people; he loves unconditionally.
Through history, we have seen Christians making a huge difference by entering public life. Christian abolitionists fought against slavery; others educated the poor and challenged the rich to share their wealth and help others less fortunate. The world is a better place for Christians like William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, and Kate Sheppard contributing to public life.
My faith is personal to me. It is not in itself a political agenda. I believe no religion should dictate to the State, and no politician should use the political platform they have to force their beliefs on others. As MPs, we serve the common cause of all New Zealanders; not one religion, not one group, not one interest. A person should not be elected because of their faith, nor should they be rejected because of it. Democracy thrives on diverse thinking and different world views.
Some on the left have been smearing Luxon for over a year because he is a Christian. Great to see him defend Christianity, but also point out that you can have faith based beliefs but not seek to force them on others.
In my time, Air New Zealand employed 12,500 people, and it represented a cross-section of New Zealand life. As CEO, I had the opportunity to get things done and demonstrate that a business could do well by doing good. For example, we decided that New Zealand’s shameful record on family violence was a workplace issue, not just a social issue, and so we introduced a three-week paid family violence leave policy for victims. The pay equity gap at Air New Zealand was reduced to zero, and we introduced a 26-week paid parental leave policy. Senior leadership team positions held by women went from 16 percent to 44 percent. We worked hard to grow career pathways and internships for young Māori and Pasifika. We worked hard to champion and mainstream te reo and tā moko. We earned Gender and Rainbow Tick certifications.
Hardly the track record of a hard right conservative that the left try to p[aint Luxon as.
Air New Zealand was also a foundation member of the Climate Leaders Coalition, and 100 percent of our company car fleet became fully electric—and that was over five years ago.
Well Air NZ managed five years ago what Labour has failed miserably at. In 2017 they promised the entire Giovernment fleet would be electric by 2025. We’re almost half way there and they’re at 1.02% of their goal!
We are underpowered because our economy for the last 30 years has been suffering a productivity disease. Economic growth has largely been driven by having more people in the country and more people working harder. We need to work smarter, not harder. We can do this, and we can do it by building and unleashing genuinely world-class export businesses, step-changing education and labour skills, and delivering infrastructure better. Improving productivity is the single biggest thing that we can do to raise our collective standard of living.
Productivity gains are vital and good to see an MP talk about this.
I believe in tackling inequality and working hard to find that balance between encouraging hard work and innovation while always ensuring there is social mobility and a safety net.
Social mobility, not inequality, is what we should focus on. There will always be income inequality as 18 year olds will earn less than 50 year olds. Those with no qualifications will on average earn less than than those with a degree etc. Social mobility is about allowing people to move up (and down) the income deciles, rather than trying to have a world with no income deciles.