New Zealand PM makes first official speech of 2024

New Zealand
New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon

WELLINGTON: In his first official address of 2024 in Parliament, New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon asked his party to “go hard” in Parliament and requested MPs to stay focused.

The ruling National Party boosted morale in the party’s caucus retreat while welcoming the caucus back to work, reports Xinhua news agency.

The government will deliver on the 100-day plan and fix the “mess of the previous government,” Luxon told the National Party caucus.

The 100-day plan includes 49 moves to improve the lives of New Zealanders, focusing on rebuilding the economy, easing the cost of living, restoring law and order and delivering better public services.

The actions to deliver include introducing legislation to remove the Auckland regional fuel tax, repealing the Clean Car Discount scheme, introducing legislation to refocus the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the country’s central bank, on a single mandate of price stability, and starting work to establish a new regulation agency to improve the quality of regulation.

They also include five major targets set for the health system, including for wait times and cancer treatment.

“We are going to continue to stay focused on things that are important to New Zealand and New Zealanders,” the Prime Minister said.

He said the party will focus on “turnaround job” on government spending, inflation, the country’s debt, student achievement, and hospital waitlists, among others.

The National now has 49 MPs, an increase from 34 a year ago when National was the opposition, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Nicola Willis.

Luxon was sworn in as New Zealand’s 42nd Prime Minister on November 27, 2023 after the National Party won the general election on October 14, 2023.