Goldsmith Update - December 2014
2014 has been a topsy-turvy year, as everybody knows, it was a very tough political environment. However, we had the hugely satisfying win in September, giving us the opportunity to extend the gains we’ve made as a country over the past six years. We look forward to 2015 in the hope that the important conversations we have over public policy can be carried out in a positive atmosphere.
Economically, New Zealand has been doing very well. Economic growth is strong, inflation low, interest rates are still relatively low, and business confidence is still strong. Yet, internationally the picture is still very mixed, with storm clouds gathering over Russia, Europe is still flat, and China’s growth is slowing. The lower dairy prices remind us we can take nothing for granted, and we must remain focused on improving New Zealand’s international competitiveness. The strong and stable economic leadership we’ve enjoyed these past six years, led by John Key and Bill English, is required now as much as ever.
In Epsom, the streets are busy with last-minute shopping expeditions. I had the pleasure of participating in the Festival of Nine Lessons at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. The cathedral was full and looking magnificent after its internal make-over.
Bicentenaries in a young country such as ours are far and few between. But this Christmas marks 200 years since the arrival of Christianity to these shores.
Politicians in New Zealand generally steer well clear of religion, because we tend to view it as a personal thing and we clearly separate Church and State – and rightly so. Even so, the Christianity that took root here, influenced mostly by British denominations, lay at the core of a culture that helped form our successful society.
Many of things we take for granted, such as tolerance of different religious beliefs or disbelief (which sadly is still not in evidence in many parts of the globe) and the related expansion of individual freedoms, and liberties. They are concepts worth defending and celebrating, even if today most of us rarely visit a church.
Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015.
Hon Paul Goldsmith
National List MP based in Epsom
P: (09) 524 4930