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Prime Minister John Key says his 'State of the Nation' speech to focus on the economy and employment
Prime Minister John Key says his 'State of the Nation' speech this Friday will focus on the economy and employment in particular.
Key told TVNZ's Breakfast programme the speech would again be "very economically focused."
"I think there's a bit of a sense of saying to New Zealanders 'look we get it that jobs are important, that economic growth is important, that the concept that we've always believed in that New Zealanders need to be able to look after their families (is important and) critical to that is having employment'," said Key.
"So we are going to have a sense of urgency about some of the things that we are doing. And we're putting people, including our political opponents, on notice that the government's got to move and act this year. And there's an underlying reason for that and that's ensuring that New Zealanders have confidence they're going to have employment and can move forward."
The most recent official unemployment figures show unemployment hit 7.3% during the September quarter of last year, its highest rate since 1999. Just before Christmas Key said his government's number one goal for 2013 would be to reduce the unemployment rate.
This contrasts with Labour Party leader David Shearer who last week said housing affordability should be the National Party-led government's top priority, which was what it was for Labour.
Today Key noted there was a lot of work the government wants to do in relation to the Resource Management Act.
"In the end if we want to move things forward, and we want to deal with issues like housing affordability, they aren't driven by some handout from the government as Labour are proposing. They are driven by speeding up the process and land supply and land release is part of that," said Key.
Meanwhile, he also confirmed there would be a Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday precipitated by speaker Lockwood Smith's departure to become High Commissioner in London.