Current Prime Minister John Key won the 2008 general election with the largest party vote percentage New Zealand has seen.
This ended nine years of a Labour-led government.The New Zealand National Party was formed in Wellington in 1936, where it grew out of the coalition government of the Reform and Liberal Parties.
By 1938 there were over 100,000 members.
The party wanted to represent all parts of the community and so the name "National" was chosen.
After Don Brash decided to step down as leader, the then finance spokesperson John Key, was elected as leader.
National partnered with the right and left, including ACT, United Future and the Maori Party in the last elections to form the current government.
National’s 2011 policy falls into four main categories.
The first is building up the economy.
National wants to keep student loans interest free, increase private savings through Kiwisaver, reduce business costs and build up our tax system.
National has earmarked $1 billion of the $5 - $7 billion it expects to make off asset sales for education.The party’s second area of policy is building up public services.
This area of policy also extends to welfare and housing.The third part of National’s policy is titled “building a safer New Zealand".
This area wants heavier sentences handed down and gives police new powers to intercept gang communications.
The “safer New Zealand” policy also looks at the state of our roads – National wants cars crushed for repeat drink driving.The last key area of National’s policy looks at rebuilding quake-stricken Canterbury.
They will also give Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) $25m to help the authority lead the rebuilding process.
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Tim Macindoe: Hamilton West
Todd McClay: Rotorua
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