Don Brash's told the National Party conference that John Tamihere's abrasive honesty has exposed all New Zealanders to the truth about the Clark government. "John Tamihere’s comments about his colleagues – if we put aside his more offensive comments generally – have served to remind us, in somewhat colourful terms, why it is so important that we have a change of government this year: because New Zealand is not being governed by mainstream New Zealanders, or in the interests of mainstream New Zealanders."
He promises "a government which knows that this country can do better, much better, than merely flying Helen Clark’s white flag of surrender."
Roading was the first of two substative issues addressed. "Every dollar and every cent collected in petrol tax should be spent on improving our roading infrastructure. That policy will open the door to a whole new era in roading infrastructure in this country."
Education was the other big-ticket item to get his attention, and as with his comments on roading it was once again a repetition of his earlier policy announcement. The main points of Wednesday's speech were delievered to rapturous applause: "The days of the Wellington-based troika of the teachers’ unions, the bureaucrats and centralist politicians carving up the budgets and the decision-making amongst themselves will be well and truly over," he promised, and is given a standing ovation.
Says Aaron Bhatnagar who is reporting on the conference on his blog, "A quick scan of the room sees members nodding among themselves and grinning. Seems pretty positive a response to me!"
The text of the speech is here. Aaron Bhatnagar's comprehensive reports on the conference begin here.