Magic Beans

Below is the transcript of a short speech given to business leaders yesterday by Finance Minister Bill English

Good morning.

I want to talk to you today about National’s plans to grow the economy. We are in an election year and our opponents have accused National of not having a plan.

But National has a plan to get us back on the path to prosperity, and that’s what I want to briefly talk about this morning.

We have been experiencing a commodities boom over the last couple of years. It has been good for exporters and the farming sector, and commodity prices have been at record highs.

Despite this fact our opponents say the future looks bleak. They point out that despite record high prices we are still struggling to pay our way as an economy. They point out that these prices must eventually go down. What then, they ask?

Let me assure you today that National has a plan.

We all know that nothing good lasts forever. That’s why when the time comes where our goods are no longer in the same demand, there may be a short period of belt-tightening. However, even if overseas buyers won’t give us a good cash price for our dairy and meat products, we expect that at least one of them will give us some magic beans.

Under our economic plan we will take those magic beans home and plant them. We are confident that if we plant these seeds we will see massive growth in key sectors of the horticulture industry.

National is focused on making New Zealand a better place to live. We are confident that the growth I have talked about will propel the entire New Zealand economy to a higher level, allowing our people to achieve their aspirations and reach the sky. We are only a small economy, but we can compete against the economic giants by being smarter. If we are clever and move at the right time we will catch our competitors napping, taking full advantage of their weakness and bringing home the gold.

But it won’t be easy. Those sleeping giants may stir and wonder what this smart and dynamic little economy at the bottom of the world is up to. We have seen in the past the efforts of our competitors to shut the door on New Zealand trade. So we must be clever and nimble, and if we drop the prize and allow our competitors to scent blood they will use their superior size and resources to grind us to nothing.

We will succeed, because we are a resourceful and innovative nation. But there will be challenges along the way. As we continue to take market share off our competitors they will turn their attentions towards this small nation at the bottom of the world, and we must have a plan for when that happens. You can be confident that National has a plan.

So the choice is yours. You can choose the party whose economic plans are based on fantasy and fairy tales. Or you can choose the party that has a credible and sustainable plan to grow our economy.

If you want to live happily ever after and have a brighter future, give your party vote to National.

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