Bill English warns of stubborn opposition to new government - 'It's not our job to make this place run'

Source: 1News

In announcing his new shadow portfolio team today, National leader Bill English was intent on undermining the ambitious social policies the Labour-led Government has made after a week in power.

A repeated theme in Mr English's speech was the experience of his own party relative to coalition team in power, and the fact his party received the most votes of any in the election.

"We are the dominant select committee party and we're not the government, and that is going to make a difference to how everything runs," Mr English said.

"It's not our job to make this place run for an incoming government that's a minority.

"Remember this, we are the opposition with a minority government, it's a term the media don't use but you'll get to understand that it is a minority government with a majority opposition and the Greens as the support party, and that's how we're going to run it."  

While not explicitly referring to Labour's plan to ban foreign speculators from buying New Zealand homes, Mr English said the government's early decisions will make it difficult for them to maintain a strong economy.

"The early signs are they're quite happy making decisions which is going to make it harder for them to maintain that level of economic performance.

"They've illustrated already they're willing to spend lots of money with no focus on results for anyone in particular, simply to demonstrate their kindness and their values.

"We'll be setting a much higher benchmark than that."    

Mr English also touched on the strength of the economy his National government has laid the foundations for, which he said is generating the third highest employment rate in the world.

"With the economy the benchmark is high, and we will hold the government to that benchmark," Mr English said.

"Our opposition line-up makes makes the most use of our dedicated and talented caucus.

"We are the largest opposition party New Zealand has ever seen and the largest party in parliament - we will ensure we make those numbers count."

See the full list of Bill English's new opposition portfolios here.