Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season
2020 has been a wild and unpredictable year at the best of times, and it’s had more than its share of ups and downs, but through all of it, our North Shore community has rallied together and looked after each other. I’m so proud to be your MP, and I’m looking forward to working for the rest of 2020 and hitting the ground running in 2021.
I want to give my best wishes to you, your family, and your loved ones these holidays, and I hope you’re all able to spend some time off and enjoy a relaxing holiday. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
Getting down to work in Wellington
Image provided by New Zealand Herald, all credit to New Zealand Herald #nzherald
After formally being sworn in, I’m getting to work being a constructive and robust opposition in Parliament, and I’ll be giving my Maiden Speech on 16 February next year. I’m also thrilled to be appointed to the Health Select Committee, as well as being named National Party Spokesperson for ACC and Associate Spokesperson for Health. The Government has decided to have Parliament rise for the year, but I’ll still be working hard for you in the electorate.
Water quality at our beaches
One of the best ways to spend your summer up here on the Shore is swimming at one of our beaches, but it’s also important to make sure you check the conditions before you do. Check out the link below:
I've met with key members from our local community and council to discuss freshwater quality and sewage pollution at our local beaches. It's important we all continue to work together to find and implement solutions to these defining issues. Back in the New Zealand I grew up in, we didn't have to check an app to make sure beaches were safe to swim at, and we should strive to live in that New Zealand again.
Stanley Bay Ferry Update
Thanks to all those who have signed my petition to save the Stanley Bay Ferry, we’ve gained real traction and I’ll keep pushing to get this service re-instated. I’ve met with North Shore Ward Councillors Chris Darby and Richard Hills to discuss next steps. It’s clear there’s a real need to get these services up and running again and get funding on the books for it as soon as possible to both run the service and fund new ferry infrastructure.
From here, I’ll be pushing to have the funding to bring back ferry services included as part of the upcoming Auckland Council budget, along with other important transport projects on the North Shore. I’ll be presenting our petition and hope to include the voices of as many of you as possible when I put forward the case for restored funding because we need “more ferries not less” here on the Shore. I’m also keen to see long term funding of an electric ferry fleet to reduce travel congestion and help our environment.
Hurstmere Road Upgrade Update
Thanks to all those who tuned in last month to my virtual Public Meeting with Takapuna Beach Business Association Chief Executive, Terence Harpur. If you missed it, watch it at the link below.
Our local businesses have already been hit hard this year by COVID-19, and further delays to the Hurstmere Road Upgrade will be especially tough on them. I’ll be organising to meet with representatives from Auckland Council and express this to them and work on the next steps to get this project moving as fast as possible, and I’ve already met with North Shore Ward Councillors to discuss what’s causing the delay and reinforce the fiscal impact to our business community.
Over the holiday period, I encourage you to support our local businesses. They are the backbone of our community and rely on our support, particularly during difficult times like we’ve experienced this year.
Calling for a PHARMAC Review
Ensuring our healthcare system is fit for purpose and is delivering for all New Zealanders is a top priority for me, and talking to people in the community, I know it’s a priority for you as well. During the campaign and in the time I’ve been an MP, I’ve heard countless stories of people concerned over funding for medicines under New Zealand’s PHARMAC system, and both Judith Collins and Jacinda Ardern agreed it was time for a review of the system.
To get progress on this long-overdue review, my National Party colleagues and I on the Health Select Committee, proposed such a review last week. Sadly, the Government used their majority on the Committee to block it, stopping any meaningful progress for the foreseeable future. I’m disappointed to see the Government go back on their word and reject the option for a bi-partisan approach to look into a system we all agree needs a review, but I’ll keep pushing for fairness, especially for cancer treatments, and we’ll keep holding the Government to the promises they made to New Zealanders.
Holiday Office Hours
My Electorate Office in Takapuna will be closing for the holidays on 18 December and re-opening on 18 January. You can still send an email to [email protected] or leave us a message, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. If it can’t wait and you’re in need of urgent assistance, please contact one of the numbers below.
Work and Income Auckland Helpline: 0800 559 009
Lifeline (Counselling Helpline): 0800 543 354
Healthline: 0800 611 116
Age Concern Helpline: 0800 65 2 105
Immigration NZ (Auckland Hotline): 09 914 4100
Free Call or Text Counselling Helpline: 1737
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
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