Watts Happening: May 2021

It's been a busy past month locally and in Parliament, first uncovering the crisis in our health workforce, then Labour underdelivered in their Budget.

The Budget failed to deliver for Kiwis or live up to campaign promises. They cut funding to Police and pledged $486m alone to their health restructure.

Read more below, including Harbour Hospice's need for your support, plus dates on upcoming events ⬇⬇

Warm regards,
Simon


Budget 2021: What's in it for the Shore?


Last week the government delivered their Budget. Disappointingly, this Broken Compass Budget will deliver little for hard-working Kiwis and even less for locals.

The Budget was an opportunity to fund vital infrastructure projects and services, fix our health workforce crisis, fund a second harbour crossing, or even improve Lake Road. Instead, it’s only more empty promises, untargeted welfare, and poorly prioritised spending.

Over the next few weeks, my National colleagues and I will inform you as we dig into the Budget and scrutinise ministers. I'll challenge them about their lack of delivery for our community and their broken promises.


REVEALED: The True Scope of our Health Workforce Crisis


Last Wednesday, I revealed to the House the true scope of the health workforce crisis we face. In March, I asked the Health Minister about the problem, he couldn’t say how many vacancies there were across the system. But, the information I’ve collected shows over 4,000 FTE vacancies, with over 1,600 of those being for nurses alone.

I’ve pushed this issue in the Health Select Committee and the House because our health workers deserve better. I’ve worked at both the boardroom and the front line and see how hard they work. We depend on them, and this government needs to act.

The workforce requires planning years ahead, but sadly the government has shown little interest. Instead, we've gone backwards - freezing the pay of many healthcare workers, further disincentivising work in health.


Support Harbour Hospice


Harbour Hospice is calling on locals to pitch in and help finish their $20m development for more patient beds and to reclad their facilities. Harbour Hospice is a treasured asset locally, providing end of life care in our community.

It was great to catch up with their CEO Jan Nichols and Greg Smale at their community launch event. No doubt that we as locals can help them achieve their goal.

The need for palliative care has never been higher, and l
ooking after our older Kiwis and those in need of palliative care is so important.

To pitch in and find out more about their redevelopment, click HERE.


Keeping our Communities Safe


Locals have reached out to me regarding the increase in crime locally. I caught with local Constables and other business, youth, and social agency stakeholders to discuss safety.

We had robust and promising discussions around the solutions to local crime, emergency housing, and mental health. It's clear that action needs to be taken. Waitematā gang membership has gone up 35.6% under Labour, and their recent $90m cuts to Police is a step backwards.

Thank all those who work to keep our community safe. I will continue to be a champion for safety in our area.

Celebrating North Shore's Business Hall of Fame


The North Shore is our own hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. Earlier this month, I attended the North Harbour Business Hall of Fame Dinner to celebrate the entrepreneurial success of our community.

Congratulations to the 2021 Laureates - Garth Barfoot, Craig Heatley and Bob Jago. These three have made significant contributions to business and our community - thank you for all you do to drive employment and opportunity for locals.


Upcoming Events

SuperBlues Morning Tea with Christopher Luxon


We have Christopher Luxon, MP for Botany, as a special guest for our SuperBlues morning tea next Friday 4 June. This is a monthly social club for locals aged 60+ to discuss politics and current affairs.

When: Friday 4 June, 10am - 11.30am
Where: Milford Bowling Club, 20 Commodore Parry Rd
Entry: $5pp cash payment at the door
Bring extra cash for our raffle!

RSVP by 1 June to [email protected] or by phone 021 940 910

Public Meeting on Water Quality

I'm hosting a public meeting on water quality on Thursday 17 June, from 7pm at the Pupuke Golf Club clubroom.

Community and Council stakeholders, including Watercare's General Manager, will be in attendance to update locals on the current issues facing water quality locally, and to answer any questions you have.


Remember, my office is here to help! Contact us on 09 486 0005 or [email protected] Or, visit our new Electorate Office at 1 Earnoch Ave, Takapuna!