I hope this newsletter finds you well amid the chaos of the festive season.
As is the case with life, as I’m sure you’re aware especially as you reflect on the year, there are both things to be concerned and happy about. As this is my last newsletter for 2018 and I want to end it on a cheery note, let’s get through the bad news (that of course has to do with this Government) and finish on good news!
If you’re feeling slightly perturbed about how much you’ve spent on Christmas presents this year, you can rest assured it’s nothing compared to how frivolous the Government has been with your money, spending $279 million on working groups since they came into power - almost $700,000 a day! This is at a time when the cost of living is on the rise, rents are going up, and more taxes and regulations are being piled on. It’s shameful and a sign of an incompetent government that relies on other people to tell them what to do.
You may have seen the radical new schools report which recommends stripping power from boards of trustees and instead concentrating it in more centralised ‘hubs’ comprised of local iwi and government bureaucrats looking after 125 schools each. It's a pretty clear and predictable left-wing strategy: take power away from parents so the government, unions, and left-wing-ideologues can indoctrinate children and push through their social engineering priorities. If you can't get adults to believe in your schemes, force children to! I fear and feel for our children and parents if this government adopts the recommendations.
Finally, the United Nation’s Global Compact on Migration - supported by this Labour Government - is bad news for New Zealand. It essentially hands responsibility for migration to the UN (despite NZ already having a very robust approach) and demands countries facilitate positive attitudes towards migration and contradict any person or organisation that raises concerns. In other words we’re expected to give away not only our control of immigration but also our right to have an opinion on the matter; yet another example of the left’s crusade against freedom of thought and expression. This is a huge overreach by the UN and we should not be signing this. New Zealand should be in charge of its own immigration policies, not the United Nations.
I note that just a few short months ago left wing activists kicked up a stink about signing the TPP, claiming that it would give away our sovereignty. Now our sovereignty is actually under threat, these same people seem remarkably silent. It boggles the mind.
We don’t just have to sit by idly though. Make your voice heard: sign our petition today to help keep New Zealand's migration policy in our hands.
Fortunately, it is not all bad news so a few items on a cheerier note as promised. I'm still in Wellington for the last weeks of parliament for the year, but I've been back in the electorate around this and have enjoyed meeting a range of locals and attending various events.
Chag Urim Sameach to my Jewish friends! I had an enjoyable evening at Okahu Bay celebrating Hanukkah with the Jewish community and lots of friends including Alfred Ngaro MP, and local board members Ros and Colin. Wonderful to have such a vibrant Jewish community here in Auckland.
I enjoyed having some of the young people who put their hand up for Youth MP coming in for a chat. We had some really good discussions; my thanks to Wenlong, Luke, Aksheen, and Harry for their insights and enthusiasm. It has to be said, these are all very impressive young people and it gives me hope for the future of our country, as I’m sure it will be in good hands with them.
The Japanese Consulate is within Tamaki, so along with being Chair of Foreign Affairs, it was great to join the annual celebrations of the Emperor’s Birthday along with my colleagues Tim Macindoe MP, Melissa Lee MP, Andrew Bayly MP, and Councillor Desley Simpson. An honour for all of us to be asked to break open the barrel of sake.
I also spent a day with our Defence Forces here in Auckland. I got the chance to attend the Defence Person of the Year Awards. The calibre of our serving men and woman is incredibly high. All those who won awards are a credit not only to our defence forces but our country as a whole. During this day, I also had the chance to join our SAS troopers at their base and to experience some of their capabilities. I also had the thrilling experience of jumping out of a C-130 Hercules from 10,000 feet. I've never parachuted before, so a real treat!
Christmas and New Years
A big thanks to my team for their incredible work this year helping me and serving the community. They are taking a well-deserved break so the office will be closed from Monday December 24th and officially reopening on Monday January 14th.
I will be back in touch again in the new year; until then, can I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I've appreciated your support and feedback across the year and trust that 2019 begins well for you.