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Crime in Tamaki

April 14, 2022 Share

Over recent months, I have visited well over twenty of my retailers who have been the victims of ram raids, break-ins, and burglaries.  They are dairies, superettes, liquor stores, cafes, bars, and restaurants and all owned by hard working kiwis trying to do their best by family and their community.  In writing this, I should add that I haven’t been able to get to all affected businesses despite my best intentions – put simply, with the frequency and volume of these crimes, it would be impossible.  That in itself says something about the levels of crime developing not only in my electorate of Tamaki but also across Auckland.


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Tamaki Newsletter– March 2022

March 26, 2022 Share

Hello everyone,


It has been a little while since my last newsletter, mostly as there has been so much going on.  As I write, I am actually returning from a visit to Melbourne of all places.  Sadly, one of my Australian colleagues - Senator Kimberley Kitching - passed away recently, and so I flew across to attend her funeral.  She and I had worked closely together as part of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC).  I will touch on this a little later including my impressions of international travel once again.


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Tamaki Newsletter–2022

February 17, 2022 Share

Hello everyone,

2022 is well underway, and I can’t believe we are halfway through February already! I hope you had a good summer break and got to enjoy what was pretty good weather – although, as a gardener, I would have liked a little more rain. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas and New Year break – it was a welcome chance to travel and visit our families who we hadn’t seen in a long time.

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Tamaki Newsletter–December 2021

December 16, 2021 Share

This final newsletter of the year is first and foremost a chance to say a big and heartfelt thank you to everyone for their support, advice, and feedback this year. It has been very much valued and appreciated, particularly in recent weeks with so much going on –  from within the National Party itself to how government policy is impacting the daily lives of constituents and Kiwis in general.

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Tamaki Newsletter–September 2021

September 27, 2021 Share

Hello everyone

I trust this email finds you all well, or as well as one can be during a lock down! I am conscious of the many stresses these lock downs and associated decisions have – whether you are a parent, a family unable to visit a loved one, an extrovert keen to get out, or a business owner watching your savings being eaten away. There will, of course, be a diverse range of experiences and emotions around all of this; do feel very free to drop me a line and let me know how you are getting on.

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Tamaki Newsletter–August 2021

August 25, 2021 Share

Hello everyone

As I begin writing this latest newsletter, we have begun another ‘Level Four’ lock down. While we here in Auckland have been used to various lock downs, we have only had a full, nationwide lock down once before – back in March 2020.

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Tamaki Newsletter—June 2021

June 23, 2021 Share

Hello everyone

We have just passed the shortest day of the year – and with that, we are going to be closer to spring that not. The seasons of politics continue, with a lot happening here in our electorate and in parliament. One particular highlight has been securing the funds to put CCTV cameras up on Achilles Point and at the St Heliers boat ramp. I will share a little more of this later in the newsletter.

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Tamaki Newsletter—May 2021

May 26, 2021 Share

Hello everyone,

Already much has happened since my last newsletter a fortnight ago.  As they often say, “a week is a long time in politics” and this aphorism is particularly true when I consider the recent Budget release by the government, as well as the ongoing debate around the He Puapua report.

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Tamaki Newsletter—April 2021

May 06, 2021 Share

Hi everyone

This month has been a busy one for us all and, as always, I hope to keep you well-informed with electorate activities (as well as beyond).

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Tamaki Newsletter—March/April 2021

March 23, 2021 Share

Hello everyone

Well, it has been an exceptionally busy few weeks, both here in the electorate and in parliament.  I‘d like to draw your attention to a few things happening lately, including a local public meeting I am holding tomorrow night.


In recent months, many have shared their concern for the growing level of crime in Tamaki. From a wide range of conversations with locals, I am acutely aware of the various car break-ins, parcel thefts, burglaries, noise and disruption, and anti-social behaviour around our suburbs.

I have been engaging our local police and assisting families where I can, but I am also organising a public meeting, due to take place tomorrow evening. I have invited the Police to attend and provide you with the opportunity to share your experiences; hopefully, we can gain some insight into what we can do to protect ourselves and our properties. This meeting will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, 24 March at 7.00 PM at St Chad’s Church and Community Centre (38 St Johns Road, Meadowbank) – I hope to see you all there.


A few days back, I wrote an op-ed on why we need to open the trans-Tasman bubble. I have shared it again below (abridged), but I was pleased to see that a few days later the National Party began a petition calling for such a bubble. As I write, we have had around 40,000 signatures. If you are interested and haven’t yet signed our petition, please consider submitting your name here:

My thoughts on opening the trans-Tasman bubble:

It is time to open the trans-Tasman bubble. I am being asked by constituents on a daily basis about this, and so I thought I would write and make my position and thinking clear on this.

I have often written about proportionality in decision making. At its heart, proportionality is about looking at all the factors and balancing risks.  We are now in a position that the benefits of developing a trans-Tasman bubble far outweigh the risks.

A few simple statistics may assist in contextualising this. We have not had a reported case of Covid-19 from someone originating from Australia since late last year. Now granted, we have had to rely on public reporting of this as the Ministry of Health does not provide specific country by country breakdowns. Alongside this, those coming from Australia are making up – I understand – around 40% of all people in MIQ. 

Phrased differently, we are quarantining a large number of people for little to no reason, other than reinforcing the government’s elimination strategy (one that can accommodate little to no risk).

As you will know from some press reports, our MIQ system is buckling under immense pressure; more people need spaces than are available. In my capacity as an MP, every day I am receiving requests from people wanting to access MIQ spaces but cannot. What is more heart-breaking are those who are genuinely desperate for such slots. These are people who are sick; wanting to visit ill or dying loved ones; or missing out on some very significant family event, amongst other reasons. The system as it currently stands cannot accommodate all these people except in very exceptional circumstances.

Consequently, opening a trans-Tasman bubble will not only benefit those travelling between Australia and New Zealand but also travellers from other countries. Releasing approximately 40% of MIQ capacity will have beneficial flow-on effects for those travelling in from places other than Australia.

The relational benefits are also enormous. We all know how close our two countries are, and many of us will have loved ones on the other side of the Tasman. These relationships remain disrupted; a bubble would allow us to resume relatively normal engagement. I cannot stress enough the harm and anguish locals have expressed to me about the isolation they are experiencing by being separated from their loved ones.

The economic benefits are clear. So much so, I won’t even comment further; it’s a no-brainer. The worrying thing is that as our current government hesitates and dawdles, Australia looks to other countries to create travel bubbles. We should be at the front of the queue, not the back (as we pretty much are with the vaccine). It is probably also useful to note that Australia has allowed New Zealanders to travel MIQ-free for some time now. We have an unnecessary asymmetry and one that, I know, agitates the already strained relationship with our closest ally.

Finally, many of these dynamics can apply to most of our Pacific neighbours. Not all, but most. In a way, opening travel bubbles to these countries – particularly those of the Realm – is even more important due to the severe effect a lack of tourism is having on their economies. The cost to them will also be ours as the request for more aid and support will surely follow unless these bubbles are developed soon.

I won’t speculate as to the continued hesitation by the Ardern government other than a near zealous adherence to their elimination strategy, which ultimately provides little room to manoeuvre – be that in the strategy itself and in the general perception that has been created.

As I say, it is time to open the trans-Tasman bubble.  It could be done right now and should have been done already.


Several years ago, you will remember the contentious debate around a suggestion to sell our St Heliers Police Station. During that time, I organised a meeting and invited the Police to attend; this resulted in a good discussion and the subsequent decision to retain the Police station.

In recent days, some media have begun speculating as to whether stations, such as ours, should be torn down and sold to help fix the current housing crisis. I for one am not convinced of this for a number of reasons, however, I would welcome your views.


Sadly, on the topic of closing, many of our local banks have closed or are closing. Most recently, the ASB and BNZ in the Village have shut down. Our local business owners and community members have expressed their concerns of the impact this will have, particularly on our older population.

With these concerns in mind, I raised this with the New Zealand Banking Association and requested that we be considered in their trials for banking hubs. I think this is an eloquent solution and one that is being trialled in other parts of the country. Unfortunately, they have come back declining this request, however, it is something I will be keeping an eye on and will likely raise again with them.


You may recall that around two years ago, I helped organise a public discussion about Auckland Transport’s proposals for Mission Bay and St Heliers. Their original idea would have seen over a quarter of the carparks scrapped as well as 14 or so new pedestrian crossings, amongst other things. The meeting was a huge success, with some suggesting we had around 800 locals turn up and speaking clearly in opposition. We agreed that their plans were unwanted and unnecessary and would have made it much harder for us to shop locally and support our business community.  

In recent weeks, AT has come back with a fresh plan having actively engaged with our local business association, resident’s association, and local board.  There will still be some changes, but nowhere near the scale the first plan had proposed.  For more information about the proposal, check out this link here.


No, not the America’s Cup – although, well done Emirates Team New Zealand!  You will remember my involvement with Mark Gumbrell and his battle with Master Builders. To recap: work on his house had been halted when his builder went into liquidation, and Mark was looking at a $200,000 loss. Why? Because the company had failed to complete the paperwork for a guarantee, despite him requesting and paying for it. Master Builders refuted any guarantee, and Mark feared he would have to sell the house once it was completed just to cover the loss.

I’m very happy to report that Mark has fought the good fight and won. Master Builders have agreed to honour their guarantee to help him finish his build, or as Mark puts it: “They have come to the party”. I wish Mark the best of luck with completing his project.


Literally, as I type, the government has announced its new housing plans. Much of it is spin insofar as the announcements have a grand quality to them but no details. Remember Kiwibuild? 100,000 homes were promised, yet no there was no pathway as to how this would be achieved (and in fact, the project became a spectacular failure).

Two aspects of the announcement stand out. The first is effectively the imposition of a Capital Gains Tax on homes. The government is going to extend the bright-line test to 10 years. This test was originally two years and meant that a person ‘flipping’ a house (that is buying, doing up, and selling with 24 months) would incur a tax.  It was a useful way to target speculators.

Moving the bright-line test to ten years, however, moves us well away from speculators and targets families. Any person selling a home (other than the family home) within ten years of purchase will pay up to 39% tax on the capital gain. Let’s be clear – this is a Capital Gains Tax and many Kiwis will get caught up by this. The other perverse outcome is that many people will simply choose to hold on to property while awaiting the end of the 10-year window.  While the rational thing to do, it will do nothing to boost the housing supply. 

The other aspect is removing the ability for investors to offset the interest paid on the mortgage against rental income. You once would have been able to claim back the interest cost of a home loan against the rent received on the property. If you paid $30,000 in rent a year but paid $15,000 in interest on the mortgage, then your tax liability was only $15,000. This now disappears and investors will have to pay against the income alone. This is a big change and one that is going to have an obvious negative outcome: much higher rents. Once again, Labour claims that their policy will help those most in need of rental accommodation, yet this will just make their lives even harder.


I was very pleased to represent Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition a few days ago and recognise the services of Jayforce. These were the men and women who went to Japan at the end of the Second World War as part of the occupation forces. On Friday last week, I joined the Governor-General and the Minister of Defence to honour them, lay wreaths in memory of those who died, and then join the veterans and their families for lunch to hear their stories. It was a truly humbling day and I came away with a greater appreciation of the service and sacrifice of these veterans and their comrades. I thank them for their service.

Talking with one of the veterans from Jayforce

All the best for the coming days and I hope to see you on Wednesday night for our meeting on crime prevention.