Tamaki Newsletter– April 2022
Can I begin by greeting all those in the Christian and Jewish communities, celebrating Easter and Passover respectively, my best wishes for the coming days. These are significant celebrations for the year and they are important to acknowledge.
Since I last wrote, there have been more ram-raids, burglaries, and even another shooting in our electorate. Frustratingly, government appears to be trying to downplay the situation both locally but also across the country. Sitting in parliament over recent weeks, Minister after Minister – including the Prime Minster – have sought to explain away these crimes; telling us that gang tensions have not increased; and that everything is fine.
It is not fine and I have been focused over recent weeks with ensuring this message is heard loud and clear. I have been in regular contact with our police, talking to media to generate more stories, speaking in parliament, and writing directly - once again - to the Minister of Police demanding more support for our community. I have sought to visit as many affected business owners as possible. I have not been able to get to all – a reflection on just how many have been hit. I am also organising a public meeting for the community on May 9th (full details are at the end of this email).
I spent the day visiting businesses and local sites recently affected by crime. The sad fact was – there were so many that I literally couldn't get to them all in a single day.
I have also taken the time to share some thoughts in an op-ed about what I have been seeing here locally, and included some suggestions of how we move forward. You can read the op-ed here
Cost of living is also proving to be a big topic of conversation around our community. We will all have felt the pain at the pump, or seeing the large increase in our weekly grocery shopping. I believe things will get a lot worse, fundamentally as the government does not understand its own role in contributing to the increase in inflation. As I write, the government is discussing an enormous $6 billion a year extra spend which in itself will have further inflationary effects on New Zealand. This is $6 billion a year on top of the already profligate spending of this Labour government.
Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern will try and blame the conflict in the Ukraine, but let’s be very clear that this inflationary pressure and cost of living increase was happening well before Russia invaded.
UKRAINE AND NEW ZEALAND
It remains awful and tragic to watch the war continue in Ukraine and I once again condemn the actions of President Putin and his supporters.
I recently have called on the parliament to invite Ukrainian President, Zelenksy, to speak to us. This is an invitation that needs to come from the Speaker or Prime Minister. In putting this to my parliamentary colleagues, I have been surprised that government has not done this already.
I continue to believe that New Zealand has not done enough to address the war. For example, we have not expelled the Russian Ambassador nor sent nearly enough aid to Ukraine. While the government’s engagement has improved, including now providing some limited funding for military purchases, we have the ability to do more.
LABOUR – SPENDING MORE, GETTING LESS
I had the Minister of Corrections up on his feet a few weeks ago to try and explain why he is spending over $130 million more since 2019 on prisons and yet the likes of rehabilitation programmes have reduced. As you will anticipate, there was little answer but a lot of bluster.
You would think spending more money would lead to more and better outcomes for prisoners and society. Sadly, this is not the way the Labour government operates. Despite fewer prisoners (a whole other story!), costs of running prisons has gone up. And yet despite more money being spent, it was simultaneously clear that fewer rehabilitation programmes were being run and this wrong on many levels. Reading the reports of Corrections themselves, they admitted that there has been little to no change in repeat criminal behaviour by those in prison. As I say, Labour is spending a lot more of your money yet delivering less.
I should add, I was pleased to see media also pick up and run this story, with the likes of the NZ Herald, Mike Hosking, and Newtalk ZB running the story
EASTER AND ANZAC DAY
We are soon to head into the Easter break and school holidays. I hope those of your celebrating or taking time out, have a good break.
We also have ANZAC Day coming up. College Rifles are continuing their public commemorations (from 8.45am) as too our local Orakei RSA. Sadly, the public commemoration at St Heliers is not going ahead as normal – Council and Auckland Transport are going ‘extra cautious’. I am disappointed by this, but I still encourage locals to take time to remember and pay their respects. I will be laying wreathes at all three memorials across the morning.
Public meeting on crime and safety in Tamaki. Monday 9 May, 7pm at Sacred Heart. Local police will be attending to speak and engage, as too representatives of Council. This is our chance as a community to discuss what is happening and importantly, what we think should be done moving forward.
Top Gun movie night. On Friday 1 July, my local National Party team are hosting a movie night at a local theatre. Top Gun is the movie and as a fundraiser $60 a head with a drink on arrival and nibbles. Let me know if you would like more details and are keen to attend. Tickets will sell fast!
Morning tea with Mark Mitchell MP. Our next Superblues morning tea is on Friday 6 May. Get in touch for details and all welcome.
With every best wish for the weeks ahead
Do you like this page?