It would be fair to say, the last few weeks have been full on - with no shortage of campaigning activity across the electorate, alongside my usual constituent work, and of course time in Parliament. As a consequence, I have been a bit behind writing this latest newsletter as I prioritised all the requests of locals to visit and chat.
Having finally sat down to write, I am happy to say that this latest newsletter is jam-packed with information of what is happening locally but also nationally. It also has a large array of upcoming events here in the electorate that you maybe interested in, including what I think is going to be the social event of the year - and something you will not want to miss out being part of!
Thank you! My first comments are in thanks to the many National Party volunteers here in the electorate who have delivered over 95,000 flyers and letters in just a few days – ensuring the ‘two ticks blue’ message is heard and seen loudly and clearly around Tamaki. My regular coffee catch ups are proving very popular as well. Most weeks I host at a local cafe in the electorate, recently in Orakei, Mission Bay, and Stonefields/St Johns, and St Heliers. There are more to come, so check out the dates and places - along with other events - at the end of this newsletter.
A big thanks too for the hundreds and hundreds of responses to one of my recent electorate surveys. I read through each one, and while there a range of issues, as you would expect; cost of living, health, crime, and a divided country are frequent topics raised. I continue to take this back into my parliamentary debates, ensuring Tamaki’s voice is heard in the halls of power.
AROUND THE ELECTORATE
Alongside public meetings, door knocking, flyer deliveries, and meeting local business owners there has been a number of other highlights. One was continuing to support our local community patrol. I have been encouraging local businesses and individuals to donate a tank of gas, and I am pleased to say many are happy to do so. I joined the Patrol a couple of weeks back to accept a donation from Morgan, a local keen to show his support.
Selwyn College students’ campaign for smaller class sizes
I was also up at Selwyn College to meet four inspiring young women campaigning to reduce the teacher-to-student ratio; that is to have one teacher to every twenty five students. It was great to talk with them about their ideas and share how they might further promote them, including over social media.
Speaking up around Labour’s RMA changes
When the Parliament was in its last sitting, I took leave one evening to return to the electorate and join the Taxpayer Union’s public meeting on the government’s RMA. You may not be aware, but Labour is changing the RMA – they are doing so, but there is sadly little discussion. As I addressed the hundreds attending the meeting, I spoke of how the current RMA process slows everything down but the Labour changes will simply stop things. It draws on the worst of Three Waters, introduces new ill-defined concepts, and guarantees that there will be endless litigation. Even the Chief Justice has warned that the proposed law will overwhelm the courts!
Mission Bay: Peaceful protest disrupted by ‘CCP thug’
I am also engaging with our local police after an attack on peaceful protesters in Mission Bay. A group of Chinese New Zealander’s were displaying pro-democracy banners on Saturday afternoon when a ‘CCP thug’ turned up, used using a knife to threaten those holding a banner, and then using the knife to tear it up. What is extraordinary, is this thug had himself filmed by accomplices and then brazenly published his exploits to WeChat celebrating his support of the Chinese Community Party. The hypocrisy of such people amazes me – to enjoy our freedoms here in New Zealand and yet celebrate and support the authoritarian and abusive regime in China. As I say, I am following up with Police as this behaviour, including carrying and using a knife, is not acceptable.
Not quite Parliament, but the National Party held its recent annual conference in Wellington. Tamaki had a large turnout and one thing, among others, that stood out was the tremendous number of new talented candidates for the Party. The depth of diversity and skill was on display. It is one of the key reasons I encourage people to ‘two ticks blue’ because person for person, our National Party candidates stand leagues ahead of any other Parties.
National’s policies proving popular
You will have also seen some of our recent policy announcements. I say recent, as we now have policies across a wide range of areas. You can see all of them at https://www.national.org.nz/plan
In particular, the announcement to set up a pothole repair fund has gone down particularly well locally. As we who live in the area know, there are potholes everywhere … only matched by the number of road cones! You can find more information on this announcement here.
Labour – months of work on new taxes
I would also draw your attention to the large number of secret taxes the Labour Party has been investigating. Nicola Willis MP has been trawling through the Budget documents and came across ongoing work, for months and months, by Grant Robertson and others to see about a raft of new taxes. Get this – a minimum tax, a wealth tax, an inheritance tax, a capital gains tax (no surprises there), a gift tax, as well as the euphemistically termed ‘corrective taxes’ – think things like a sugar tax. You will hear National say often, ‘you can’t trust Labour on tax’ and there is good reason for this. As you know, only a vote for National will see lower taxes.
RMA changes making things worse
As I mentioned earlier, the government is pushing ahead major changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA). In fact, they are doing a complete rewrite and having learnt nothing from Three Waters, are bringing across some of the most legally ambiguous and confusing ideas from there into RMA reform. If you thought losing the RMA now was bad, wait till Labour passes this law. I have been sharing information via video from Wellington, drawing attention to what is happening and pleased to say these videos have reached tens of thousands of locals and kiwis across New Zealand.
I have also been taking many calls on various debates in parliament, including around this RMA reform. You can see one of my key speeches here.
Calling Iran to account
As you know, I keep a keen interest in foreign affairs and human rights. It was welcome therefore, to challenge the Iranian Ambassador in select committee last week. The abuses by the Iranian government are many, with the most recent being the awful killing of Mahsa Amini and the subsequent violent suppression of protests. I have stood with our Iranian/Persian community from day one and so it was important to me to put this and more to the Ambassador. You can see my discussion with him HERE.
My latest podcast is now available. I sit down with Jonathan Ayling, Chief Executive of the Free Speech Union, to discuss what the Department of Internal Affairs is proposing, along with the latest results of the Free Speech Union's survey on freedom of speech in our universities. Spoiler alert, the results are very worrying.
As I write, a further attack on free speech is underway with New Zealand media refusing to publish an ad from a lobby group, around the question of womanhood. Regardless of your view, what we have is straight up censorship by media funded by government.
Let’s just say, there is no shortage!
Coffee Catch Ups
My next coffee catch up is Monday 14 August, 10am at Meadow on St Johns Road. No need to rsvp – just turn up and raise whatever is in on your mind.
Public Meeting on Foreign Affairs & Defence
Join Tim van de Molen MP, our spokesperson for Defence, alongside myself as National’s associate spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, to discuss defence and what is happening around the world, and how it impacts New Zealand. Of course, as with any public meeting, we welcome all and anyone to discuss whatever topics are top of mind.
This meeting will be on Thursday 10 August at the St Heliers Community Centre (100 St Heliers Bay Road) from 7pm. All welcome!
Morning Tea With Dr Shane Reti MP
Join me and special guest Dr Shane Reti MP to talk healthcare in New Zealand. He is coming for a morning tea and public meeting at St Chads Church and Community Centre, on Monday 28 August from 10.30am.
National Party Campaign Launch
The National Party is holding its major campaign launch on Saturday 3 September in Manukau. We would love to see a big turnout from Tamaki, so please get in touch so we can arrange a ticket for you – email: [email protected]
Public Meeting With Simeon Brown MP
Simeon Brown MP is joining us here in Tamaki to talk transport. There are no shortage of issues to discuss, so come along with your thoughts on Wednesday 6 September from 7pm, also at St Chads in Meadowbank.
September 8 – The social event of the year?
Mark your diaries for what we think could be the social event of the year for us here in Tamaki and a chance to meet some great new political people. An evening cocktail function here in the electorate at a special mystery location, and one you will not want to miss. Mark Friday 8 September in your diary, with more information to come!
Finally, if you are keen to help out in the campaign in any way – from delivering flyers to putting up hoardings, helping cater, or inputting data – do get in touch. We have a great team and always welcome more friends to join us!
Two ticks blue!
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