It has been great to be back home in the electorate over the last week. Being a recess, it is a nice change after weeks considering and discussing terrorism down in Wellington (see my last newsletter on the terrorism suppression bill)!
My thanks to all the members who came to the Tamaki National Party Christmas function on Sunday. It was great to see everyone there and to have Maggie Barry MP and her husband as our guests. It is good to see the Party in such good spirit as we go into the lead up to the election next year.
It was a pleasure to have Maggie Barry and her husband Grant join me at the Christmas party
I joined Party Leader Simon Bridges and other colleagues at the twelfth annual Indian Newslink Business Awards on Monday night to hear stories of business successes and the hard work and sacrifice such success takes. Small and medium-sized business play such an important part in thriving communities, so I’m always pleased to encourage them and celebrate their success.
At the Indian Newslink Business Awards with Party leader Simon Bridges and other colleagues
I was also proud to this week introduce Members of Parliament from around the Pacific to the great electorate of Tamaki and share with them my work as your local constituent MP. It was part of the Pacific Parliamentary Forum which takes place every three years with the aim of building relationships and enhancing parliamentary democracy in the Pacific. As Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, it was particularly interesting to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the Pacific and get their take on the aid we provide.
Welcoming Pacific Island MPs to Tamaki this week
Other than the above, which in itself has been rather full on, I am enjoying getting around to visit retirement villages, meeting locals and doing a bit of door knocking—thank you if you hosted me at such short notice!
Law and Order Discussion Document
You will have seen we recently launched another discussion document; this time on Law and Order. We’d love to get your feedback on it—you can read it and answer the survey below by following this link.
This is our seventh discussion document: seven more than this government has done, although they have spent millions on their working groups as they have no ideas!
You will also notice that in a week where Labour is focusing on giving criminals increased rights while at the same gang numbers are up 26% across the country and in some places up to 82%, National are focusing on victims.
We know keeping people safe with a tough response to crime and reducing it through Social Investment measures such as prevention and rehabilitation go hand in hand. Having also been a prison chaplain and hearing stories from criminals first hand, I know accountability as well as addressing the root drivers of crime are necessary for justice and creating the type of society we want.
The law and order discussion document has a range of ideas and proposals, so I would welcome your thoughts. As I say do have a read and let us know what you think here.
We launched our Law and Order Discussion Document on Wednesday
Fit for government?
Mixing a bit of work and pleasure, I headed to Queenstown recently for their annual half marathon. While it was a cold wet start, it ended with sunshine and a beautiful run…and not a bad time! It was great to see join the local National MP for Clutha Southland —Hamish Walker—running too. I won’t say who won, other than saying I was proud to represent Tamaki, which has a history of being a successful electorate!
Note for the kids: It's important to participate in both sports and democracy!
I return to Wellington next week, with the parliament sitting through till the week before Christmas. There is quite a lot to do including a range of discussions with colleagues and Ministers from all the welcome feedback here locally.