After looking through the large number of photos taken on my connecting with communities roadshow, it is hard to choose just a couple to show you. The crowds of people attending the public meetings have been inspiring and given me a chance to really get to know the issues that impact them and their communities.
Checking out one of our iconic monuments while on the road
Connecting with Communities roadshow, Wellington
Much of the feedback from these roadshows will be put forward as policy discussion points leading into the 2020 election.
We are already looking ahead to 2020, and recently delegates from across the central North Island gathered in Rotorua, at the annual National Party CNI conference. The purpose was to involve them in policy development. It was also a chance to talk about things the Government is doing to slow down the economy, including changes to employment law, immigration and more tax.
The cracks in the Coalition continue to widen. The Governments embarrassing u-turn on the Three Strikes repeal has shown the Coalition parties are not even talking to each other. After defiantly promising to repeal the Three Strikes law, Justice Minister Andrew Little backed down due to objections from New Zealand First. Now the repeal seems to be back on the table and up for future consideration.
What is genuinely concerning, is this back down came a week after there was confirmation that the Government had not even bothered to seek advice, or follow due process, before axing oil and gas exploration. These are incredibly serious issues and it reeks of incompetence and amateur behaviour.
The Governments approach to law and order is reckless. The “catch and release” mentality is very dangerous. Under a National Government, we had planned to build a 1500 bed prison at Waikeria. The current Government is happy to downsize this to just 600 beds. This is only going to make Kiwis less safe as there will not be enough beds to house serious criminals.
Last week, I announced how National plans to take the politics out of climate change and work with other parties to establish an independent Climate Change Commission. We want to find sensible and practical solutions to climate change that are science-based and won’t harm our economy or drive up the cost of living for New Zealanders. Addressing climate change isn’t easy. We all know that. But I want our grandchildren to know that all of us have done what we can to protect the environment.
I would like to congratulate our newest MP Dan Bidois. Dan was incredibly hard working leading up to the by-election and it paid off, he won the Northcote seat. I look forward to hearing his ideas on moving Northcote and New Zealand forward.
Our newest MP Dan Bidois (middle) He’s the one with the huge smile
Someone who certainly pushed New Zealand forward is Sir Bill English who was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He is recognised as one of the greatest finance ministers in New Zealand, and indeed the world. But more than that, Sir Bill has been dedicated to helping the most vulnerable New Zealanders to live better lives. He is a great role model and I congratulate him on this recent honour.
As this is being written the Prime Minister is days away from giving birth. I wish her the best for the birth as we welcome another parent into parliament.
I am interested to see what impact Winston will have in her absence (if any) while she is on maternity leave. I will leave you with that thought.