We are seriously back into it and already there is much to write about. The Tax Working Group has delivered its recommendations suggesting a broad Capital Gains Tax (CGT) be introduced. This would see tax being paid on the sale of assets including rental properties, small businesses, shares, the family bach, lifestyle blocks and farms. It is a brutal CGT compared with others around the world.
We believe New Zealanders already pay enough tax and the Government should be looking at tax relief, not taking even more out of the pockets of hard working New Zealand families.
While we wait to see what the Government will do we can be fairly sure that they will try and push it through in some form.
It is bad for New Zealanders and is against our Kiwi way of life. National does not support a CGT and would repeal it.
Australian PM’s visit
It was great to meet with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. We discussed our relationship between our two countries, shared values, foreign affairs and how we can work more closely together.
High tea for patients
Another highlight for me has been continuing to spend time out and about in the Tauranga community. Dropping in on people to see how things are going is always rewarding.
A big thank you to Melanie Kennedy who made this amazing cake for our visit. Melanie is a new graduate nurse, working in the Health In Aging Ward at Tauranga Hospital.
The team there has put an enormous amount of effort into making the ward a home away from home. The beautiful flower garden is really impressive and uplifting, and they have high teas for their patients twice a week. The dedicated team is certainly making a positive difference.
Future of Education
Todd Muller and I had the pleasure of hosting Hon Nikki Kaye at Tauranga’s Future of Education meeting. It is one of the 40 meetings we are holding around the country with a focus on proposals from the Government’s Tomorrow’s Schools Review Taskforce.
The Tomorrow’s Schools proposals represents the largest education reforms in over 30 years, and the deadline for consultation closes on the 7th April.
Time for talk
I have started constituent clinics again. Already a number of people have attended. I want people to know they can discuss their concerns with me or my staff and ask questions. I have heard all kinds of things during my time as the local MP. There have been many cases where we have been able to offer assistance on a number of different issues.
The clinics are held every third Monday of the month at the Greerton Library from 12.30 till 2.30. There is no need to make an appointment, but you might need to browse through the library if somebody is already there.
Alternatively I run clinics in my Tauranga office in Third Avenue. Appointments can be arranged by calling 577 0923.
Encouraging the use of public transport is something I support. The recent changes to the bus network in Tauranga has been nothing short of chaos. My email is busting with complaints. My team has met with a representative from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The Regional Council designs the public bus networks, and contracts the operation of them. They have assured us that they are addressing the problem and understand the seriousness of the situation. My office is receiving daily bus updates.
Trust us with the Environment
Public transport is one of the many things we can do to positively improve our environment. Our successful Bluegreen conference was the perfect time to launch our first policy discussion document, focusing on the environment. This is one of eight documents we will be releasing this year, addressing the important issues facing New Zealand.
We want New Zealanders to trust National as much with the environment as they do with the economy. We are showing National has practical and science-based plans to meet New Zealand’s environmental challenges. To find out more, check out the document at www.national.org.nz/ourenvironment
City Leaders Luncheon
Next week I will connect with some of the decision makers at the Chamber of Commerce Leaders Luncheon. It is always a great opportunity to bounce around ideas and hear about plans for the future of our fine city. There is lots to look forward to.