Weekend Sun column

Friday, March 11, 2016

Happy New Year to you all. (Is it getting too late to say that?)

While the holidays seem like a distant memory now, it was great to spend some quality time with the family and Natalie’s parents over the New Year period.

In late January I was incredibly lucky to be able to accept an invitation from Antarctica New Zealand to spend a week at Scott Base. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the work being carried out down there by New Zealand scientists, especially research relevant to my Associate Climate Change portfolio.

Parliament began sitting on 9 February, starting with the Prime Minister’s statement, which outlined the Government’s plans for the year ahead. We have a busy work programme for 2016 as we continue to build a fast-growing economy that will create jobs and raise incomes for New Zealanders.

It has also been great to get back to work in the electorate – getting out and about meeting constituents, local businesses and community organisations. In the last two months there’s been the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon, A&P Show, Tauranga Airshow, BMX NZ National Qualifiers, and school visits, to name a few.

Last week I was excited to launch the electric vehicle (EV) charging station at Bayfair Shopping Centre, the first of its kind in the Bay of Plenty. New Zealand is one of the most EV-ready countries in the world, and I think we are going to see a whole lot more of them on our roads in the coming years.