Bridges Brief: April 2016
Hon Simon Bridges
This Monday is Anzac Day, which is an opportunity for all New Zealanders to remember the sacrifice of previous generations and reflect on this formative time in our nation’s history. This year marks 100 years since the first Anzac Day services were held, after the Massey Government declared 25th April 1916 a half-day holiday in recognition for the dead of Gallipoli.
This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the New Zealand Returned and Services Association (NZRSA).
I will be attending a Dawn Service and civic parade, and encourage those who are able to do the same.
People’s Question Time
Earlier this month I held a successful People’s Question Time at Tauranga Boys’ College. I hold these events twice a year. They are an opportunity for you to come along and tell me your worries and concerns, what the Government is doing well, what we can do better, and discuss plans and priorities for our city.
These public events are very important to me as your representative in Parliament. Whenever we have discussions in Caucus meetings or at the Cabinet table, I am considering the views and opinions of my constituents and how the decisions we make will affect you and your family.
Constituent Catch Ups
This month I have been busy trying to catch up with as many of you as I can. I held a Seniors Morning Tea in Mount Maunganui, Friday Drinks on the Strand, and Constituent Clinics in my office on 3rd Ave. I value these events, as they are a unique opportunity for me to meet with you and find talk to you about any issues facing you or Tauranga. These are events which I hold regularly, so if you want to come along to one in the future just contact my electorate office for more details.
As you will be aware, Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced a complete overhaul of Child, Youth and Family following agreement by Cabinet. It is widely acknowledged that the current system is not working in the best interests of the children it is charged with caring for. I am proud to be part of a Government that is willing to admit this, make the changes necessary and provide the additional funding required to prevent harm and trauma and to give these young people the support they need and deserve.
April 1 changes
On April 1 a number of family friendly policies were rolled out around the country. April 1 2016 saw the first non-inflation increase to benefits in 43 years, increases to paid parental leave entitlements and a renewed focus on stronger work expectations.
All signs show the Tauranga economy is doing well. The population is growing, more businesses are moving to the city, the population is growing, demand for houses is increasing and there is strong investment by local industry to drive local productivity, jobs, and growth. The economic outlook for Tauranga is positive.
It is results like this which builds a strong economy and creates more jobs, which remains front and centre of the Government’s agenda. It's important that local people share in the opportunities that a growing economy provides. That's why the April 1 family-friendly changes are so important.
I hope you all enjoy your long Anzac weekend and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support.
Hon Simon Bridges