From the Bay to the Beehive January 2023
It's been a wild start to 2023, politically and meteorogically.
Anniversary weekend was not happy for many in the Bay of Plenty, Coromandel and Auckland regions with the sad loss of life and homes for many.
I visited constituents around the region over the weekend, including Maungatapu where a family lost their house to a massive landslip. There is a Givealittle page here to help the family with immediate expenses if you are able to assist. Thankfully the family are all safe and being cared for.
If you have been affected by flooding, please contact my team who can direct you towards the best sources of assistance.
On the political front, National and Labour both held their annual caucus retreats in the Hawkes Bay this month, in a strange scheduling coincidence.
National Leader Christopher Luxon announced the National Caucus portfolios and I am delighted to have been confirmed in my role as Agriculture Spokesperson, with the addition of the Climate Change portfolio too. This is my second time with Climate Change and I’m looking forward to working with the agricultural sector to develop a climate change policy that works for farmers as well as for New Zealand’s international environment obligations.
It's hard to ignore the events in Government over the last week, with a major change in Labour’s leadership line up and further Cabinet reassignments too. We are hearing sound bites designed to appeal to middle New Zealand, who have expressed growing alarm at the radical swerve to the left that the previous leadership were taking our country in.
I wish Chris Hipkins well in his new role. He has indicated that some of the more contentious policies, that we’ve been surprised with since the last election, will be put on the back burner. No doubt that will be welcome news to many. But if legislation by stealth has been acceptable to the Government this term, can we believe that they won’t do the same if re-elected for a third term this October?
Over the next nine months my colleagues and I will stay focused on the core issues of cost of living, rising crime, overwhelmed health services and falling educational achievement. Tax relief, welfare-to-work programmes, and consequences for youth and gang crime are other key areas we will address as the next National government.
Have a great February and I hope to see you out and about in the Bay.
MP for Bay of Plenty
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