Well that's the first half of 2022 knocked off. It's great to be past the shortest day and I'm sure you, like me, look forward to lighter evenings soon.
It's been a busy month at Parliament with the National Caucus holding the Government to account in key areas including the economy, cost of living, education, health services, the fire service and immigration processing.
We're seeing quite a few areas of incompetence in the Government's performance in these areas and Bay of Plenty constituents have been extremely vocal in their annoyance with policies that are having increasingly negative effects in their day to day lives.
My team are receiving increasing requests for assistance as resourcing gaps are revealed in New Zealand's health system, police force, passport office and immigration services; the realities of shutting our borders to skilled workers for two years.
Fire Service Inadequacies
In my Internal Affairs portfolio I've been working closely with our fire fighters, as FENZ is another Government department that is struggling - in their case, to staff stations and trucks, causing real concern for people's lives and properties. Here's a speech I made in Parliament on the subject.
National win in Tauranga By-election
Michelle and I were delighted to be among the first to congratulate Sam and Julia Uffindell for a successful campaign in this month's by-election in the Tauranga electorate. I have come to know Sam well and am confident that he'll be a committed and successful advocate for his new constituents. I'm looking forward to Sam's swearing in at Parliament and Maiden Speech which will be on Tuesday 26 July.
Tauranga Boys' College
This week I'll be attending a farewell function at Tauranga Boys' College for retiring Principal Robert Mangan. Many of us in Tauranga will remember him well from our school days as he started there as a teacher 30 years ago. He has much to be proud of as he steps down after 14 years as Principal, a time in which he has built the College into a remarkable place of learning and I'm proud to be an alumnus. Enjoy retirement, Robert. Thank you for all you have done for the young men of our city. (Pictured above with Robert is 2021 Head Prefect Corban Laban-Palmer.)
Ian McKelvie visit to the Bay
I was pleased to host my colleague Ian McKelvie on his visit to the Bay of Plenty electorate this month. Opposition Spokesman for Seniors, Forestry and Racing, Ian is has been MP for Rangitikei since 2011. We appreciated hearing his insights on the key portfolios he holds in Caucus, and hearing his considered answers to a number of questions from our audience.
Be heard on 3 Waters
One of the biggest complaints we're hearing at the office is about the Government's plans to centralise New Zealand's water services, and their disinterest in listening to people's views. National has pledged to repeal this legislation when we form the next Government but in the meantime I urge you to lodge a submission before the 22nd of July at this link.
Events to book
Monday 18 July: Public Meeting with Special Guest Erica Stanford, MP For East Coast Bays and Opposition Spokesperson for Education and Immigration.
6pm at the Welcome Bay Hall: book here.
Friday 22 July, 6 pm at Matapihi
Dinner with Special Guests Sam Uffindell (MP for Tauranga) and Sam Taylor (former Bay of Plenty Youth MP who's back for his summer break from Harvard). Book by phone as below or email [email protected] to reserve tickets for this popular annual dinner at the Omanu Golf Club in Matapihi.
Wednesday 17 August
Public meeting with Special Guest Mark Mitchell, MP for Whangaparaoa and Opposition Spokesman for Police, Counter-Terrorism and the Serious Fraud Office.
Local crime issues are a common topic of concern I'm hearing from constituents so this sure to be a popular event.
6pm at the Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club. Bookings recommended.
MP for Bay of Plenty