Opening of Parliament

Column Articles
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It’s great to be part of a strong, stable National-led Government. Having had this dream since I was a young boy, this week (20-21 October) officially marked the fulfilment of that dream as I – along with 59 other National MPs – got sworn in.

The opening of Parliament signals the start of a busy time leading up to Christmas as the John Key-led Government gets on with the job of locking in the gains our country has made in the past six years. With the highest majority ever achieved under MMP, National is well-placed to deliver on its promises to New Zealanders.

For those that missed it, the formal opening of Parliament (with all its pomp) was carried out in two ceremonies. On Monday (20 October) the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal and the Chief High Court Judge acted as Royal commissioners and declared Parliament open on the Governor-General’s behalf. MPs were sworn in and the Speaker elected.

The next morning (21 October) was the State Opening of Parliament at which the Governor-General gave the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. The speech outlined the National-led Government’s legislative and policy plans for this term.

Now, after much anticipation and preparation, the parliament can officially get back to business. National’s priorities for this term include working for Kiwi families by investing in teacher quality, free doctors’ visits for under-13s, extending paid parental leave, and helping more Kiwis into their first home.

I’ll take on two select committees, sitting on Social Services and deputy chairing the Local Government and Environment. I’m excited especially about the latter as it involves reforming the Resource Management Act to provide more certainty, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness in decision-making.

At home in the Bay I have been out and about with various Calf Club days and I really enjoyed supporting the breast cancer awareness drive at Papamoa Beach. One of the great perks about this job is meeting so many good folks from the electorate, especially so many who are doing their bit to make the Bay a better region and home for us all.