Shane's Newsletter - April 2021

ANZAC DAY 2021

What a difference a year makes, during the early hours of April 25, Kiwis throughout New Zealand were once again able to gather together for the annual remembrance of those who have died in service to their country.   Commemorations held throughout the day seemed exceptionally poignant as we were reminded of the pandemic lockdowns we faced just last year that restricted our ANZAC day gatherings.  

This solemn day of remembrance marking the Gallipoli campaign of WWI is also a day of gratitude, community and celebration. This year I felt exceptionally grateful for the privilege of singing the national anthem, listening to the stories of bravery and sacrifice, and enjoying homemade ANZAC biscuits side by side with friends and neighbours.  

 

NORTHERN REGION CONVENTION

Enthusiasm. Passion. Core values. Just a few of the words that describe the energised mood enveloping the Northern Region Convention held in Auckland last weekend. We have work to do, but make no mistake we are heading in the right direction.

Thank you to the hundreds of members who turned out for the Northern Region Convention and to the volunteers who made it happen. I would also like to give a special shout out to my team from Whangarei – Dean, Murray, Chris and the superest of all Super Blues, Shirley Faber.

Congratulations to Ward Kamo, our new Northern Regional Chair, Northern Region Policy Chair Shelley Pilkington, and Deputy Regional Chairs: Alexander Croft, Leigh Morrow, Samantha-Jane Miranda, Mark Davis and Chloe Masters.  

Thank you to Andrew Hunt for his years of dedication and service to the Northern Region as he steps down from his role as Regional Chair.

For anyone that missed Judith’s amazing speech on Saturday, you can read a copy here:      

https://www.national.org.nz/leaders-speech-to-2021-northern-regional-convention

 

COVID RESPONSE

New Zealand is ranked as low as 116th in the world in terms of vaccination doses administered. Countries around the world have set targets to reach herd immunity but this government has refused to set population targets. Instead the government published misleading graphs with the caveat for “illustrative” purposes only. The real truth being, we are miles behind the Government’s own vaccine plan from January this year. New Zealand’s recovery is at risk of falling far behind the rest of the OECD.

 

HEALTH NEWS

Health Reform Announcements

The Government’s proposed health reforms is simply not about generating better health outcomes for New Zealanders. The rushed, reckless and partially formed restructure creates three separate entities and is predicted to add layers of bureaucracy at a cost of over a billion dollars.   Andrew Little himself declares he doesn’t know the full costs of the restructure and admits he is fumbling along “blindly”.

You can read more about our view of the health reforms here:

https://www.national.org.nz/healthcare-should-prioritise-need-not-race

https://www.national.org.nz/reckless_health_restructure_removes_local_voice

https://www.national.org.nz/gagging-of-dhb-members-should-not-be-tolerated

https://www.national.org.nz/health-restructure-leaving-rural-gps-and-nurses-in-the-dark

Dr Shane Reti Speaking at the National Rural Health Conference 2021

FROM THE BEEHIVE

  • Unfunded chemotherapy Drugs to be administered for free

Currently cancer medicines not funded by PHARMAC can only be administered in expensive private cancer facilities at a further cost to the patient. National is proposing a law change that would allow DHBs to administer, and cover the cost of administering, day-stay cancer medicines where they are not funded by PHARMAC.

Read the press release here: https://www.national.org.nz/unfunded-chemotherapy-drugs-to-be-administered-for-free

Read my Member’s Bill here: https://www.parliament.nz/media/7945/new-zealand-public-health-and-disability-restriction-on-crown-funding-agreements-and-unfunded-cancer-medicines-amendment-bill.pdf

  • Spend & Control

Labour’s solution to any problem is to spend more money, then when that fails, cut funding and attempt to seize control through centralisation. Having wildly overspent taxpayer funds, lookout for a miserable austerity budget in the middle of the month.

  • National Calls for a New Speaker

Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, continues to be challenged in his role as the speaker of the house. Taxpayers deserved straight answers after he cost them more than $330,000 but those answers never came. Read more here: https://www.national.org.nz/mallard-fails-to-give-taxpayers-a-straight-answer

  • Here Comes Socialism

The announcement of the pay awards, which are the old industrial awards of the 1970s, almost certainly will increase union strikes and reduce productivity. The wage freeze appears very cynical when people have worked so hard for New Zealand, for the government to freeze wages to pay for ideological health reforms.

LOCAL NEWS

  • Whangarei Electorate AGM

A last minute scramble for several more chairs gave evidence of the great turnout we had at our local AGM held in April at the Whangarei Club. Thank you to our engaging guest speaker MP Chris Bishop. I would also like to thank our local Chair Tim Robinson and team of volunteers for organising a successful AGM.  

  • Fighting for Our Local DHB

In response to the government’s announcement to amalgamate our local DHB, I have and will continue to lobby the Minister of Health to retain our local voice and identity at Northland DHB.   We must also hold our local MP to account for the promise she made on the campaign trail to fight for our local DHB which, according to the Health Minister in Reply 14212 (2021) answered May 3 2021 to my Ministerial question, she has not – to date it is a broken promise.

  • Shovel Ready project and the 4-lanes to Whangarei

Rumours locally and in the beehive have started to swirl. Not only are more than half of the shovel ready projects promised to be delivered throughout New Zealand being scrapped, there are whispers that the 4-lane Highway to Whangarei is also on the chopping block. I will continue to fight for the progress of the 4-lanes.

EVENTS

  • Saturday 15 May The New Lynn and Kaipara ki Mahurangi Electorates are hosting a High Tea with special guests Dr Shane Reti and Chris Penk. 2pm-6pm at Vineyard Cottages, 1011 Old North Road, Waimauku. $45 per person. Please RSVP by 10 May to:newlynnelect[email protected]

  • Sunday 30 MayThe Takanini Electorate invites you for Cheese, Wine and Canapes with special guest Dr Shane Reti. 3pm-6pm at Nakhle Hall, The Gardens, 273 Hill Road. $40 per person to 02-0100-0463475-01. Please RSVP by 25 May to [email protected] or 021 285 2323.

 

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

Your caucus continues to be headed in the right direction. We are holding this government to account while preparing for the future. If you have missed our recent press releases on everything from gangs to housing you can find them here: https://www.national.org.nz/media

As always it is a pleasure to meet our fantastic members as we shape the path forward.  Each week I am reminded how lucky we are as National Party members to be part of an organization that shares the same core values – from rewarding hard work to promoting fairness and equal opportunity.    

Thank you, again to our members – you are the cornerstone of the National Party!