March has been a busy month holding the government to account while fighting for our local DHBs. We have seen a version of amalgamation before – it doesn’t work.
Landlords were also hammered this month with a supposed tax “loophole” and widening of the Brightline capital gains test. This approach will not solve the housing crisis which has an ongoing government spend of 1.1 million dollars a day!
FROM THE BEEHIVE
Private Members Bill - This month my Medicinal Cannabis private members bill had its first reading. This was a piece of work in 2019 that many generously say (including Hon Simon Bridges who spoke on this bill) is one of the best pieces of policy they have seen in a private members bill. My bill sought to bring accessible and affordable medicinal cannabis to New Zealanders who were in need to ease their suffering. The Labour government voted against this and now, after 2 years waiting already, we will likely wait for further years before any reasonably priced product arrives on the shelf.
I want to think all the many experts and lived experience people who helped me craft this bill. Read the entire bill here: https://legislation.govt.nz/bill/member/2020/0309/latest/whole.html#LMS378446
Inside the Chamber - Speaker Trevor Mallard has also been seriously called to account several times and it seems there is more to come from this.National Party has called for Mallard to be replaced.
VACCINES - Regardless of the rollout snags, it is my recommendation to please have the vaccine when offered.
TRAVEL BUBBLE - The Trans-Tasman announcement finally arrived – which is good news.However, without the appropriate border measures in place it could be a small bubble that bursts quickly.
BORDER RISK - Finally, it seems to be OK to put an exercising coronavirus positive person in the same bus as other people in isolation – no, it’s not actually! And I do understand from the point of view of those other people in the bus who now confront a further 14 days in isolation.
Northland is top of the ASB Regional Scoreboard for the second month in a row, which is good but we are still a fragile recovery. It is time to build the 4-lanes, begin the “shovel ready projects” and support our local farmers and businesses.
I lead our health caucus and we had an excellent visit to Rotorua Hospital and local GPs looking at their health needs. They have a lot of similarities to Northland around access to care, waiting lists and fears of losing their DHB.
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Your caucus has had a good start to the year. As Deputy Leader we have had a lot of announcements holding the government to account. Have you noticed how the media have started to turn and question the government?
March has been a very busy month with a lot of electorate visits. It is always 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!
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