Welcome to my August newsletter!
I am proud to be the National List MP based in Mt Albert. It is always a real privilege to work in Mt Albert and help people with their issues.
Just back from the National Party Conference held at the weekend in Christchurch. I'm absolutely proud to be backing you, National's bottom line is You.
National Conference 2019
The National Party Annual Conference this year took place in Christchurch at the recently refurbished Town Hall. It was great to join 600+ delegates for a weekend of insightful conversations on Policy and community engagement with representatives across New Zealand.
In the coming weeks I'll be circulating National's key policy message launched at the Conference, Our Bottom Line is You, and I look forward to hearing your feedback.
It's been a while since I had a proper visit to the Christchurch CBD. I was heartily delighted at the rebuild taking shape and encourage you to see for yourself and support the people of the Canterbury region.
Community Letters & Have your say
Over the past few weeks I've been delivering letters around the communities of Westmere, Cox's Bay, Mt Albert Village and Dominion Road to get your feedback on a number of issues here in Auckland.
Across issues such as the Parking in our Mt Albert Streets to the future of Dominion Road and other transportation infrastructure it has been great to get your feedback on ways we can improve our city.
From your feedback so far it's pretty clear the infrastructure settings are simply not right for Parking, and Public Transportation options across Mt Albert and around the side street communities off Dominion Road; I'm going to take these views back to my Transportation Caucus Colleagues as well as to Members of the Local Board so please keep sending those replies in.
Your views of issues across Mt Albert are really insightful and will help me ensure we are championing the issues that matter to you!
Cocktails with Simon
It gives me great pleasure to to announce that the Leader of the National Party and Opposition Hon Simon Bridges will be joining us in Mt Albert on Thursday 15 August from 6pm for a great cocktail function and other visits in the Mt Albert Electorate.
Whether you are a local business owner concerned about the rising costs to your workplace or a family sick of extra fuel taxes and the lack of high quality transportation infrastructure, I would love to see you there and appreciate your support (Click here to secure your ticket)
Looking forward to a wonderful evening!
(Please note this is a ticketed function to cover costs and all other proceeds, after costs, being a fundraising donation to the New Zealand National Party)
Grey Lynn Morning Tea
My next Grey Lynn Morning Tea is coming up this Monday 5 August from 10.30am at the Grey Lynn Community Centre on Richmond Road.
These catchups are always a great chance for me to update you on issues in Parliament and get your feedback directly on a number of matters coming up in the House and in our community.
A key issue that has been raised in the media lately has been the number of rats, wild mice and other invasive vermin in our city streets.
From Westmere to Mt Albert it is clear there is a rodent problem facing our central suburbs and I'd love to hear your views on this issue to take back to my Blue Greens Caucus colleagues and to Auckland Council.
You can RSVP here!
Morning Tea with Matt Doocey MP
This September 9th it gives me great pleasure to invite you to join me and Special Guest Speaker Matt Doocey MP for Waimakiriri for morning tea and a chat about mental health issues in New Zealand.
Matt has been a great champion for mental health support as National Spokesperson as well as in his former pre-Parliamentary career so I know it will be a great conversation for those who join us.
Matt also serves as the Junior Opposition Whip with important roles in workings of the House and the wider legislative programme and I look forward to him sharing some insights on this with you all.
PS. Hold the Date: 31 October for our next Business Breakfast with Hon Paul Goldsmith, National's new Spokesperson for Finance - details in my next newsletter!
Around the Table Video Series
Every few days I and a group of National MPs get together at Parliament to talk about the hard issues facing New Zealand families and businesses.
At our National Party conference in Christchurch last weekend, our Leader Simon Bridges outlined National’s plan for cancer care.
Cancer is the biggest cause of death in New Zealand. It doesn’t discriminate and most New Zealanders will have a story of loved ones and friends who has been affected by cancer.
That’s why we have announced a policy which would invest an extra $200 million over four years for PHARMAC to fund cancer drugs.
We will ensure those drugs go to those who need them.
We have also committed to introducing a National Cancer Agency to deliver better diagnoses, better access and better treatment for cancer sufferers across New Zealand.
New Zealanders shouldn’t have to pack up their lives and go to other countries for cancer treatment. New Zealanders shouldn’t have to mortgage their houses, set up a Givealittle page or take out massive loans to be able to afford medicines which are funded in other countries.
The agency will be involved in prevention, screening and treatment. New Zealand is a world leader in research and innovation, so the centre will also facilitate research so that in the future we can prevent cancer and treat it more effectively.
It will ensure that no matter where you live in New Zealand you will get the same standard of care. Too often people in regional New Zealand are disadvantaged because they don’t have access to the same services as those in our biggest cities.
It means everyone will have the same ability to get treatment. It means diagnoses can be made earlier.
We believe that medical experts and clinical professionals should be making the decisions, not Wellington-based bureaucrats. The National Cancer Agency will make sure that happens.
The current Government claims that its investment in health this year is the biggest ever. Yet we have the biggest DHB deficits on record. There are fewer elective surgeries happening under this Government. And 38,000 more people aren’t seeing their GP because of the costs.
Despite claiming to be a caring and compassionate Government, it only put an extra 1 per cent into PHARMAC for life-saving drugs. That doesn’t even cover inflation. The previous National Government boosted annual investment in PHARMAC by $220m over nine years. That meant around 820,000 New Zealanders benefited from extra investment in new PHARMAC funded medicines.
The Government is putting 75 times more money into Shane Jones’ political slush fund to help NZ First get re-elected than it has into PHARMAC.
As MPs, we hear endless, personal and heart-breaking stories about our constituents. Tracey Elliott and her husband Troy are in the process of selling their house because they’re spending $9000 every three weeks on life-extending drugs. The drugs that they’re selling their family home to fund are fully funded in the UK and Australia.
It’s not right that Kiwis are heading to Australia or Malaysia for treatment, or that they’re relying on selling their homes or Givealittle pages.
The Government is spending billions of dollars on fees-free tertiary education, on working groups and on a slush fund for NZ First, it doesn’t have its priorities right.
National’s Cancer Fund is a priority for us because it’s the right thing to do. It will help thousands of Kiwis. And our commitment to a National Cancer Agency will ensure that your address won’t affect your prognosis. We should have a health system that is fair for everyone, regardless of your postcode.
Look forward to talking to you again soon!
List MP based in Mt Albert
Authorised by Melissa Lee 1085b New North Road, Mt Albert, Auckland, 1025