Melissa Lee: Easter Update

Easter, Mount Albert and Teaching the Basics Brilliantly

Happy Easter everyone,

This weekend marks the beginning of the week long commemorations of Easter as well as the upcoming Easter Holidays! The weather is getting cooler but there's still some great sunny days ahead. If you are travelling for the Easter Holiday make sure to pack for the conditions and drive safe on the roads.


Supporting our communities

Over the past few weeks in addition to supporting flood-affected families across the Auckland region, I have been out and about at a wade array of festivals, events, community meetings and functions to hear from people across New Zealand. 

It was great to join the Christchurch National Party team alongside National Party Economic Development Spokesperson, Michael Woodhouse, for a conversation about the digital economy and ways that we can support the incredible Games and Visual Effects industries we have in our country. Thank you Digital Confectioners and Cerebralfix  for hosting us and the National Party Candidates for Christchurch Central (Dale Stephens), Ilam (Hamish Campbell) and Banks Peninsula (Vanessa Weenink) for a constructive afternoon. It was also fantastic to join some of the amazing Canterbury National Party volunteer teams out in Christchurch East afterwards to check out the exciting Indoor Virtual Golf setup for an evening tournament at Parklands alongside Sir Bob Charles and Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey!



Every year I support a number of charities for their annual charity drives and this weekend I was out at Pak n Save Mt Albert supporting the  Blind Low Vision New Zealand annual appeal this weekend. Blind Low Vision NZ help Kiwis young and old tackle eye sight impairments and support advocacy so everyone can particpate in our society. It was a real pleasure to collect for their cause alongside other National MPs around New Zealand. 



Auckland is New Zealand's most diverse region with so many amazing festivals and cultural displays taking place every week. In the past month I've had the pleasure of attending the Nepal Festival, the Urdu-Hindi Ghazal Night and several commemorative evenings with groups like the Yogi Divine Society, Rotary Harbourside & some of the local Consulates here in Auckland, just to name a few. It's really important to me as National's Spokesperson for Ethnic Communities that I engage with as many of New Zealand's vibrant communities as possible so please reach out if you have an upcoming event and I will do my best to stop by!



Teaching the Basics Brilliantly

A National-led Government will ensure every child in Mount Albert, in the Auckland Region and Across New Zealand, will get a world-class education so when they leave school, they can lead the life they want. 

We all know that Education has the power to change lives because it ensures children gain the skills and knowledge they need for further studies and to go on and lead successful lives with great careers and opportunities. 

The state of education in New Zealand right now is shocking.

Achievement levels have been in decline for three decades and a recent NCEA pilot exposed just how far achievement has fallen. We now know that two thirds of secondary school students failed to meet minimum standards in reading, writing and maths, while 98 per cent of Decile One Year 10 students failed a basic writing test.

This is utterly unacceptable.

That’s why National has announced our Teaching the Basics Brilliantly’ policy which will ensure every child has the skills they need in reading, writing, maths and science to set them up for success.

A National Government will require all primary and intermediate schools to teach an hour of reading, an hour of writing and an hour on maths, on average, every day. 

We know that New Zealand children need the time to acquire knowledge, practice skills and master the basics so they stay with them for life.

National also will re-write the curriculum so it says what must be taught each year in reading, writing, maths and science to every year group in primary and intermediate schools.

The New Zealand curriculum is far too loose right now. It simply does not give teachers clear guidance about what to teach or when to teach it and this is hurting the growing young minds who need to learn to succeed later in life.

Instead of being divided by years, it is grouped in "bands" spanning two to three school years.

National will get rid of the three-year bands, replacing them with explicit expectations of achievement and knowledge dissemination for each year group. 

We will check children have learned what the curriculum says they should have learned, and we will keep parents informed about where their kids are up to.

Finally, National will ensure that teachers and trainee teachers spend more time learning how to teach the basics.  We will also provide them with more classroom tools and lesson plans to help them teach reading, writing, maths and science. 

We will set a target of 80 per cent of Year 8 students being at or above the expected curriculum level for their age in reading, writing, maths and science by 2030.   

We will also aim to return New Zealand students to the top 10 in the world in maths, reading and science, measured by the OECD’s PISA rankings, by 2033 

Labour has spent $5 billion more on education and yet our children are going backwards!  

After nearly six years of a Labour government, there’s been no improvement in Year 8’s results. Only 45 per cent of Year 8 students are at the level they should be in maths and only 35 per cent are at curriculum level in writing. 

This just cannot continue.

We won’t lift education achievement in New Zealand by continuing to do the same things that are taking us backwards.  

If New Zealand is to have internationally competitive incomes and living standards, we need a world-class education system that starts with teaching the basics brilliantly. 

National believes in better education and I believe in better outcomes for Mount Albert students. Everyone needs to have a chance to succeed and this will happen under National.




Mount Albert Update

I am pleased to confirm that I have been re-selected to contest the Mount Albert Electorate for the National Party at the October 14 General Election.

The issues of Mount Albert are the issues of New Zealand with soaring mortgage rates, increases to the cost of living and failures by the Government to tackle crime on our streets. 

Mount Albert needs a Government that will get things done, get education back on track and restore confidence in our economy. 

I'm looking forward to getting out to your neighborhood soon- keep an eye out for my upcoming ANZAC Day Newsletter mail drop coming next month!



Auckland Office

As the new year gets underway there have been some changes in my Auckland office with Tao stepping down earlier this month. Tao was a great champion for constituent issues, particualrly for those from the Auckland Chinese Community. I and the rest of my team wish him the very best for his next opportunities. 

Jo will be increasing her hours in the Epsom office for the next few months and is also joined by Meghana Gaddam who is working with us as a Casual Parliament Communications Assistant both at the Epsom office and remotely.

You may remember meeting Meghana last August when, as the Waikato Youth MP, she joined me and Tim van de Molen MP to talk communities & connectivity in Cambridge, Hamilton and Te Rapa.

Meghana is currently studying at Auckland University and comes from a South Indian background. She was recently profiled by Indian Newslink and you can read more about her here.

Easter Weekend

For me, Easter is a time of family, friends, community and faith. A time for special reflection and remembrance. It, like many other great world festivals, celebrates the light of life over the darkness and the promise of a better world we can all share in.

Wherever you go this Easter and however you spend this Holiday weekend, best wishes for some much needed time off with those you love.  

If you find yourself struggling this Easter Break remember there are always people you can talk to and ways to get help:

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP).

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] or online chat.

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO).

Healthline – 0800 611 116


Happy Easter!