Merry Christmas 🤶🎅☃️🎄
As we head into the Holiday season break and the fun of Summer I want to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the past year. It's been a wild ride through COVID-19, Government wasteful spending and, as of last Saturday, the exciting news that a new Caucus Colleague will be joining the National Team in Parliament with Tama Potaka being elected as the new MP for Hamilton West.
The end of year and holiday season are a time to relax, reflect and recognise the opportunities and challenges the new year will bring. No matter how or where you are celebrating this summer holidays I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a wonderful Hanukkah and some great days on the beach.
For some the holidays will be a tough time with lost loved ones, particularly I want to acknowledge the family of Janak Patel who was tragically killed in Sandringham last month. Even with the support of the community and the country, there is no bringing back a precious loved one lost to such cruelty but we will remember him, support his family and we will strive to ensure not another life is lost to crime in New Zealand.
Ponsonby News Column - Christmas Edition
Note: This Column originally ran in Ponsonby News Christmas Edition on 30 November 2022
So far, this Parliament I have asked nearly 10,000 written Parliamentary Questions to Ministers, I’ve grilled Ministers during Question time and I’ve held the Government to account through the Select Committee process. I’ve written thousands of letters to constituents; I’ve read countless more. It has been a continuing pleasure to work for you, the people of New Zealand as a Member of Parliament and I look forward to continuing to do so as we head into what will be a big year in 2023.
Many of us use this time of year to take some time to contemplate on our achievements, challenges, and the future. The summer break is always a good time to think about what lies on the road ahead. For me, I am especially grateful for the encouragement of my family and friends for the late nights, postponed catch ups, and constant support. You all make a world of difference in grounding me.
This Christmas season families around New Zealand will have lost loved ones here at home or abroad. This will be the first Christmas without them, and we all know how important it is to ensure their memories and the memory of their love for us carries on through the seasons. This will also be a magical time for family reunions, re-connection with friends and visits to childhood homes or other special places to connect with our history. If you are travelling overseas this summer, please remember to check the Safe Travel advice website and make appropriate plans to protect your family.
It's been a really demanding year for everyone. Our hospitality sector will be looking forward to bright skies and happy customers amidst festive drinks and dining. Our wider business sectors will be deserving a well-earned break after the challenges they have all faced. With inflation continuing to impact food prices I know many families will be tightening their belts while still working to make sure this Holiday season remains a magical one for their young families. If you are doing it tough this Christmas please make sure to reach out for support from services like 1737, Asian Family Services, Connected or Lifeline.
For the Summer shutdown period with Parliament rising in Mid-December my office will begin closing from 22 December and reopen in late January so everyone can have a much-deserved break. If you have anything urgent during this time, please message us via Facebook and we'll do our best to respond as office emails and phones won’t be regularly monitored during this time.
This summer and new year season will see fun times on beaches, great weekends in our local parks and brilliant nights out under the stars. I hope you all get the opportunity to spend this special time of year with your family, friends and loved ones.
To everyone around Auckland and across New Zealand I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable break.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and have a wonderful 2023!
RNZ/TVNZ Mega Merger Update
The National Caucus have been hammering the Government over it's wasteful spending plans that could see upwards of $6+ billion spent on the merger of RNZ and TVNZ into ANZPM, Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media. Incredibly respected leaders from New Zealand have come out in opposition to this Bill saying it is unsafe and would be detrimental to not just our media landscape, but our democratic values as New Zealanders.
Now we are hearing rumors thanks to Minister Jackson's train-wreck of an interview to promote the plan earlier this month, followed by an abysmal performance in the House last week, the Prime Minister is considering re-thinking the mega merger!
I'm cautious, but optimistic the Government will finally see reason and halt this merger no one has asked for and New Zealand doesn't want.
We are in a cost of living crisis, prices are soaring and many are struggling. A mega media merger is the last thing New Zealand needs right now.
In memory of Janak Patel
The whole nation stopped in shock and mourning as after months of increasing violent assaults, burglaries and ram-raids a violent killing occurred in Sandringham, the cultural heart of the Prime Minister's own electorate of Mt Albert.
Alongside other community leaders I mourn this violent and unacceptable tragedy that has left behind a widow and heartbroken parents.
The funeral, the vigils, the protests and the marches in the aftermath of this appalling event have made one thing very clear, more must be done to sop the violent crime and to keep our communities safe.
Not one more life should be lost to crime.
Now that arrests have been made and before the courts, our justice system will take it's course.
If you have any further information about the incident you can contact police using this link, calling 105 and citing 221123/3847 or, if you want to be anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers NZ on 0800 555 111
Rest in peace Janak.
As mentioned above my teams in Auckland and Wellington will be taking a well deserved break after the House rises on Wednesday Evening with my offices being fully closed by 22 December; they will gradually re-open from Mid January.
If you have an urgent inquiry you can reach out via Facebook Messenger and we'll do our best to respond as soon as possible. Please note our office phone-lines, emails and mail are not be actively monitored over this period.
From Matt, Tao, Jo and the entire office team
Have a great Summer Break!
National List MP based in Auckland
Authorised by Melissa Lee Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Do you like this page?