Happy summer everyone!
It's been a beautiful New Year's break and I hope that you all have had the opportunity to enjoy our great Kiwi Beaches and Communities. Coming out of this week's National Party Caucus Retreat I'm absolutely geared up for the year at Parliament ahead!
Despite the recent risk of COVID-19 rearing up around the Northland and Hibiscus Coast communities in the last fortnight it has been a wonderful summer for people to enjoy with friends and family. The Beaches and Parks of the Auckland Region were a particular delight for me and my family.
This week we celebrated Auckland Anniversary Weekend and as I'm writing this I'm preparing to travel up to Waitangi for the ceremonials acknowledging our nation's heritage.
Waitangi weekend is a time to reflect on our nation, our democratic principles and what we can all do to ensure we all can have our say. I'm proud to be a National List MP working with a Caucus united in ensuring your voice is heard in the House of Representatives. Make sure to let me know your views at [email protected]
Freedoms & the Internet
Over the summer we've seen a number of shocking instances around the world as attacks on democracy, freedom of expression as well as the way we do things in the digital age have taken place. A few days ago I was asked my thoughts on a number of issues such as what my thoughts are on the proposed Australian 'Google Tax', how I feel about the 'de-platforming' that has happened on some Global Tech Platforms with many people across extreme ends of the political spectrum being removed as well as other issues related to Digital Media and content regulation.
Over the past few months around the world we have been seeing a tremendous growth in the power of speech on the internet, most importantly in the platforms of digital media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube just to name a few.
This power has led to amazing movements of change and exciting innovative ways of helping inform people during these times of uncertainty. It has however also made it easier than ever to spread misinformation or cause harm to ethnic and religious minority groups. As a Korean – born New Zealander I’ve experienced this myself. There are, however, important questions arising as to the role of individual nations and the global community in how much regulation, by platforms alone or enforced by the state and international stakeholders, will be needed to ensure harms are mitigated while free and open conversations can take place.
Our freedoms of expression we have in Aotearoa have to involve the freedom to be wrong and the freedom to be distasteful for them to be free. Unpleasant viewpoints being pushed into the shade allows them to foment and fester rather than be challenged in open debate in a rational, educated and democratic society. In New Zealand we celebrate our ability to have honest and tough conversations, whether they are about sensitive political issues, prejudice or personal decisions. I’m proud of our nation’s capacity to rational discussion and we should not take steps to curtail this.
I'm willing to have the tough conversations here at Parliament and to fight to keep voices being heard and keeping the debate open. That is what I believe is best about New Zealand.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Over the next few weeks across New Zealand many communities are celebrating and welcoming in the Lunar New Year!
So to everyone celebrating this month, have a wonderful Happy Seollal, Chinese New Year, Koshōgatsu, Losar, Tsagaan Sar and Tết!
The New National Caucus
Last Year National Leader Judith Collins announced the new National Party Caucus Lineup. I'm absolutely delighted to be reconfirmed by the Party leadership in the following portfolios:
- Broadcasting & Media
- Digital Economy and Communications
- Ethnic Communities
I am also delighted to have joined National's front bench team as we work to ensure that National returns to Government in 2023.
Our caucus across every portfolio will be fighting for you over the next three years. Whether you are concerned about education or health or the future of work, we will hold this Government to account and work constructively to get the best possible policy forward. The real work begins next week as Parliament resumes - make sure to tune in here to watch live!
New Office Location
Over the summer break I moved my office to 107 Great South Road in Greenlane. I'm currently hiring a new support team and will have news about them hopefully in my next newsletter. My new support Team in Auckland will be predominantly focusing on outreach to multicultural communities and I will be continuing to be involved in the Mt Albert Community as well as an Auckland based List MP.
In the meantime please note that some Contact details have changed:
My new Office phone number is 09 520 0538 - if you dial the old one it will re-route either to this one or my Wellington Office.
The new Postal Address for the Auckland Office is PO Box 74271 Greenlane Auckland 1546
As usual you can always send postage free any information to my Wellington Office in Parliament at: Office of Melissa Lee MP, Freepost, Parliament Buildings, Private Bag 18888, Wellington 6160
My Email address at [email protected] remains the same and is regulary monitored.
National List MP based in Auckland
Authorised by Melissa Lee Parliament Buildings, Wellington
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