Melissa Lee's Christmas Update 2021

Merry Christmas Everyone!  ‎ 

🎅‍🎄 ‎‍🎄 ‎‍🎄🎅

Just a short note to wish you and your families the very best for a wonderful Christmas time around New Zealand. 

This has been a really challenging year for so many around our country with lockdowns, closed borders and economic struggles hitting home throughout 2021. 

Let's hope 2022 brings better things and a beautiful summer break!

 


Christmas Cards

Every year I send out hundreds of Christmas Cards to Community leaders, locals from around Mt Albert and Auckland as well as the many people who have supported me as a Member of Parliament.

I believe Christmas Cards are a great way to express your appreciation for friends and family, particularly during a period of time where we all haven't been as able to see each other face to face. Thank you to all those who have sent me your Holiday greetings whether by Post, through Social Media, Email or in person, it's really appreciated!

I'm looking forward to being out in the community again over the summer break and (belatedly) celebrating the festive season with families and friends in Auckland!

 


Christmas in Auckland?

Below is a column I wrote a few days ago on the issues facing Auckland, our largest city during the Christmas season. It originally ran in the Ponsonby News just a couple of days ago.While we are now into the Traffic Light system and we can move a bit more freely around our country (and our city for that matter) there's still alot of uncertainty as we look ahead to 2022.

 Let me know your thoughts:

 

What will Christmas look like for Auckland?

As I write this column from my office in Parliament it is almost three months to the day since I was last here in our nation’s Capital working from the chambers in our House of Representatives following the Speaker’s ruling MPs from Alert Level 3 can return with conditions. I can tell you the way life in Wellington has an air of normalcy, albeit with masks the high fashion, in the city of public servants. Down here it is completely different to the experiences of the people of Auckland during the ongoing COVID restrictions. The Government in Wellington deciding our city’s fate have no idea what we Aucklanders are going through.

The rules we endure begin to feel farcical, we have no outdoor hospitality being allowed in Grey Lynn but fully booked restaurants bars on Courtney Place are serving those who make the decision to keep us Aucklanders locked down. While we await the proper rollout of the vaccine certification system, the My Vaccine Pass, that has just been released that saw the My Covid Record website repeatedly crash and, of course a future traffic light system not coming into place until at least the week before Christmas with heavy restrictions still remaining. Auckland businesses have been struggling hard, particularly with the added burden of shipping delays hurting their ability to do contactless trade with clientele due to supply chain and goods availability.

This is ridiculous. It is cruel.

We are looking ahead to summer (one that is seeing many major festivals and community celebrations already cancelled even as far ahead as the start of March) Auckland, let alone the rest of New Zealand, is going to be a tough one. Christmas will be particularly bare bones for those families who are now out of work, under employed or in significant debt because New Zealand has not gotten back in business, not just domestically but allowing effective engagement with the rest of the world.

Indeed, for many families I am now hearing the Christmas gift their young professional aged children are seeking is a one way ticket overseas to parts of the world where life has gone back to normal. A new brain drain may be beginning because of the misery of the MIQ lottery and a general sense the opportunities to aspire and innovate are leaving our shores.

Whether it is the cancellation of community carols or the year plus postponement of major international acts coming to New Zealand, it is clear to me that the government has been doing everything possible to cancel summer for Auckland. As I think about our businesses still unable to trade effectively around across our region from Ponsonby to Puhoi I can see so clearly that we need a Royal Commission into the Government’s lack of preparation for Delta. It has been an absolute shambles trying to determine the future of our city and nation with Ministers, the people in charge of the situation, arguing in public whether we Aucklanders are being given a state sanctioned allocated time to leave the city during the holiday period. At least we may now have a bit of clarity looking ahead to summer and can hopefully be prepared and even see loved ones across New Zealand.

I am privileged to be able to advocate for you again from the Capital. It is an honour as a List MP based in Auckland to be here again championing your storefronts, your families uncertain about your child’s education and the many other situations COVID and the Government have brought about.

Take care, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and best wishes for a better 2022.

 


The new National Party Caucus Lineup

Last week new National Leader Christopher Luxon announced the new National Party Caucus Lineup. I'm absolutely delighted to be reconfirmed by the Party leadership in the following Opposition portfolios and continue to serve within our Shadow Cabinet:

  • Broadcasting & Media
  • Digital Economy and Communications
  • Ethnic Communities

Every community around New Zealand is suffering as a result of the Government's lackluster handling of COVID and the ramifications this will have on the future of New Zealand. I promise to continue to champion your needs in my portfolios and work diligently to return National to Government in 2023. 


Merry Christmas!

My Auckland Office at 107 Great South Road will be shutting on Wednesday for the Summer as my hard working staff take a much deserved break to recharge for the New Year. I'm also advertising for a new part-time staffer based in Auckland so please check out the job listing and see if you or someone you know could be right for the role.

For the Summer shutdown my office will be closing on the Wednesday afternoon 22nd of December and will re-open in the third week of January.

If you have anything urgent during this time please message me via Facebook and we'll do our best to respond. 

Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2022!

 

 

Until next time!

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Melissa Lee
National List MP based in Auckland
Authorised by Melissa Lee Parliament Buildings, Wellington