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Melissa Lee's February 2022 Update

February 22, 2022 Share

Hi Everyone!

With 'Red' Traffic Light settings and rising Omicron case numbers we are now facing yet another period of uncertainty hurting our community while we continue to work together towards getting New Zealand back to normal. While there are significant illegal protests around Wellington and other centres we cannot not ignore the wider frustrations that COVID-19 restrictions have made to law-abiding New Zealanders. We need clarity about the future of lockdowns, restrictions and the divisive issues that are breaking apart the 'team of 5 million'. 

As National Leader Chris Luxon said this afternoon, mandates are now becoming increasingly less relevant in our highly-vaccinated population as Covid becomes endemic in society globally. We need to see the mandates removed progressively once we are through the peak of Omicron and I believe it is vital we open up the border right now for vaccinated Kiwis coming home from anywhere in the world who has received a negative test while making firm plans for the future of tourists and visa holders to get back on shore with RATs and PCR tests available for anyone that needs them

Please remember my Auckland and Wellington Offices are open and here to help.

 

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Omicron and Auckland

February 21, 2022 Share

 

Like many of you I’ve found it incredibly challenging to see our local businesses go through so much hardship due to COVID-19 over the past two years and Omicron hasn’t helped. The Government has announced minimum wage increases in light of massive rising inflation and this will cause strain on small businesses who, with declining revenues and countless restrictions on trade, are finding it tougher than ever to keep their storefronts open. This hasn’t been helped by New Zealand dairies, supermarkets and liquor stores seeing a 25.7% increase in victimisations and theft skyrocketing by over 32% in that time.

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Melissa Lee's Summer Update 2022

December 20, 2021 Share

Happy Summer Everyone!‎ 

Welcome to the New Year and best wishes to all of you for a great summer.

I hope you were all able to explore a bit of our great country over the break. 

We've now moved back to 'Red' Traffic Light settings and this will be an incredibly tough time for many as we face down COVID-19 for another uncertain time. The entire National Team is disappointed at the way the Government has failed to back New Zealanders and my thoughts are with everyone affected around New Zealand and stuck off-shore.

My Auckland Office is open again to help so please reach out if you need any support!

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Marketing code only a small step in improving New Zealand’s digital future

November 08, 2021 Share

The Commerce Commission’s ruling that broadband speeds must be advertised as actual peak-time speeds rather than theoretical maximums is the right one but long overdue, says National’s Digital Economy and Communications spokesperson Melissa Lee.

 

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Government Digital Services are dropping the Ball

October 21, 2021 Share

Alongside the significant drop in Crown digital support, the refusal of the Government to invest further in the Ultra Fast broadband rollout and constant attacks on the cyber border of New Zealand, a nation with more than 40% of our population under lockdown conditions, we are drastically dropping the ball when it comes to the provision of confident Government Digital Services.

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The Power of Journalism and the Future of the Global Fourth Estate

October 21, 2021 Share

This year two journalists were announced as the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Winners. They are representative of a community in the tens of thousands globally working to hold the powerful to account from the world of politics, economy to the armed forces. Across every political arena, public advocacy and community in the pursuit of the facts, the power of journalism to inform and to strike out as an independent voice, at the risk of imprisonment or personal harm, is truly one of the greatest examples of putting service above self in the pursuit of growing a globally informed society.

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Melissa Lee's October Update

October 13, 2021 Share

Hi Everyone!

While COVID-19 restrictions have slightly loosened, allowing us to reach out and support local businesses allowed to operate during Level 3, I wanted to reach out and let you know my Office teams in Auckland and Wellington are still here to support you all. My Wellington office in Parliament is operating and my Auckland team are available to support you while working from home. 

Email my team at [email protected] if you need any advice or support.

I am here to help!

Melissa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Great Facebook Calamity of 2021

October 05, 2021 Share

This week across the world but particularly here in New Zealand, a great calamity struck millions of netizens with the fall of Facebook’s platforms due to internal network issues. Gone was the Facebook App, gone was Messenger, MessengerLite Instagram and WhatsApp. Even Pokémon Go was affected by the sudden and dramatic disruption on the way so many of us now engage online.

It was a shock to the systems of many and shock is the right word, because, Facebook has now become one of the primary tools for communications and information dissemination within global culture. Facebook and its platforms have, whether they intended or not, become an archive of human history and endeavour as digital photo albums and Facebook posts replace hard bound leather bundles, diaries and scrapbooks of our parents’ generation or the oral histories of our ancestors

The effect of the Facebook outage is still unknown at the time I write this but it is amazing to think of how much of our lives could be lost if Facebook were to permanently disappear overnight. How many late night messages between friends and loved ones could vanish into the ether of the digital abyss? We simply have no clue as to the societal damage but I imagine it would be likened to a mesh of the Fires of the Alexandria Library mixed with the personal feeling of a cherished family home burning down. How many of you have backed up your Facebook data and how many of you will be doing so the moment the platform is restored?

 

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Protecting your Data during COVID-19 – Your Privacy Matters

September 23, 2021 Share

As I write this column and think about the extra weeks of economic hardship still ahead for many Kiwi businesses in the Auckland region during Level 3 and across Level 2 in the rest of New Zealand. I am finalising a proposed Member’s Bill to tackle the significant privacy harms that are becoming clear stemming from contact tracing data misuse by both the Government and those collecting it. Whether we like it or not, the continued bio-surveillance of New Zealand remains a necessary evil still to fight COVID-19 for managing and attempting the prevention of outbreaks. However, we should expect and frankly demand that any data captured by the Crown and businesses alike be held securely.

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Melissa Lee's Spring Update

September 10, 2021 Share

Hi Everyone!

While COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions have put a dampener on the start of Spring I wanted to reach out and let you know my Office teams in Auckland and Wellington are still here to support you, your businesses and your families.  Flick my team an email at [email protected] if you need any advice or support.

We are here to help!

Melissa

 

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