What a mild autumn it was this year. From the north of the electorate right down here in Parliament, we hit the jackpot with the weather up until this last week when the cold snap has well and truly hit.
Parliament has made the news a fair bit over the last few weeks regarding the culture and work environment. Parliament is a very unique and high pressured environment, but that does not give any excuse for poor behaviour or people behaving in an unprofessional manner. Bullying, intimidation, alleged physical misconduct are all things that our Parliament should be totally free from. The Francis review which was released recently showed some concerning trends which Parliamentary service have committed to improving. The new Parliamentary Service General Manager has taken on the role with a strong desire and plan to make Parliament the best place for people to work. A work place that is held in high regard, with high standards and that employees the best people who are all working together for the good of the country. I am pleased to see there are already positive changes happening in the building and look forward to further improvements in the coming months.
Parliament is just heading into a three week sitting block which means more time here in the house debating all the issues of the day. Coming up in the very near future will be the second reading of the End of Life Choice Bill. This bill was first introduced to Parliament two years ago by Act Leader David Seymour. The Bill had its first reading 6 months later where it passed with 76 votes in favour to 44 votes opposed.
I voted against the Bill at its first reading and will continue to vote against the Bill. Some of you may know I held a public meeting in Carterton where we had a few hundred people turn up and share their very personal and touching stories. I had a panel of experts from both sides of the debate speak and answer lots of questions. I found this meeting to be a really effective way of hearing your views. I, along with all the other MP’s have had countless emails over the last 18 months with people sharing their stories and thoughts on the subject. The select committee had more submissions on this bill than any other, showing what an important, contentious issue this is. This bill is being put through Parliament in what is known as a conscience vote, meaning the Members of Parliament do not have to vote in any way aligned to their party. Each individual has a right to vote personally on this very important piece of legislation. As I said above, after much consideration, I have decided to vote no to the bill.
Recently I have also had some positive media around my Drug driving bill. There is a new petition in Parliament seeking action against Drugged Driving.
Drugs kill more kiwis on our roads than alcohol does and it is time this Government took action. Associate Minister Genter claims they care about creating safer roads, yet they are denying Parliament the ability to put my bill into action which has the ability to save lives. Once again this Government is proving to be all talk, no action.
Out and About:
I was fortunate enough to host Simon Bridges in the electorate at the start of May with a day jam packed full of visits, from the hospital to Lansdowne home, to JR’s orchard, to Juken Timber Mill and of course we had to find time for a wee break at the Clareville bakery for a delicious lunch. Simon and I also had a fantastic debate with the kids of Kuranui College, where they took out top prize with the biggest round of applause from the crowd. The issue of blanket planting of forestry was raised and continues to be a hot topic for the entire electorate.
Last month I also had the chance to talk with a bunch of school children, I had kids from Hadlow School visit me in Parliament and I was able to chat with the kids at South end School when I recently visited them in Carterton.
I got to Tullochs open day as well as spending some time at the 72nd Maungahina Stud Bull sale last week. The Greater Wellington BFEA Supreme winner’s field day last month down in Palliser Ridge was also a highlight.
I’ve had meetings all over the place from Napier, to Auckland, Christchurch to Rotorua, it’s been a busy autumn for me and I’m ready now to crack into winter. Everyone stay safe and warm and all the best for the cooler months!
As always please don’t hesitate to get in touch, I have a team right across the electorate who are more than happy to hear your thoughts and see if there is any way we can help you out!
My team are located in Waipukurau, Dannevirke, Woodville, Pahiatua, Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Featherston and Martinborough! You can find the office contact details here.
If you are unable to get to a meeting at one of our many locations, just flick me an email anytime on Alastair.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 687 596