Since my last update I made the announcement that I wouldn’t be standing for re-election in the 2020 general election and will be retiring from Parliament at the end of next year. It truly has been a privilege to serve as the Member of Parliament for the Wairarapa electorate. I look forward to the future with anticipation as I venture out of the parliament buildings and back into what many would call the ‘real world’. I’ve learnt a lot in my time here and wish prospective candidates all the best with the selection process. We need strong representation for the Wairarapa, and I look forward to seeing who will serve next. Until then, it is business as usual for me.
The Government to date have failed in their, so called, ‘year of delivery’, with countless election promises going out the door. The Kiwibuild fiasco is but the first in a line of promises the government has broken. The Prime Ministers’ recent trip abroad failed to distract from the mess she had left behind in the Labour party, and once again showing that her interest is outside of our shores. The End of Life Choice Bill is nearing the end of its journey through the house and can be seen to be getting closer to becoming law this side of Christmas. New Zealand First are pushing for the End of Life Choice Bill to be made into a referendum to enable the public to make the casting vote on this issue. As for me, I will continue to vote against the passage of the bill and hope that it doesn’t get to the point of requiring a referendum.
This has been the year for conscience issues with Abortion and drug reform both being debated. The Abortion reform legislation sets out to move abortion from the crimes act, it also liberalises the processes, enabling late term abortions. While I have voted in favour of the bill at the first reading, a decision I made to give it the chance to be altered and improved during the committee stage, I do however have some concerns with the bill as it stands and have the option of changing my vote at a later point. I have already received hundreds of emails and letters with people voicing their opinions on these important issues. As always, please feel free to get in touch with your thoughts on these and any other political matters that are on the upcoming agenda, or issues you feel need to be brought up.
The Zero Carbon Amendment Bill is a controversial piece of legislation which seeks to enable a clearer framework by which the government can implement future climate change policies, which in turn will allegedly assist in NZ making our Paris Agreement targets. This bill will hurt rural New Zealand. The Green Party agenda is something causing significant concern. Their enemy is not only the dairy industry but food producers and motorists too. Changes they seek to implement will only cause greater pressure on the already tight budgets of our families, with rises to food prices on top of the ever increasing rent, petrol and electricity prices. This government is making life harder not easier for every day New Zealanders.
The recent government release regarding waterway health has been of huge importance to our country and especially important to our farmers. The proposal would cause detrimental effects to the farming industry and we need to speak out. National have started a petition on this matter to show the Government that we want and support an increased timeframe for feedback. Farmers are being left out of this debate and it is not only incredibly frustrating but unprofitable to exclude those with actual hands on experience and a greater understanding of the changes that should and can be feasibly made. I encourage you to sign the petition here. Additionally, head to the National Party website to see the other petitions currently open. https://www.national.org.nz/extend_consultation_on_freshwater_reforms
Out and About:
Over winter we have kept the flow of visiting MP’s going with Todd Muller, Paul Goldsmith and Paula Bennett all touring the electorate. Plus last month I also hosted Ian McKelvie, Maureen Pugh and Lawrence Yule as we visited the south of the Wairarapa as part of Nationals Provincial Priority group. We discussed rural mental health and heard the concerning impacts forestry is having on rural NZ from local Mayors, farmers and agri-consultants. Having both the deputy leader and our new finance spokesperson visit were great highlights and they both immensely enjoyed their time hearing from the locals. Paula toured the north of the electorate with Dannevirke, and Waipukurau being her top spots this year.
I was pleased to attend both the Wainuioru River Care meeting last month as well as the Ministry for the Environment water consultation meeting in Carterton, where frustrated locals voiced their valid and varied concerns regarding suggested water reform. The message was clear, they don’t want this. Our farmers care for the environment, they make their livelihood from it, and so to vilify them is totally unnecessary and uncalled for. I welcome sensible consultation and suggestions on how we as a country could better work toward a healthier environment, but throwing the baby out with the bath water is never the way to go.
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! If you are unable to get to a meeting at one of our many locations, just flick me an email anytime on Alastair.email@example.com or call 0800 687 596