Each year around this time it’s customary to look back on the year that’s gone. It seems to me that this particular year has been incredibly busy and has gone very quickly!
I take my responsibilities as an electorate MP very seriously, and helping people who are having trouble with a government department is a key part of the role. The areas of concern for constituents coming to my office this year have again centred on access to Work and Income, the District Health Board, ACC and Housing New Zealand, but by far the biggest issue has been immigration. There have been a number of cases from around the coast of worried farm workers, while partnership visa worries have increased markedly. The End of Life Choice Bill, Euthanasia and Arms legislation have also all generated a great deal of interest.
As well as my constituent clinics in Opunake, this year I’ve held meetings for farmers, over-65s and those with an interest in the Government’s firearms changes. I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to attend, and also Bob Clark who has been tremendous in helping organise these gatherings.
2019 has been an active year in my other responsibilities of chairing the Economic Development, Science & Innovation select committee at Parliament, and portfolios of Regional Economic Development and Energy & Resources. Enormous amounts of research are required to keep on top of the latest issues and initiatives. In particular I have gained some valuable insights on how systems work and how we can look to secure our energy supplies while moving towards a lower emission economy.
I’m looking forward to a big year in 2020. Already a number of National Party MPs are lined up to visit the electorate, following a full programme this year, which covered education, the environment, agriculture, forestry, finance, technology, policing and business. MPs tell me they always enjoy coming here because there are so many interesting people to meet, they always get a warm welcome and there is so much for them to see.
This year, my office will close from December 20th to January 13th over the Christmas break.
I hope that the festive season brings you everything you wish and that you can spend some quality time with friends and family.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
MP for New Plymouth
National Party Spokesperson: Energy & Resources
National Party Spokesperson: Regional Economic Development (NI)