Parliamentary recesses are a valuable opportunity for me to spend more time with constituents and I’ve been making the most of that over the last two weeks.
It’s heartening to be involved in conversations with our innovative local people who are planning ways to help with the Covid-19 recovery. The arts, business, education and energy sectors are working hard to get back on their feet and build jobs, while farming has again shown the way as the backbone of our economy.
I’ve met with a number of people who are concerned about the effect of Covid-19 on immigration matters. Some are hoping for permanent residency, others plan to bring family to New Zealand, others need to employ workers with skills that are unavailable in the current job market. Immigration New Zealand is working hard to clear a huge backlog of work, but if you or someone you know is worried about their immigration status, please make contact with my office and we will do what we can to assist you.
Another interesting project I’ve had discussions on involves ways to facilitate youth development and engagement in the areas of civics, governance and politics. The issue of getting young people interested in the democratic process has been gathering momentum in recent years and I’m in favour of anything that encourages active participation.
I’ve also spent time over the last fortnight sitting (via Zoom) on the Finance and Expenditure Committee. We’ve been hearing submissions on the Fuel Industry Bill. This bill introduces changes to wholesale market arrangements in the fuel sector to improve transparency of pricing and to provide for rules to ensure that wholesale contracts are transparent and fair. That’s something that has been top of mind in my Energy portfolio, where the effects of policy on household costs have been a real focus.
Thank you to those who came to meet Hon Judith Collins last week whether in New Plymouth, Inglewood, Hawera or at the Sandfords Event Centre. Among her other roles, Judith is National’s spokesperson for Regional and Economic Development. Her experience across a range of portfolios really shines through on occasions like this and it’s fair to say she articulated a vision that resonated with the crowds. We’re doing a similar round the mountain trip with Todd Muller on August 14th, keep an eye out for times and venues.
Parliament resumes next week, but if you have any issues that I can help with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MP for New Plymouth
National Party Spokesperson: Arts, Culture & Heritage
National Party Spokesperson: Energy & Resources