We’re fast approaching the end of another busy year, which has been full of constituent assistance, MP’s visiting the region, research into Energy & Resources (which I have responsibility for) and a full programme of Select Committee and Parliamentary business.
Immigration concerns have been among the main worries for constituents coming to my office in 2019. From farms to workshops to healthcare, migrant workers have proven vital to support our country’s progress and they add richness and diversity to our culture. There have been extended delays in visa processing which have been distressing for local families. Constituents have also given me their views on the End of Life Choice Bill (Euthanasia), and Arms legislation. As well, there were issues around access to housing, medical treatment and social services.
Helping people work through these issues is a big part of being an Electorate MP and I’m grateful for the positive and willing attitude my own staff have with constituents, as well as assistance from local staff in government departments.
I’m always proud to promote the great things that are going on in the electorate, and National Party MPs tell me they like to visit because they are guaranteed a warm welcome. This year we have had visits covering the environment, agriculture, business, education, housing and law and order from Erica Stanford, Dan Bidois, Gerry Brownlee, Nicola Willis, Paul Goldsmith, Todd Muller, Brett Hudson, Judith Collins and of course Simon Bridges, who drew a large crowd at the Plymouth Hotel in New Plymouth.
The enterprise and enthusiasm of local businesses has again impressed me this year. We should all be proud of those who help generate our country's jobs, and the incomes individuals and families need to live.
Large and small there's much to admire here, from startup businesses like Absolute Radiology and Ruru House early childhood education centre, to longstanding icons Tegel and Hooker Pacific, to leaders like EHL Solutions and Hiringa Energy with their alternative energy plans. Likewise, Tui Ora, Zeal, our schools and community organisations have had an incredible year. It’s a privilege to represent such a vibrant part of the country.
My responsibilities as National Party spokesperson for Energy and Resources have taken me all over the country and around the world this year. I have gained some valuable insights on how systems work and how we can look to have secure and affordable energy while moving to lower emission options.
2020 will be a big one for our country and I look forward to catching up with you during the year.
From my family to yours, all the very best for a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.