The economy, infrastructure and health were all hot topics for discussion at a public meeting I hosted for National Leader Simon Bridges in Campbell’s Bay recently. 

More than 250 residents turned out to the Pupuke Golf Club to chat with Simon over a cuppa about the issues that matter to them. Our morning tea was part of Simon’s three-month-long tour of New Zealand, where he connected with over 10,000 Kiwis at 70 public meetings.

His message to the people of the Shore was that this government is borrowing more, taxing more and spending more, but they’re delivering less. In the process, they’re driving up the cost of living and making it harder for businesses to grow.

After the morning tea, Northcote’s new MP Dan Bidois, Simon and I were given a tour of the B:Hive, a co-working space for start-ups and tech companies located at Smales Farm in Takapuna, which will be home to over 100 businesses and 900 workers once it is fully occupied. It’s a genuine hub of enterprise and it has to be said, it’s rather more productive than the Beehive in the capital is currently.

Grow North’s goal is to accelerate the growth of local technology companies. The project is supported by Massey University, BNZ, and Auckland Council in partnership with Smales Farm, Shore Junction, ecentre, and the North Shore business community.

The innovation district encompasses Auckland north of the bridge, and is home to 20% of the country’s highest revenue technology export businesses. With Grow North’s help, tech companies on the Shore are able to grow faster than the rest of New Zealand.

One of the biggest threats to business growth on the Shore and around the country is this coalition Government’s proposed employment law overhaul. The changes will result in fewer jobs, higher inflation, and increases in the cost of living, which will inevitably be accompanied by more strikes.

If you’re worried about a return to union-dominated collective bargaining please join me and north-of-the-Harbour-Bridge MPs Erica Stanford and Dan Bidois on Friday 7 September at 7:30am for a business breakfast with Hon Scott Simpson, National’s spokesperson for Workplace Relations and Safety.

Our complimentary breakfast meeting will be held at Netball North Harbour. For more details and to book, please call my office on 09 486 0005 or email by Monday 3 September.

Public hearings for the End of Life Choice Bill, which seeks to change the Crimes Act to allow culpable homicide and assisted suicide, are now in full swing and as deputy chair of the Justice Select Committee I’ve been travelling around the country listening to the thousands who have asked to have their views heard.

The committee has heard from people with disabilities who are frightened by the complete lack of adequate safeguards for vulnerable people. We’ve heard from medical professionals, the vast majority of whom are opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide. We’ve heard from youth mental health workers who are convinced that this bill will make their jobs harder because it sends a message that suicide is an acceptable response to suffering.

Supporters say the law is about choice, but the so-called right to die would swiftly become a duty to die for many. In my view, a better way to achieve death with dignity is to invest more in world-class end of life palliative medicine. That’s why I’ve drafted my ‘Access to End of Life Palliative Care’ member’s bill which is currently in the ballot. It would put obligations on the Minister of Health and DHBs to ensure New Zealanders have a right to palliative care wherever and whenever they need.

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