More than a million New Zealanders voted to continue with a National government, and the result we’ve ultimately ended up with is not the outcome the 23,009 people of North Shore who cast their Party Vote for National wanted. This election delivered a very disappointing result for our supporters and for the first time in New Zealand's electoral history, the party with the highest number of seats and votes is now in opposition.
Many constituents who've spoken to me are really unhappy at the unfairness that ultimately our fate was not delivered by the voters but at the whim and hubris of Winston Peters. He’s the clear winner with a large loot bag of baubles and a disproportionate amount of influence thanks to a Labour and Greens leadership which was prepared to trade everything and anything for power. How stable will this three legged stool of a coalition be when they disagree on so many fundamentals around the economy, trade, migration, health and education? What will happen to Nationals goal of Predator Free 2050 when Winston First are against the use of 1080, the most effective tool to control predators and the Greens have control of Conservation and Climate Change but only as Ministers outside Cabinet?
Of course we have to accept the outcome but through the peculiar coalition auction process led by Peters - awarding power to the highest bidder - ultimately National has retained its integrity and we did not sell our souls or betray our values.
It has been a privilege for me and a lifetime highlight to date, to have had Ministerial portfolio responsibilities for conservation, arts culture and heritage and seniors over the past three years. I'm proud to have been elected for a third term as the MP for North Shore and to be part of a talented & energetic 56 strong caucus. I will be a staunch advocate on behalf of you as my constituents for issues that matter to the North Shore. I will be very focused on holding this coalition to account.
In my opinion, Bill English won the election campaign hands down and he was right when he said National is in very good shape and will be by far the largest and strongest opposition that parliament has ever seen. The 52nd Parliament will be sworn in shortly and with the combined energy of our re-elected MPs and the backing of our supporters, the battle to get National back into government by 2020 will begin in earnest.
Locally there’ve been two important arts and culture events recently - one of our prominent local arts patrons is being honoured this month. Along with the PumpHouse Theatre family, I salute Genevieve Becroft who was instrumental in the rescue, renovation and redevelopment of our 112-year-old pumping station. In a fitting tribute this month the Pumphouse names its indoor theatre after her.
And Devonport’s grand old Victoria Picture Palace theatre has just had her 105th birthday. Grant and I enjoyed the celebratory event and it’s great for our community that she’s still going strong as a cinema and performing arts space.
If you want to discuss any issues either call my Takapuna office on 09 486 0005 or email us to make an appointment firstname.lastname@example.org.