Summer holidays this year will be a time to reflect on some of the changes 2017 delivered both personally and politically. Obviously it was a disappointing election outcome for Nationals supporters and not what the 23,009 people of North Shore who cast their Party Vote for National wanted - but that’s MMP for you and we are getting on with being an effective Opposition.
It’s been a privilege for me and a lifetime highlight to date, to have had portfolio responsibilities for conservation, arts culture and heritage and seniors over the past three years. I am honoured to have been elected for a third term as the MP for North Shore and to be part of talented & energetic 56 strong Caucus. The battle to get National back into government by 2020 has already begun in earnest.
As Nationals spokesperson on Conservation and Deputy Chair of Parliaments important Environment Select Committee I’ll be firmly holding this government to account in particular around conservation. We’ve already seen evidence of the extreme green approach of the new Minister and the coalitions refusal to commit to the goal of Predator Free NZ by 2050, the War on Weeds or Battle for our Birds, does not bode well for our fragile environment.My focus next year as your local MP will be to fight for the North Shore to have a fairer share of Auckland Councils spending. Our business and property owners contribute around $80 million annually but it’s hard to find much evidence of our Rates money being spent here on the Shore, for example on much needed and long overdue infrastructure investment starting with the nightmare that is Lake road. With the rates hike next June likely to be much higher than this Mayor and Council campaigned on and the new regional fuel tax and some form of water tax, many local constituents especially those on fixed incomes are understandably worried.
On a personal level, our priorities changed earlier this year when my partner Grant was struck down with Legionnaires disease and we are very grateful for the excellent medical attention he received and he has now made a full recovery. To cut a long story short we decided to get married later this year and we are looking forward to a long and happy life together. We both wish you all a very enjoyable festive season and a safe summer holiday .