Our new Dynamic Duo

With 5 plausible candidates to choose from, the 56 votes were cast neatly and amicably in 2 ballots. Our Caucus decided in just two hours and we are now all united behind our new leader Simon Bridges. Deputy Leader Paula Bennett gives Auckland a strong voice and with our enthusiastic leaders in place, our determined focus now is to hold this shambolic coalition government to account.

Fare Thee Well Bill

In an address that was funny, moving, and informative, Bill English gave his valedictory statement to Parliament ending an extraordinary 27-year career. It has been an honour to work with him in his various roles as Deputy PM, Finance Minister, and then Prime Minister.

Honouring the North Shore’s Best

There are many talented people in our community and in the New Years Honours we recognised some of those incredible North Shore people.

  • Aidan Bennett was awarded a QSM for his work with the AIMES Awards, and supporting local youth. Aidan is a President of the North Harbour Club. 
  • Dr Judy Blakey was appointed as a MNZM for her work in the community as Chair of the Mairangi Bay Arts Centre, and as a specialist medical practitioner on ageing issues.  
  • Helen Pollock was appointed as an ONZM. Her ‘Victory Medal’ sculpture was a feature piece in Arras during the WW100 celebrations last year. Her services to art, in particular sculpture, are vast, with a permanent display at the Naval museum entitled ‘As Above, So below’.
  • Bill Speedy was appointed as an ONZM given his work as director of Oceanbridge and their sponsorship of the ‘Waterwise’ programme and general water safety.
  • Paddy Stafford-Bush, the well-known Bayswater personality, and former Chair of the Devonport Community Board was awarded a QSM for her vast work in local politics.
  • Sue Stanaway is now a MNZM for her work with Hospice North Shore, and as General Manager of the Bayley’s Foundation. She is also a former member of the YES disability recourse centre.
  • Sonia Thursby was appointed as a MNZM. As CEO of YES Disability, Sonia has worked throughout the disabled community has achieved a great deal of success supporting those less able.

These people are the best examples of those who embody the North Shore spirit. As Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, I sat on the Honours Committee within cabinet, and I understand the rigorous process these extraordinary individuals go through to get a civilian award. If you want to nominate someone please contact my Takapuna office on 09 486 0005.

NZ Tractor Trek for Hospice

As a former Patron of Hospice NZ I was delighted to welcome the Tractor Trek convoy as it passed through Parliament on its incredible 26-day journey from Bluff to the Cape. They are driving to raise awareness and funds for Hospices throughout NZ.  Keep a look out for them as they come through Auckland, passing the North Shore as they head up north.

The Innovation Lunch

B:Hive here on the Shore, not to be confused with the one in Wellington, is an innovative new building at Smales Farm, which made the perfect spot for Nano-scientist, Michelle Dickinson, to speak to the North Harbour Club about innovation and developments with technology.


Census Day is Tuesday 6 March. You should have already received an electronic code in the mail to use to fill it out online. If you want a paper copy or haven't received your code, call 0800 236 787, and they will be able to get the census form to you. Don't forget to fill it out because the statistics are used for all sorts of government funding structures, especially DHB's. We want to get the correct amount of money to support our North Shore Hospital and keep it as one of the best in the country.

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