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Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Masterton

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It’s busy, but there’s much more to do

It’s been a busy few months in Parliament and across the electorate, and I am pleased to be able to update you on work to date.

There’s no doubt it’s tough in homes and businesses at the moment. Farmers and growers are feeling the pain of drought, low commodity prices and high interest rates. Reduced spending is affecting retail expenditure and tourism, and the high cost of living is creating stress for everyone. The last Government created a debt burden that has weighed heavily on all of us. There’s no magic wand to wave – getting inflation under control means some tough decisions.

Out of necessity, everyone’s watching every penny. With community-wide belt tightening it’s only reasonable that the Government should be looking for value out of every tax-payer dollar spent. In these tough times this Government has prioritised support to those on low-to-middle incomes who need a helping hand. This week saw the start of a new tax year and some increases in payments to parents, students, pensioners, and people on main benefits. Every bit counts.

Even though money remains tight, the Wairarapa community has put a good deal of energy into bringing joy – at Children’s Day events, the Wairarapa Balloon Festival, the Summer Hummer and more. Golden Shears is a keystone event for our farming community, alongside Young Farmers competitions and A&P shows. Thank you to all those involved in making these events happen. Pleased to see the Greytown Winter Festival announce its return to our annual events calendar – we all need some sparkle when times are tough.

Thank you to the staunch band of volunteers that continue to support some of Wairarapa’s most vulnerable, and to those working to raise awareness and funds for mental health support through events such as Shear4U. These volunteers and all the work they do sum up everything that’s good in our communities.

Life in the Wairarapa will get back on track. In our first 100 days in Government, we delivered on all 49 promised actions. We stopped work on wasteful projects to reduce government spending; we scrapped the Ute Tax; we stopped further blanket speed reductions; and have begun work on reversing speed limit restrictions, banned student cellphone use during the school day, and required primary schools to teach one hour a day each of reading, writing and maths, and much more.

We have new targets for the next quarter with 36 actions to achieve by June 30. Having clear goals is refreshing – they will support this Government to deliver a stronger economy for New Zealand. The new plan is focused on three key areas: rebuilding the economy and easing the cost of living, restoring law and order, and delivering better public services.

To deliver on our promise of easing the cost of living, we will pass a budget that reduces wasteful spending and takes pressure off inflation. We will legislate for personal income tax relief and up to $75 a week to help with early childhood education costs.

To deliver on our promise of restoring law and order, we will push ahead with extending rehabilitation to prisoners on remand and work on the Three Strikes law; we will set clear and robust targets for improving public service outcomes. We will launch our Attendance Action Plan to get kids in school and back to learning.

I am hearing positive feedback from constituents across the electorate about our focus on reducing wasteful spending, back-to-basics approach to education, listening to our farming and business communities, drought relief support, tough approach to anti-social Kainga Ora tenants and more.

I’m opening an office in Masterton later this month and encourage you to drop in to say hello and share what’s on your mind. My staff and I will also be available to you at regular clinic sessions throughout the region. In the meantime, contact me at 0800 MP MIKE or
[email protected].

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