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Collins Comments – Christmas

23 December 2013

Collins Comments – Christmas

I’m honored to have enjoyed another exciting year serving Papakura as local MP. It’s heartwarming to meet people every day who have supported and welcomed me into their businesses, organisations and family homes. Your generosity and community spirit makes me so proud to be your local MP and I look forward to working with you in the New Year.

New alcohol laws

This December was a very busy month reflecting a year full of achievements for this Government. Our new alcohol laws came into force on the 18th December bringing more clarity and better enforcement tools ready for the holiday period. It’s important that everyone is aware of the new laws including the following:

• It remains illegal for people under 18 to purchase alcohol and doing so can result in a fine of up to $2000 or an on the spot infringement notice of $250. Lending ID and presenting a fake ID can also attract a $250 infringement notice.

• Express consent from a parent is now required before supplying alcohol to any person under 18 years old.

• There is a clearer definition of ‘intoxicated’ so that bar owners are less likely to put themselves at risk of a fine of up to $10,000 for serving ‘intoxicated’ patrons.

A positive change in New Zealand’s drinking culture won’t happen overnight but these laws are a great start and are receiving positive feedback so far from Police and other enforcement agencies.

New Coastguard Operations Centre

It was a pleasure to open the Coast Guard Northern Region Operations Centre this month after its $700,000 upgrade thanks to generous support from businesses and the community. This is a major development for the region and will allow the Coastguard to communicate more effectively with their partners. It was fascinating seeing and testing out some of the equipment which were amazingly complex and showed how far reaching the operations have become. It is reassuring, particularly during this holiday season, that organisations like the Coastguard and their countless volunteers are working tirelessly to keep us safe in and around the water.

Households and businesses to save on ACC levies

Because of ACC’s fantastic performance the Government has announced ACC levies for workers and employers will be reduced by $387 million next levy year. This means the average New Zealand household can expect to keep around $200 extra a year. Small businesses will also be around $180 better off annually and larger employers will receive, on average, a $6000 reduction. ACC is improving its performance for both claimants and levy payers and I congratulate the team for their terrific efforts.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

Finally, I hope you all take care this Christmas on the road, out on the water and around your homes so you can make the most of a wonderful Kiwi summer with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas!

Hon Judith Collins
MP for Papakura

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