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A Year Of Success

18 December 2009

A Year Of Success

There are only six more days until Christmas. Everyone is looking forward to the Christmas break.

It has certainly been a challenging year. Immediately after the election it became clear that we were staring down the barrel of the worst recession since the 1930s. In the first half of the year the Government focused on the development of economic policy that would protect New Zealand jobs whilst preparing for the return of economic growth.

New Zealand has been fortunate that the recession was not as severe as initially thought. Part of that outcome was a direct result of the hard work of the Government in mitigating the effects; targeted tax reductions, reduced compliance costs, especially in the RMA and helping to protect the jobs of people through acceleration of capital programmes.

The other key issue of 2009 in this electorate has been the reorganisation of local government in Auckland. Parliament has passed legislation this year establishing the new Auckland Council and setting out the powers of the local boards (of which there will be three in North Shore). By the end of next year Auckland will be a single, unified city with a Mayor and dedicated Auckland Council.

These changes will streamline the bureaucracy and make it easier to get things done. Finally Auckland will have the governance in place to achieve its economic potential.


Last Friday I attended a graduation parade at the Devonport Naval Base. I presented the Minister of Defence Sword of Honour, the top prize for a graduating officer, to Midshipman Emma Burtenshaw. The Sword of Honour is awarded to an exemplary candidate in recognition of excellence and distinguished performance as a midshipman. Midshipman Burtenshaw’s course record was outstanding. Her success is a testament to the values of courage, commitment and comradeship which are the Navy’s watchwords.

It has been a busy year for the Defence Force. The operational tempo is high, with large deployments continuing in Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the Solomons. Other NZDF people are serving in many parts of the world.

The NZDF response to the Tongan ferry sinking and the devastating tsunami in Samoa and Tonga was superb. The rapid assistance provided to our Pacific neighbours is something of which all New Zealanders can be proud.

Midshipman Burtenshaw and her fellow graduates this year in all three services have exciting and rewarding careers ahead of them. Early next year the Defence White Paper will be completed. It will, when implemented, ensure that the NZDF has the people and tools to do the tasks that we ask of them. This year’s recruits at every level will be the leaders in performing those tasks at a crucial time in the evolution of the NZDF.


In closing for the year, I would like to thank the staff in both my Wellington office and the electorate office in Takapuna for all their hard work over the past year. It has been a very busy one, and especially with the change of Government, almost everyone has taken on a new role or additional responsibilities.

Finally as we head towards Christmas and the Summer holidays, I wish everyone on the North Shore a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Hon Dr Wayne Mapp   

MP North Shore    


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