News From Louise Upston MP: October 2015
News From Louise Upston MP: October 2015
Hon Louise Upston, MP for Taupo
In this issue
• One year on
• Out and about in the electorate
• Youth Parliament 2016
• Growing our local economy
• Beehive Buzz
• Other National news
• Upcoming events
One year on
One year on from the general election, activities in both the Taupo electorate and Wellington continue to be a hive of exciting events and new initiatives announcements by our National Government.
The National-led Government is delivering on its commitment to help all New Zealanders and families get ahead. We have extended free doctors’ visits and prescriptions to children aged under 13, extended paid parental leave, reduced ACC levies, and we are increasing benefit payments.
Many more New Zealanders have had the opportunity to own their first new home through our Government’s HomeStart programme.
Our businesses, schools and our communities have already started seeing the benefits of the ultra-fast broadband rollout.
The government’s investment in infrastructure has seen the completion of the first 4km of the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway, which when completed, will have generous financial spin-offs for businesses in the region. More info on progress of the NZTA project can be found here.
Out and about in the electorate
Locally, Taupo hosted the Taupo Business Awards and Taupo District Youth Awards. Sincere congratulations to Sian Moffitt who won the overall all-rounder award at the Youth Awards and to Aspiring Health who were crowned the Enterprise Great Lake Taupo Business of the Year.
The opening evening of the Cambridge Community Arts Council Exhibition titled "Art Attack" proved an exquisite experience featuring artists from across Waipa District and as far away as Whangarei and The Bay of Plenty. Entries included art work from students of St Peter's School, Cambridge, displays of ceramics created by past and present students and tutors of the Waikato branch of the Otago Polytechnic Art School.
Youth Parliament 2016
I have been visiting schools in the electorate and meeting with eligible students in my search for the Taupo electorate’s next Youth MP. There is still time to put in an application before the closing date of 9 October. Information on the selection process can be found on my website. All applicants will be invited to be a member of the Youth Advisory Council for Taupo.
Interviews will be held on 12 and 16 October and the successful applicant will be notified by 19 October. The successful Youth MP’s term commences on 25 January 2016 and he or she will attend Youth Parliament 2016 on 19-20 July in Wellington.
Growing our local economy
Regional Economic Development Caucus
I was thrilled to host four Parliamentary Colleagues from the Regional Economic Development Caucus Committee in Taupo. The programme focussed on the opportunities of our energy-rich district and included briefings from Mighty River Power and Contact Energy. We visited the Aratiatia Hydro Power Station and toured the Te Mihi Geothermal Power Station.
We also visited the Huka Prawn Park to see aquaculture and tourism opportunities from geothermal energy and visited Tenon, which is exporting high-value processed timber products using geothermal energy as a key part of their process. Overall the initiative proved a great opportunity to get an overview of the electricity market and regulation as well as discussions with organisations like Enterprise Great Lake Taupo and GNS about how we attract new investment to Taupo and create more jobs.
The South Waikato District Economic Development Forum
I hosted the inaugural South Waikato Economic Development Forum in Tokoroa. This initial meeting’s aim was to bring together the business community and national, regional and local government agencies to discuss a South Waikato District Growth Strategy in alignment with the Government’s strong focus on economic growth through its Business Growth Agenda and the Bay of Plenty Growth Study.
Attendees included the Waikato Regional Council, South Waikato District Council, South Waikato Drive Trust, Raukawa, prominent business people and organisations from throughout the South Waikato area. The South Waikato District growth should leverage off regional growth work already in progress which is led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Enterprise (MBIE).
Tokoroa Road Rail Terminal
I attended the official opening of the Tokoroa Road Rail Terminal, a partnership between RJ Lincoln Logistics and South Waikato District Council and supported by government agencies NZTA and KiwiRail. The 5-year road/rail terminal project includes a rail siding, hardstand, local road connection and a container loading and unloading area. It aims to generate employment, transport and storage business opportunities, encourage new business and provide an efficient freight solution that reduces the cost of doing business in the region. Find more information on the NZTA site.
Cutting the ribbon at the official opening
Trades through education and practical skills
I am passionate about our young people all having equal opportunities to get ahead in life. As the Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, it continues to be both a pleasure and privilege to meet young students across the country and witness the benefits of hands-on trades training. The campaign has received a boost through a further $19m in funding for extra 940 students to attend Trade Academies from 2016 and gain valuable study and practical experience. More info here.
Other National news
A new website has been launched, aiming to be a one-stop shop for information across a broad spectrum for our older New Zealanders and their families. Topics include the NZ Super and Super Gold schemes, finance matters and details of events aimed at our seniors. More info here.
Victims’ Information Line and Code
The Victims Information Line 0800 650 654 has been extended so that victims of crime and their families now have access to greater support. It is a free phone service which provides information to victims of crime and their families about what support services are available to them as well as information about the criminal justice system. It also connects victims to services and ensures crisis calls are directed to the correct agency. As of 1 October, this service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A new Victims Code further sets out how victims of crime can expect to be treated by government agencies and organisations that provide services to victims. The Code is available on the newly-updated Victim’s Information website.
Everyone, everywhere should know the right action to take before, during and after an earthquake.
The International ShakeOut Day of Action this year falls on Thursday 15 October and New Zealand will be the first country to participate, at 9:15am! We’re aiming to get 1.5 million New Zealanders to sign up to take part – which should also make ours the biggest (per capita) ShakeOut drill in the world! Once you’ve signed up we’ll keep you up to date with all the information you need to take part in the Drop, Cover and Hold drill. Find more information here.
Thanks to those that attended the Friendly Forum in Tokoroa on 5 October. I am looking forward to meeting you at the upcoming events in Taupo on16 October and in Cambridge on 6 November when fellow MP Jono Naylor joins us for morning tea. More details can be found on the website.
Have your say and submissions
You can also have your say through making a submission on issues that matter to you. Below are some of the open submissions currently before select committees.
• Building (Pools) Amendment Bill
– Have your say on this bill, which would update pool
safety legislation to reduce the compliance burden currently
imposed on pool owners and territorial authorities in
relation to residential pools while maintaining child
• Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Register) Bill – This bill establishes a Child Sex Offender Register that aims to reduce sexual reoffending against child victims, and the risk posed by serious child sex offenders by providing government agencies with the information needed to monitor child sex offenders in the community and providing up-to-date information that assists the Police to more rapidly resolve cases of child sex offending.
Flag Referendum – It is important that every New Zealander has their say. Look out for your voting papers in the mail.
You can contact me for appointments through my electorate offices on the following numbers or by email.
Cambridge Office: (07) 827
South Waikato Office: (07) 886 5554
Taupo Office: (07) 376 5563
Parliament: (04) 817 8242
Take care until next time.