As 2023 comes to a close I wanted to update you on a couple of things before Christmas and the summer break:
- The National government's first legislative wins
- Reopening of repaired State Highway 25A
- Christmas and the summer break
If you would like to get in touch with me please don't hesitate to contact my office by calling 09 572 0000 or emailing [email protected].
National's early legislative wins as the new Government
The last few weeks have been incredibly busy in Parliament as the new National government gets to work. We have already passed several pieces of legislation in line with our 100-Day Plan aimed at sorting out some of the mess left behind by Labour.
One of my first priorities as Transport Minister was to get rid of the requirement for Road Controlling Authorities (like Councils) to implement speed management plans, removing the need to impose blanket speed limit reductions around cities like Auckland. We also repealed the Ute Tax, which subsidised the purchase of expensive EVs and hybrids by unfairly imposing significant fees on some vehicles, like those needed by farmers and tradies for which there is no EV or hybrid alternative.
Another piece of legislation we repealed was that enabling Fair Pay Agreements, which could be initiated by a union and a small number of employees but applied to an entire industry, whether the majority wanted it or not. We also returned the Reserve Bank to a single mandate - to get inflation under control, and removed responsibility for the agency to target maximum employment, which was introduced by Labour and only distracts from their primary objective.
There is still much to do and we have signaled parts of our agenda for next year, including the repeal of the Three Waters legislation, the introduction of our new education policy, and an Independent Review into Kāinga Ora, led by former PM Sir Bill English.
State Highway 25A in the Coromandel reopened
Last week, I joined Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Coromandel MP Scott Simpson for the official reopening of State Highway 25A through the Coromandel Range, which was badly damage by Cyclone Gabrielle and has been closed since February.
The speed at which this important link has been repaired is impressive, with it done in under 10 months and coming in under budget too. It will hopefully serve as an example of how infrastructure can be done right in New Zealand and proves that, with the right plan and support, we don't have to wait years for complex projects to be delivered.
A huge thank you to the contractors and the team at NZTA who made it happen. This road is an important link for the Coromandel Peninsula, which has suffered greatly from its closure, so it is fantastic news to see it reopened before Christmas and in time for the busy summer period.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
I want to sign off my final email newsletter of 2023 by wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It has been a busy and exciting year as we have fought and won the election and changed the Government, but the holiday season and the summer break are a great opportunity to reset and look forward to what should be a better 2024.
Whatever your plans and wherever you go, please be safe, particularly on the roads. With a warmer summer anticipated than the last and roads like SH25A reopened, higher levels of traffic are expected over the next couple of months, so I urge you to be patient when travelling.
My office will be closed for a few weeks over the Christmas and NY break, from Friday 22 December until the 15th of January. As always we will be available to help in the New Year with any issues which you may need assistance with.
Once again, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a safe summer break. See you in 2024!
Member of Parliament for Pakuranga
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