Nicola's News: 11 August 2023

We’ve just come to the end of a recess week, with the final sitting block of this Parliamentary term starting next week. With only nine sitting days left of the 53rd Parliament, Labour will be using its majority to ram through as much legislation as it can – including the “Affordable Water Reforms” (AKA Three Water) and the disastrous new RMA.

News from around New Zealand shows our great nation is continuing to go backwards. Since the end of April, 8,000 more people have gone onto the Jobseeker benefit, bringing the total to almost 176,000.

In the last year, there were more than 2,000 breaches of home detention – an increase of 33 per cent since Labour came to office.

Fonterra’s announcement that the Milk Price will drop to $7/kg is devastating news for dairy farmers – rising interest rates and Labour’s excessive regulation of the rural sector mean many dairy farmers now need a Milk Price of $8.20/kg just to break even.

Only a National Government can turn this around and get New Zealand back on track. We have released over 30 policies to tackle to core issues impacting Kiwis, with more to come over the coming weeks. You can read some of our key policies to date here.

Ellesmere College rebuild

Education Minister Jan Tinetti is ducking and diving over questions as to why she’s cancelled the funding for the rebuild of Ellesmere College. You’ll note in the video below that, while she (incorrectly) tried to avoid the question on a technicality, the Speaker was having none of it!

Bearing in mind, in 2019 then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and then-Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced the school would get a $30 million rebuild – to be completed in 2024 – because “The school buildings were built in the 1970s and 1980s and there has been no significant upgrade since then. All but two of the school’s buildings are temporary relocatable classrooms and have experienced significant wear and tear. That’s not good enough and we are fixing it. This investment will see 35 new classrooms being provided, and the refurbishment of the existing gym and music suite.”

Unbelievably, after initially trying to dodge my question, she then failed to answer why the build has been delayed so substantially, or why it took four years to find so-called issues with the land.

This is just another example of the lack of care and investment from this Government into Selwyn – and a terribly sad example of Labour’s absolute failure to deliver for the students, parents and staff at Ellesmere College.

Check out my question to the Minister below.

West Coast visit

On Monday, I spent the day on the other side of the Divide with Maureen Pugh in Harihari and Hokitika to have a cuppa with some local farmers to discuss National’s plans for the agri sector.

All of our agriculture policy is developed from the grassroots, so it was good to get the perspective of farmers from South Westland as to what the most topical issues are for them.

And of course, as National’s spokesperson for Biosecurity and Food Safety, it wouldn’t be a trip to West Coast without paying a visit to Westland Milk Products in Hokitika to see their impressive operation.

Talking to farmers in Harihari

Getting a tour of Westland Milk Products in Hokitika

Out and about

During this week’s Recess I've been out doorknocking in Rolleston, Dunsandel, and Lincoln - and today I'm out in Leeston. Doorknocking is a great way to connect directly with people across the district to hear exactly what is on their mind and what is keeping them awake them awake at night. If you see me walking around the streets - please stop and say hi!

On Saturday, I attended the Selwyn Awards Gala Dinner to celebrate the best of Selwyn's communities, organisations, people, and businesses. It was a fabulous night - a huge congratulations to all of the recipients of awards. 

I always enjoy spending time in the far reaches of the Selwyn electorate so it was great to travel up through Arthur’s Pass to attend the Ōtira Tunnel Commemorations last Friday – it’s been 100 years since the railway tunnel that connected Greymouth to Christchurch first opened! Well done to all the organisers - there was such a huge turn out from people from all around the country – with so many family connections to this special part of the world!

Last weekend, I was thrilled to attend the opening of the new Darfield Fire Station. A huge congratulation and thanks to Chief Fire Officer John Chambers and your team. Volunteer firefighters play such an important part in our community and this new facility will allow the 40 members of the Darfield Volunteer Fire Brigade to continue to serve the Selwyn community, now with a fit-for-purpose station.

Earlier this week, I popped along to Rolleston College to have a chat with their Year 13s about my journey into politics and how Parliament works - with more than a quarter of Rolleston’s population being under age 15, it is really important to me to hear from our local students about the issues that matter to them. It was great to have a conversation with the students about the issues they think the Government should be dealing with – until the fire alarm cut the session short!


You may have seen our hoardings starting to appear all over Selwyn over the last couple of weeks. A huge thanks to everyone who has offered a fence or paddock for us to use!

If you're keen to show your support for National and have a sign on your fence - we'd love to hear from you! We have three sizes available - small and medium ones for fences, and large ones that go on frames.

If keen, please get in touch with us at [email protected] with your name, address, and what size hoarding you’d like and we'll arrange to get one up at your property.

Darfield Coffee Catch Up

I'll be in Darfield on Monday if you want to come and talk to me about an issue, policy, or just want a chat!

⏰ Monday 14 August 1:00pm - 2:00pm

📍 Darfield Bakery, 60 South Terrace, Darfield

Kind regards,

Nicola Grigg