Nicola's News: 14 March 2023

Because there is so much going on at the moment, I have decided to make these newsletters fortnightly rather than monthly. Please feel free to share with your friends.

As many will be aware, the Resource Management Act lies at the heart of environmental and infrastructure planning. The 30 year old piece of legislation has become an unwieldy beast that is no longer fit for purpose – and National fully supports a full repeal and replacement.

Labour’s long-awaited RMA reforms, however, are falling apart only months after the introduction of the first draft.

Before Christmas, Minister David Parker trumpeted his two new Bills as fundamental reforms of our planning laws that would make things happen faster, cheaper and better. However, the Environment Select committee heard submitter after submitter point out that the Bills will make things worse, not better.

Worse still, despite the Infrastructure Commission being set up in 2019 with cross-party support to provide expertise and advocate for the delivery of infrastructure in New Zealand, ministers have muzzled it by instructing it not to submit to the Environment Committee on the proposed new RMA laws.

After five years of work, it is frustrating Labour has produced a package that will do the opposite of what it says it will do. National is reserving its position on the reforms but there is a strong case that the Government should seriously consider going back to the drawing board.

Read more from National’s RMA spokesperson here.

National's FamilyBoost package

As I’m sure you’ll be aware, the cost-of-living crisis is hurting households across New Zealand, and Selwyn is certainly not exempt from this. We are conscious that families with young children are particularly vulnerable right now, with the majority of these families needing two incomes to keep the household afloat.

As you know, the increased cost of living is a big problem for many of our families and, more-often-than-not, it’s the mothers who forgo their careers and incomes to stay home and care for children. It is not right that parents should have to choose between paying for early childhood education and their mortgage. This is not a decision that New Zealanders with young kids should have to make, but it is the reality many Kiwi homes are facing right now.

For this reason, National has announced our FamilyBoost childcare tax rebate to support young families dealing with the cost-of-living crisis. This rebate will mean that eligible families will receive a 25 per cent rebate of their early childhood education expenses, up to a maximum of $75 per week. We have estimated that this will help 130,000 families nationwide, and thousands in Selwyn.

This is just the start of the National Party’s policy proposals, which we’ll continue to roll out throughout the year. You can be assured that education is high on our list of priorities.

More information about FamilyBoost can be found here.

Upcoming Public Meeting

I will be hosting a public meeting with National’s Agriculture and Climate Change spokesperson, Todd Muller, next Monday 20 March at the Lincoln Event Centre from 5:30pm – 6:30pm.

Todd and I are very keen to share our thinking and policy ideas to support New Zealand’s farming and agricultural sector – please do come along to discuss these important issues with us.

More information is available here.

Out and About

It’s been a great month of events so far, with two of the highlights being the Rolleston Lions' annual colour fun day, and Rolleston Children’s Day hosted by the Selwyn Parenting Network.

One of my favourite parts of this job is connecting with our community at events such as these – and to appreciate all the hard work that goes in behind the scenes by volunteers to provide fantastic events across our region.

Garden Tour cancelled

Unfortunately, we have decided to cancel the upcoming Surrey Hills Garden Tour fundraiser. While this is disappointing, wet conditions have meant that the garden won't be in its best autumn condition. We hope to run this again in spring and will be in touch with details closer to the time.

Anybody who has already purchased a ticket will receive a full refund over the coming days. Please email the team at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Upcoming Events

Over the next few weeks, the Selwyn National Party team and I will be hosting a stall at a range of events across the district. This Saturday we will be at the Leeston Fete from 10:00am – 3:00pm, and later this month will be at the Malvern A&P Show, West Melton Fete, and South Island Agricultural Field Days. You’re more than welcome to pop along and meet me and the team - we’d love to chat!

Here to help

As always, my team and I are here and available to help.

You can get in touch with us by emailing [email protected], phone 03 344 2800, or pop into the office in Rolleston Square between Monday and Fridays.

Kind regards,

Nicola Grigg