Nicola's News: 15 April 2023

Parliament is currently on a three-week recess, which is giving me the chance to spend as much time in the electorate as possible. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m aiming to hold as many events around the region as I can, including hosting drop-in sessions at cafes, and an evening pub politics event – see more later in the newsletter.

Some may have seen this week the Government finally decided to add more health sector workers to the immigration green list – a whole year after the Ministry of Health pleaded with the Minister for more support. Worse still, an urgent letter on behalf of all 20 DHBs was sent to officials in July 2021 warning of impending health workforce shortages and requested immediate changes to immigration settings. Again, the Labour Government refused to act. The current melt down in services we are seeing in Canterbury is a direct result of that.

There was also bad news last week for everyone with a mortgage. Despite hopes that there would be a drop in the Official Cash Rate, the Reserve Bank instead increased it yet again – meaning even further financial pain for many families.

Half of New Zealanders with a home loan are going to have to re-fix their finances within the next six months – this latest raise means many will see their interest rates double from 3% to more than 6%. With the average house price in Selwyn being around $830,000, those with a mortgage are going to have to find hundreds of dollars more every fortnight just to pay the interest.

National has a plan to fix inflation, which you can check out here. We will strengthen New Zealand’s economy by restoring careful fiscal management, backing productive businesses and reducing the pressure of inflation on interest rates.

Policy announcement - Electrify NZ

Earlier this month, Christopher Luxon announced that the next National Government will cut red tape to drive a surge of investment in renewable electricity generation so New Zealand can double its supply of affordable, clean energy and become a lower emissions economy. It makes no sense to encourage the shift to electric vehicles if the power comes from burning coal. New Zealand must have enough renewable electricity to meet the rising demand.

The current planning system puts barrier after barrier in the way. A new wind farm can take ten years to complete – eight years to obtain resource consent, and two years to build. The Resource Management Act is the greatest barrier to New Zealand reaching its climate change targets. Labour’s proposed new RMA laws will only make this worse.

National will:

  • Turbo-charge new renewable power projects including solar, wind and geothermal by requiring decisions on resource consents to be issued in one year and consents to last for 35 years.
  • Unleash investment in transmission and local lines by eliminating consents for upgrades to existing infrastructure and most new infrastructure.

Read more about our plan to Electrify New Zealand here.

Health public meeting

Over the past few days I’ve had National’s Health spokesperson, Dr Shane Reti in Selwyn. On Thursday I hosted a public meeting with him to discuss the turmoil in the health system right now. It was no surprise that there was a huge turnout, with standing room only.

Labour has utterly failed on health. Under this Government, surgical waitlists and ED wait times have skyrocketed, and staff are under enormous strain due to workforce shortages.

National will prioritise this vitally important issue. We will rebuild our health workforce, bring back clear and transparent targets, and focus spending on frontline services - not Wellington bureaucracy.

Meet your MP

Selwyn is a big electorate, so I try my best to get around as many places as possible to make myself available to you.

I'll be at cafes around the region on Tuesday 18 April and Thursday 20 April. Come and join me for a chat - no appointment needed, just show up! Simply look out for the ‘Meet your MP’ sign on a table once inside.

Tuesday 18 April

  • 9:00am: Les Délices bakery, West Melton
  • 12:30pm: World Famous Sheffield Pies, Sheffield
  • 2:00pm: Hororata Village Bar & Cafe, Hororata

Thursday 20 April

  • 10:00am: Dunsandel Store, Dunsandel
  • 11:15am: Suburban Eatery, Leeston
  • 12:45pm: The Store @ Tai Tapu
  • 2:00pm: Union Fare Eatery, Prebbleton

Click here for more information.

Pub Politics

If you can’t attend any of my daytime events at cafes around the region, then join me for a drink at the Dunsandel Tavern!

This casual event will run from 5:30pm on Thursday 27 April. Come along to discuss any issues or concerns you have – or just say hi!

Click here for more information.

In the news

I joined Hamish and Becs on Rural Exchange to discuss live exports, food and mouth disease, and wilding pine control.

I joined Newstalk ZB’s Politics Friday panel with John MacDonald to talk about the issues of the week.  

Click here to listen

Click here to listen

Kind regards,

Nicola Grigg