Nicola's News: 1 May 2023

It’s been a busy few weeks - with several key policy announcements from the National Party, getting around the region, and of course, Anzac Day.

Data released by Stats NZ this month showed food prices jumped 12.1% in March compared to the same time last year, and a Treasury report confirmed that Government spending has stoked the sky-high inflation rate we are currently experiencing. National’s plan to adjust tax brackets for inflation and introduce FamilyBoost means young families will be better off by up to $5,500 a year.

The number of people saying they were unable to get the mental health support they need has also increased by 80% under Labour. Despite announcing $1.9 billion funding in 2019, Labour has failed to deliver the improvement in mental health services and outcomes New Zealanders urgently need. Last week, National announced that we will help deliver faster access to mental health services for vulnerable New Zealanders by boosting community providers and NGOs. You can find our full mental health policy here.

With the average rent across New Zealand increasing $175 per week, National has also committed to repealing two of Labour’s recent tenancy law changes that have decreased supply and pushed up rents. We have already committed to restoring interest deductibility for rental properties and restoring the brightline test to two years, down from 10 years under Labour. Last week, we also committed to reverse Labour’s removal of no-cause terminations, and the provisions which see fixed-term tenancies roll into periodic tenancies in most cases.

Policy announcement - Delivering more nurses and midwives

As we all know, New Zealand’s health system is in crisis, with a severe shortage of nurses and midwives contributing to ballooning waitlists, delays accessing treatment, and dangerously overcrowded emergency departments - something we are especially experiencing here in Canterbury.

New Zealand does not train enough nurses or midwives to address this shortage, and the ones we do train are being aggressively recruited to move overseas.

Yesterday, Christopher Luxon and Dr Shane Reti announced our plan to deliver more nurses and midwives into the health workforce. Under National, the Government will pay nurses’ and midwives’ student loan repayments up to $4,500 a year for the first five years of their career. This means that a nurse, or midwife would be $22,500 better off over five years.

National will also make New Zealand more competitive in the global competition for skilled workers, by allowing qualified overseas nurses and midwives to come here on a six-month temporary visa without a job offer to look for work and to bring their immediate family members with them.

You can read our full health workforce policy here

Policy announcement - Getting back to Farming

National understands how important farming is to rural communities and to lifting New Zealand’s earnings, and I was proud to announce our Getting back to Farming plan alongside Christopher Luxon and Agriculture Spokesperson Todd McClay this month.

Farmers deserve recognition for their efforts to reduce their environmental footprints. But since being elected in 2017, Labour has tied farmers up in red tape, introducing more than 20 new or updated rules that have added compliance costs, without any meaningful environmental change.

National will repeal much of the red tape Labour has introduced. Our Getting back to Farming package of 19 changes backs farmers while protecting the environment. National will:

  • Deliver smarter rules for the future
  • Supercharge the rural economy
  • Get Wellington out of farming

You can read our full policy with all 19 changes here.

Anzac Day

It was an honour to attend Anzac Day services on behalf of the National Party around the Selwyn District last week.

With Selwyn being home to the Burnham Military Camp, it was a privilege for me as the Member of Parliament to attend their dawn service, to acknowledge and pay tribute to our servicemen and women both past and present.

Following the dawn service, I also attended remembrance services at Darfield, Rolleston, and Lincoln.

I am always impressed by the level of support from the community at all the services hosted across the district, and the importance we all place on paying tribute to our servicemen and women.

Our community has been enriched by the NZ Defence Force and we honour their service.

Attending the Darfield remembrance service

Honoured to be the guest speaker at the Lincoln remembrance service

Out and About

We have just finished a three-week recess from Parliament, where I have spent as much time in and around the electorate as possible.

Over the last few weeks I have held eight coffee meeting at cafes around the district, hosted a pub politics night in Dunsandel, spoke to the Rolleston Central Probus group, collected for the Templeton RSA on Poppy Day, and met with dozens of constituents in my office. I have also knocked on hundreds of doors in different towns and delivered thousands of fliers.

We have a great team of volunteers who help deliver fliers around the region, but we can always use more! If you’re keen to spare an hour on the weekend to share National’s vision and policies for New Zealand, please flick the team an email at [email protected].

In the news

I joined Jamie Mackay on The Country to talk about the Government’s ban on live exports.

I talked to the Malvern News to explain National’s first agricultural policy Getting back to Farming.

Click here to listen

Click here to read (page 10)

Kind regards,

Nicola Grigg