Nicola's News: April 2024

It has been a busy month for the Government which we began by announcing new targets for the next 90 days, focused on delivering a world-class public service for all New Zealanders. Under the previous National government, I worked for Rt Hon Sir Bill English when he was Finance Minister and then Prime Minister, I have seen first-hand the positive impacts these ‘better public services’ targets (as they were known then) have on people’s lives. The nine new targets are focusing on core services that include health, law and order, welfare, education, housing, and environment.

For Selwyn farmers and growers, we have delivered on our promise to ease the compliance costs for those who use dams for water storage, we have appointed an independent panel of experts to review the existing scientific evidence and targets related to agricultural biogenic methane and, we have replaced Labour’s Three Waters debacle with the more efficient and democratic Local Water Done Well initiative - so Selwyn ratepayers will continue to own and direct their own water infrastructure.

Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA)

Selwyn has become an attractive location for younger families who are moving into the area for employment opportunities. However, accessing prime bank lending has proven to be difficult for those who want to buy their first home. We have listened to their concerns, and we are revoking the 11 pages of overly strict affordability regulations that were introduced in 2021. We want to ensure that Kiwis can access the finance they need with greater ease and confidence.

The previous regulations imposed excessive compliance costs and were a significant barrier to lending, which failed to protect the most vulnerable. These reforms will maintain essential safeguards to prevent financial hardships while removing unnecessary barriers, thereby protecting consumers from high-risk lending practices. The practical outcome of these reforms will be easier for locals to either buy or build their dream home.

Revised Three Strikes Law

The previous government was soft on crime, and unfortunately, Selwyn has seen a significant increase in the last few years.

We are committed to restoring law and order and imposing appropriate consequences on criminals. We are making it clear that repeat serious violent or sexual offences are not tolerated in our society – after all, every person has the right to feel safe in their homes, businesses, and communities.

This Government will ensure that sentencing for repeat offenders properly acknowledges the harm done to victims and communities. That is why we are reintroducing a revised Three Strikes Law.

We are sending a strong message that repeated offences will not be tolerated.

Landpower’s New Retail Hub Opening

I had the privilege of being invited to the official opening celebration of Landpower's new agricultural retail hub in Yaldhurst. This impressive facility is a result of almost five decades of hard work by Herby and Pam Whyte, and it is now one of the largest privately owned agricultural machinery distributors in Australasia, employing over 600 people!

This investment in the new facility is a clear signal to the farming community that agribusinesses have faith in our rural sector.

Woolshed Tour

Last week I had the pleasure of joining Mark Patterson on the government’s nationwide Woolshed Tour in Aylesbury, in the heart of the district.

We had a great turnout of local farmers, and some excellent ideas were shared. I’m always of the view that it is our farmers who are the end-users of legislation that affects the primary industry, so it is crucial that they have input into law changes. Now, we will be working with these farmers to address their concerns and further support the industry.

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 Friday, 10:00am - 4:00pm.

Kind regards,