Nicola's News: February 2024

With the last month of summer officially over, many will be looking forward to the onset of some cooler weather. Throughout February fires have broken out in Kirwee, Rolleston, and the Port Hills. I would like to personally acknowledge and thank our local fire crews for their selfless work in keeping the lives and livelihoods of many Selwyn residents safe. We are fortunate in this district to have so many men and women who volunteer their time and efforts for our community.

Speaking of firefighting – but of a different kind - our Government has been making significant progress with our 100-day plan this month. Starting from the week beginning on 12 February, Parliament will again sit for four straight weeks to pass new legislation and repeal existing laws brought in by the previous government, which have proven detrimental to the people of New Zealand.

Ministers have been working incredibly hard to reach targets and fulfil commitments made during the election campaign, which I'm sure will be welcomed by the region.

One of the most important commitments has been to bring about law and order changes for all New Zealanders concerned with the rampant crime wave that has occurred over the past six years.

This includes abolishing the previous Labour Government's prison reduction target. Unfortunately, under Labour's soft-on-crime policies, there has been a 33 per cent increase in violent crime. Even Selwyn has not been immune from this, with data showing our local police attended 79 percent more crime call outs than they did in 2018. We're determined to ensure that there are real consequences for crime, and that the Courts and the Police can ensure that serious offenders are prevented from creating more victims.

Creating better health outcomes for Māori

This week the Government introduced a new bill in Parliament to disestablish the Māori Health Authority, which marks the beginning of a new approach to Māori health. This in no way means an end to our focus on Māori health - but we do not believe the provision of healthcare should be race-based, rather, it should be need’s-based.

We know the solutions for Māori communities come from Māori communities - not a centralised Wellington bureaucracy and we are committed to finding more efficient ways to work together with Māori to deliver solutions, as well as finding savings through the disestablishment which can go back into better health outcomes. Merging the functions of the Māori Health Authority and transferring its roles into the public health system means the health system keeps the expertise it needs to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders including Māori. 

Repealing Labour’s anti-democratic ‘Three Waters’

As promised during the election campaign, we are underway with work to repeal Labour’s Three Waters law changes to implement our own ‘Local Water Done Well’ policy.

Central to our changes is to restore local council ownership and control of water assets and provide flexibility to councils by enabling voluntary options to complete their long-term plans.

There are further plans to introduce two more bills to progress our changes shortly. The policy puts local decision-making and flexibility first, while ensuring water quality and long-term infrastructure investment. We are asking councils to lead the way in developing local solutions, including water services delivery plans.

This was a huge issue for residents across Selwyn over the past few years and I’m so pleased to be able to deliver on our commitments.

Supporting our farmers and growers

Selwyn is home to some world-renowned honey producers, and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay recently announced a plan to strengthen the honey industry's long-term resilience.

This news is sure to please our local beekeepers. The goal of our government is to double the value of agricultural exports in the next decade, and honey contributes significantly to this goal. In the year ending on June 30, 2023, honey earned $379 million for our economy. We plan to increase exports by improving existing trade agreements and establishing new ones.

We understand that when our agricultural sector thrives, so does New Zealand as a whole. Anyone in Selwyn knows that our local agricultural industry is one of the country's strongest.

Expanded Breast Cancer Screening

I’m so pleased to have been a part of a significant announcement impacting women across New Zealand with our government this month confirming that we are extending the free breast screening programme to women aged 70-74 as part of our 100-day plan.

Because of this extension, around 60,000 more women will be entitled to receive free breast screening. It is something we campaigned on because we know how many women and families are affected by breast cancer. Our government thinks this is incredibly important because we know that early detection and treatment is crucial, especially for cancers. Thank you to the wonderful group like the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ for all of your hard work and advocacy on this issue. Needless to say, when I return to parliament from maternity leave, I am looking forward to working on more women’s-health policies.

Upcoming events

March kicks off the Autum events in Selwyn which I'm really looking forward to attending.

The National Party team and I will have a stall at both Children’s Day this weekend and the Malvern Show on 23 March. If you’re at any of these events, please do come up for a chat – we’d love to see you!

Children’s Day

📅 Sunday 3 March

⏰ 11 am – 3pm

📍 Foster Park, Rolleston

Malvern Autum A&P Show

📅 Saturday 23 March

📍 Sheffield Domain, 91 West Coast Road

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, 10:00am - 4:00pm.

Kind regards,

Nicola Grigg