Welcome to 2022! I hope you’ve managed to have a good break over the summer holiday period or have one planned soon.
My break had a healthy balance of resting, recovering and much needed time with family I had been apart from due to alert level boundaries. It was also an opportunity to reflect on a turbulent last year when Delta came and caused such disruption to our lives.
We have all learnt that it pays to be adaptable and flexible as you never know what is around the corner. Undoubtedly, many of us have also realised that health and wellness are vital as we go forward into 2022 better equipped to deal with the unexpected.
Omicron has come around and is expected to spread widely in the community. The requirements of self-isolation for close contacts of a positive case will have a massive impact on those who are still working.
I will be meeting with social services agencies in the coming weeks to discuss how families who are self-isolating, are best supported with their welfare and wellbeing needs.
Businesses have also called for the reinstatement of the wage subsidy and resurgence support payments to ensure business contingency, and I will be working closely with them to engage with Government for support.
An emerging issue is the shortage of GPs in our rural communities. I’ve been approached by several people concerned about the lack of a permanent GP at the Tokoroa Medical Centre.
I’ve asked the Waikato DHB what they intend to do to ensure community health services do not suffer, and they have assured me they have measures in place for the contingency of care.
This includes having a doctor at the medical centre daily with a triage system whereby patients will first be spoken to or seen by a nurse to identify their needs and, if required, referred to a face to face consult with the doctor or the hospital.
Another focus for South Waikato this year is housing availability and affordability. South Waikato is growing and we need to ensure we are planning for building resilient communities and infrastructure to accommodate that growth.
We will also continue to fight the Government on its proposed Three Waters asset grab. There is still time to sign the petition if you haven’t already at https://www.national.org.nz/stop-the-three-waters-asset-grab.
Youth Parliament 2022 will take place this year, and Taupō Youth MP Sophia Goodrich and I are keen to explore opportunities for youth in the region, whether through work, training or apprenticeships. There is still some time to join the Youth Advisory Board and I’ll be promoting the opportunity at schools and on social media.
Finally, I wish you and your family health, prosperity and happiness as we get stuck into 2022. My team and I look forward to being of service to you. You can reach us on [email protected] or 07 886 5554.
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