Latest News

News from Louise - Join me Live tonight, 8pm

August 24, 2021 Share

I will be going live tonight, Tuesday, 24 August 2021, at 8pm on Facebook to reflect on issues being raised by many of you and yesterday's announcement. It will be great if you can join me and share your thoughts, concerns and ideas. 


Businesses can now apply for Wage Subsidy and Resurgence Support Payment (RSP)

As of today, Tuesday 24 August 2021, businesses that have seen a 30 per cent drop in revenue since Tuesday last week due to the Covid lockdown will be able to start applying for the Resurgence Support Payment. Businesses can already apply for the Wage Subsidy August 2021 payment. 

The Wage Subsidy August 2021 is a payment passed through to employees. You can apply for a contribution towards your employees' wages (or yourself, if you are self-employed) for two weeks. The wage subsidy payment is $600 a week for each full-time worker (20 hours a week or more) and $359 a week for part-time workers retained. Application is through the Ministry of Social Development and is $600 per week for each full-time worker (20 hours or more) and $359 a week for part-time workers retained. The subsidy is available at alert levels 3 and 4, and you will need written permission from your employees to apply for the wage subsidy on their behalf.

The Resurgence Support Payment is a payment that businesses can use to pay other expenses like rent if they face at least a 30 per cent reduction of revenue due to an alert level increase to alert level 4. Eligible businesses can apply through Inland Revenue for a payment of up to $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees, while sole traders can receive up to $1900.


Suspension of Parliament is wrong

The Prime Minister has unilaterally decided she is suspending Parliament, thereby impacting MPs abilities to ask her questions directly and hold her to account for decisions on our behalf. It is now that we need to be able to exercise our democratic right to ask questions, and by shutting down our ability to do so directly, the Prime Minister's decision is mind-boggling and avoids scrutiny of her Government's actions.  Read Leader Judith Collins' press release.  


Vaccination target vital to avoid future lockdowns

The Prime Minister came on the AM show this morning and said she doesn't believe in setting vaccination targets. She feels that people will have a 'she'll be alright' attitude and not get vaccinated if there was a target. We've said that New Zealand needs to set at least a 70-75 per cent target of eligible New Zealanders to avoid future countrywide lockdowns. In addition, our slow start to the vaccination programme means that many frontline and essential workers have to turn up to their jobs without vaccination. Leader Judith Collins share her thoughts on this issue here.  


Rural NZ is being bombarded with pointless and onerous regulations and rules

Labour's latest regulatory hurdle for rural water schemes shows it is deeply out of touch with provincial New Zealand, National's Rural Communities spokesperson Barbara Kuriger and Local Government spokesperson Christopher Luxon said.

The Three Waters reform debacle is already a direct attack on local democracy and now the Water Services Bill that will see rural water schemes that supply water, for example, between a farmhouse, dairy shed, and worker's house targeted. The potential compliance cost and administrative burden for farmers will be significant. National will be opposing the reforms until issues are addressed, and we have launched a petition against the Water Services Bill. More information on this here.  


Lack of MIQ capacity for skilled dairy farmworkers

The latest lockdown could not have come at a worse time for dairy farmers who have started calving their cows. Farmers are telling me they are working extremely long hours because there aren't enough workers, placing additional strain on farming families already under the pump. My colleague Joseph Mooney MP has launched a petition seeking 500 allocated MIQ capacity for skilled dairy farmworkers. More on this here

News from Louise - Alert level update - 20 August 2021

August 23, 2021 Share

You may already have heard that the alert level 4 lockdown has been extended for all of New Zealand until Tuesday 24 August, 11.59 pm.  

I just wanted to touch base and remind you that my team and I are working from home and available to help if you need it. Watch my video message here 

Please do reach out if you need any assistance or clarification of what alert level 4 means for you, your family and your business.

You can call or email us at:

You can also like my Facebook page or follow me on Instagram where I am posting regular updates and other bits of information. 

Our parliamentary activities are continuing as an essential service and more information on our work on issues such as Three Waters will be circulated shortly.

I hope you and your family are doing well. Stay safe, stay strong.

Kind regards

Useful links for businesses

Business.govt.nz - COVID-19: Information for businesses. 
Business Helpline - If you have questions about alert levels, how to access Government business support or general resources, the helpline is free - 0800 500 362 for the North Island, or 0800 50 50 96 for the South Island.
Financial Support Tool - If you are experiencing financial pressure, the financial support tool can help you find out what financial support is available whether you are an employer, are self-employed or a sole trader.
Wage Subsidy Scheme - Eligible employers can apply for support if they expect a loss of 40% of revenue due to alert level increase. The payment is so that employers can keep paying staff and protect jobs. Applications open at 9 am on Friday, 20 August 2021, for two weeks.
Resurgence Support Payment - Available for small businesses that experience a loss of 30 % of revenue due to alert level increase to level 2 or higher. Eligible businesses can apply to receive up to $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee, up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees. Applications will open at 8am on 24 August 2021.  

News from Louise - August 2021

August 13, 2021 Share

School is back, and hopefully, your children enjoyed some good fun! 

Winter sure has felt quite chilly these past few weeks, I hope you are staying warm.  It certainly didn't help that our electricity grid failed to meet expectations when we needed it to.

My print tabloid should also have hit your post boxes by now. If you didn't receive a copy and would like one, please contact my team at [email protected] 

This month we celebrated our farmers during Farmworker Appreciation Day.  I joined Judith and Martin Bennett on their farm with Sourav Sharma, Manager and Jordyn Doyle, Farm Assistant, to talk about what a career in farming means to them.   Check out our awesome celebratory video further down. 

The National Party also held its Annual General Meeting, and I am excited about the work ahead for us addressing the issues and aspirations that matter to you. 

A reminder of our upcoming public meetings on Climate Change and Fair Pay Agreements. Climate Change Spokesperson Stuart Smith MP and Workplace Relations Spokesperson Scott Simpson MP will join me and we would love to see you there.  RSVP below.

Thank you to everyone who regularly comes along to share your views and ideas at our meetings.  If you haven't been as yet, I hope to see you soon!

Kind regards,


Celebrating and appreciating Farm Workers!

I joined Judith and Martin Bennett on their farm with Sourav Sharma, Manager and Jordyn Doyle, Farm Assistant to talk about what a career in farming means to them. View our video here


Opportunities to meet me

Climate Change Public meeting with Stuart Smith MP, Spokesperson for Climate Change

  • Taupō - 18 August, 5:30pm - 7pm, Motutaiko Room, Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre, 14 Northcroft Street.  RSVP here

Fair Pay Agreements roadshow with Scott Simpson MP, Spokesperson for Workplace Relations 

  • Cambridge, 3 September 9:30am - 11am, Cambridge Health & Community Centre, 22A Taylor Street, Cambridge. RSVP here
  • Taupō, 3 September, 2pm - 3.30pm, Motutaiko Room, Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre, 14 Northcroft Street.  RSVP here

Live with Louise on Facebook

  • Tuesday 7 September, 8pm.  Please send me your questions and join me on the night to have them answered.  You can watch last month's session here if you missed it.

Join the Debate

If you want to have a say in your future, demand the debate, and sign up to receive updates on these and other vital issues facing our country.


Connect with me on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

You can also watch my speeches in the House here.

News from Louise - July 2021 update

July 15, 2021 Share

Engagement campaign determines priorities 

We held a series of interactive workshops with different interest groups during our engagement campaign over the past few months to determine priorities for Cambridge, Tirau, Putaruru, Tokoroa, Taupō and Turangi and surrounding communities. 

I was really encouraged by the positive ideas shared by a diverse group of people and organisations that included tourism operators, accommodation providers, farmers and business networks.

We also met with Indian business and Filipino communities, community organisations, parents, youth groups and seniors including Greypower and residents of Retirement villages to hear their views.  

I will be reporting back on our agreed priorities through my mid-yearly print newspaper.  It is currently in print and should be hitting your mailboxes soon, so keep an eye out for it.  

In addition, we've hosted several MPs in the electorate this year so far, including Dr Shane Reti, Deputy Leader, Michael Woodhouse MP and Chris Luxon MP.  Michael joined us as Spokesperson for Transport at our C2P public meeting in Cambridge while Chris Luxon joined us in Taupō to share his journey so far. 

In August and September, we will be joined by Stuart Smith MP and Scott Simpson MP, details further down.

I have also been catching up with many of you at our regular Friendly Forums and Coffee Catch ups, while others have joined me online on Facebook during our monthly "Live with Louise" sessions. These are held once a month on a Tuesday at 8pm and topics are wide-ranging from UTEs, car tax, hate and free speech, He PuaPua, MIQ to name a few. 

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to come along and share your thoughts with me.  I look forward to updating you regularly on actions arising out of our conversations.  If you have any concerns, whether about your community or the direction of our country at the moment, I really would like to hear them, so please do join me at one of the future meetings detailed below. 

  


Post-Budget events

Our post-budget breakfasts hosted in Cambridge, Taupō and Tokoroa were well attended, with discussions varied.  Overall, businesses reported finding it hard to recruit staff even with the increase in JobSeeker numbers reported by MSD and current immigration settings not helping either. 

High freight costs and the increasing cost of doing business due to current Government policy settings are already showing in the rising cost of living. 

The sentiment in the room was that in this year's budget, the Government overlooked business favouring spending on social services. 

Business owners are calling for pro-growth Government policies and I outlined five quick win policies that the Government could implement.  I have elaborated on those in our print newspaper, so keep an eye out for them.


C2P a decade away 

Waka Kotahi NZTA announced that its Board had endorsed the business case for the Cambridge to Piarere Waikato Expressway extension.  However, disappointingly they also said that there is no funding to start construction on it before 2027!

Under a National Government, it would already be well underway after we committed to building it in 2017. National will continue to advocate for earlier funding of this vital project to get the road built and save lives. Read our update here.


Affordable housing development underway in Taupō 

   

It was a great pleasure to be part of the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the affordable housing development at Parawera Estate in Taupō recently.

This development is a long time in the making. I have to commend the developer David Duggan for his perseverance and tenacity over the past couple of years working with the Maori landowners Hiruharama Ponui to bring this project to fruition. 

The development will contain 15 affordable houses, each one with a private front and rear garden. They will be placed in the centre of the Parawera Estate close to the community facilities.

The 2-bedroom units are all single storey and suitable for non-disabled and mobility-impaired occupants with level access to the units.  Well done again, David!


Celebrating our volunteers

We recently celebrated our volunteers from across the electorate.  The theme this year of Volunteers Week theme was ‘Recognise, Connect, Reimagine’. 

It was apt considering the incredible effort of our volunteers during the past two years helping communities get through an ongoing pandemic.  Volunteers are the backbone of the community and we are so lucky to have so many people who give their time tirelessly and selflessly to others.

We had over 25 organisations represented at our celebrations this year and it was great to sense the strong camaraderie in the room.  Once again, thank you for all you do!


Demand the Debate

From issues such as He Puapua to the Ute Tax, I'm hearing from people that they are starting to feel left out on decisions being made by the Government that affect all of us, but without opportunities to have our say.  At the same time, more than 4000 children are left to grow up in motels and mental health services are in crisis.  If you want to have a say in your future, demand the debate, and sign up to receive updates on these and other vital issues facing our country.


Opportunities to meet me

Howl of a protest

I will be attending the Taupō Groundswell protest on 16 July.  We will meet at Miers Contracting in Reporoa, 198-4 Butcher Road, Reporoa 3083 at 11am and convoy into Taupō.  If you are planning on joining the convoy in town instead, the assembly point is the Lakeside Car Park opposite the Mini Golf at 12:00pm.  Contact is Gavin Watson, 022 600 7223.


Coffee Catch Ups

  • Taupō - 17 July, 9am, Baked with Love, 11 Gascoigne Street. RSVP here

Friendly Forums 

  • Cambridge - 23 July, 10am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street. RSVP here

Climate Change Public meeting

  • Taupō - 18 August, 5:30pm - 7pm with Stuart Smith MP, Spokesperson for Climate Change.  Motutaiko Room, Suncourt Hotel, 14 Northcroft Street.  RSVP here

Fair Pay Agreements roadshow - Hold the date!

  • Taupō and Cambridge, 3 September with Scott Simpson MP, Spokesperson for Workplace Relations.   Details to follow in our next newsletter.

Live with Louise on Facebook

  • Tuesday 3 August, 8pm.  Please send me your questions and join me on the day to have them answered.  I look forward to seeing you online!  

Hon Louise Upston MP for Taupo

Labour leaves Waikato to wait a decade for C2P Extension

June 27, 2021 Share

The announcement that the Waka Kotahi NZTA Board has endorsed the business case for the Cambridge to Piarere Waikato Expressway extension is progress, but it is disappointing that there’s no funding to start it before 2027 when under a National Government it would already be well underway, National’s MP for Taupō Louise Upston and MP for Waikato Tim van de Molen say.

“We committed to building that road in 2017,” Ms Upston says.

“While the Board’s endorsement yesterday is a positive step, with no funding allocated for nearly a decade, there is still a long way to go before any sign of construction starts.”

Mr van de Molen says, “it is encouraging to see Waka Kotahi NZTA’s acknowledgement of the importance of this project, but we now need to get the Government to understand this is not something that can wait a decade.

“We know the road is critical; the local community knows it and local businesses know it.

“The Government are seemingly the only ones who don’t recognise the safety, social and economic benefits of this road for one of the key regions in New Zealand.”

Ms Upston says this progress is thanks to the hard work of National MPs, including Transport spokesperson Michael Woodhouse, who visited twice this term. National will continue to push with the community’s support to get the road built.

Ms Upston says she wants to “thank everyone who has signed petitions, attended public meetings, and made their voices heard by writing to ministers.

“You can all be proud of your efforts so far and we appreciate your continued support to ensure the Government builds this road.”

Mr Van de Molen agreed saying, “while this is welcome news, National will continue to advocate for earlier funding of this important project to get it built and save lives.”

Media contact: Ani O’Brien 021 848 812

Taupo Maternity Postnatal Stay restrictions unacceptable

June 14, 2021 Share

Lakes DHB’s decision to restrict the opening hours of the Maternity Unit at Taupō Hospital at night and during weekends for postnatal stays due to a lack of staff put mothers and their babies at risk, says Taupō MP Louise Upston.

“I’ve been in regular contact with CEO Nick Saville-Wood at Lakes DHB, and he assured me in December last year that the DHB has addressed staff shortage issues affecting birthing and postnatal care at the Taupō Hospital.

“To hear that women may now need to be discharged after giving birth during a weekend or at night, or go to Rotorua Hospital if they want any postnatal care, is simply unacceptable.

“Babies don't arrive on set days.  Women are entitled to up to 48 hours of in-patient postnatal care in a maternity facility of their choice and the DHB has an obligation to ensure uninterrupted service provision to Taupō women.

“My proposed 3-Day Postnatal Stay Members Bill will increase this entitlement to 72 hours because National recognises how important this time is to mothers and their babies.

“However, when I sought Labour’s support of my Bill, the Associate Minister of Health, Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, said “she believes the current legislation already meets the needs of women who require longer in-patient postnatal care and suggested the Government remained committed to improving maternity care for women, babies and whānau through the public health system”.

“Well, the reduced operating hours of the Maternity unit at the Taupō Hospital due to staff shortages do not match the Government’s commitment rhetoric then,” says Ms Upston.

Figures obtained under the Official Information Act suggests DHBs are facing critical health workforce shortages, including midwives. Lakes DHB had 58 staff vacancies as of 30 March 2021 across all sites operated by the DHB. These include 5 midwives and 28 nurses amongst others.

Ms Upston says the Government has talked up its health restructure package of $486 million, but have failed to produce any concrete plan or policy to increase the supply of critical health workers including midwives.

“As a result, our DHB is having to push back and shut vital facilities like our Maternity unit at Taupō hospital due to its inability to provide postnatal care as it doesn’t have enough staff.”

Ms Upston says mothers and their babies should not be collateral damage for the Government’s inaction on addressing the critical issue of healthcare worker shortages.

“Taupō needs a 24 hour, 7 days a week service for birthing and postnatal care. Women and babies will pay the price of the restricted opening hours of the maternity unit and that is unacceptable,” says Ms Upston.

Anyone with concerns about their postnatal stay entitlements when giving birth at the Taupō Hospital is encouraged to get in touch at [email protected]

Figures obtained under OIA – Lakes DHB Staff vacancies as of 30 March 2021

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887

 

News from Louise - Budget 2021/22

May 21, 2021 Share

The Labour Government has announced their plan for moving New Zealanders back to prosperity through its Budget 2021/22

It's titled the "Wellbeing Budget" however, this isn't a budget that is aspirational for all New Zealanders's wellbeing.

It shows no actual plan to grow the economy nor does it detail how it intends to reduce the ever-growing debt that will become a burden for generations to come.

All New Zealanders are feeling the pinch right now, not just those on benefits. This was an opportunity for the Government to take an all-inclusive look at how it can help everyone in New Zealand get ahead.

It is clear that there has been an escalation in hardship in the last few years which started before COVID. Benefit increases will assist many in hardship.

Yet, there is nothing in this Budget for low or middle-income earners in New Zealand. Nothing to ease the burden for families who don't receive a benefit, but whose rents too have jumped by $100 a week.

There is no extra money for those who have seen their power bills increase due to the impacts of the oil and gas ban by this Labour Government but who don’t qualify for additional financial support.

There is also no plan for how to support those on benefits to get back into work.

Businesses have seen their costs of doing business rise through minimum wage hikes and unionism but they too have largely been overlooked.  Those SMEs that can't find skilled workers due to this Government's immigration settings still don't have any certainty that their outlook will be any less bleak this year.

Business groups, Chambers of Commerce and employers associations have expressed their disappointment at the lack of real benefits for business in this year's Budget.   

The EMA had “hoped for better growth projections and more practical support for businesses.” BusinessNZ called the Budget a “missed opportunity for growth”.  PwC’s analysis of the Budget acknowledged the investment across several of Labour’s priority areas but also noted: “it is less clear how this Budget will help businesses to continue their recovery in a COVID-19 world.”

So, where is the actual plan to take the entire country back to prosperity? 

A National Government would be more aspirational for New Zealanders. We don’t want Kiwis to just exist on a benefit. We want them to have jobs, to prosper and to have a future.  Watch Judith Collins' speech here.


Where your money goes - quick facts

Photo credit: Felippe Rodrigues, Stuff


Opportunities to meet me to discuss Budget 2021/22

I'm hosting Post Budget Breakfasts, Coffee Catch Ups and Friendly Forums where we'll be discussing in more detail what this year's Budget means for our businesses and communities in Cambridge, South Waikato and Taupo.  I'll also be going live online on Facebook and hope you can join me with any questions you need answers to.


Post Budget Business Breakfasts - RSVP essential for catering

  • Taupo - 27 May, 7.30am - 9am, Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre, Conference Room, 14 Northcroft Street, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 28 May, 7.30am - 9am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street, Cambridge.  RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 14 June, 7:30am - 9am, Lions Room, South Waikato Sport and Events Centre, 25 Mossop Road, Tokoroa.  RSVP here

Coffee Catch Ups

  • Turangi - 31 May, 1.30pm - 2.30pm, Hydro Eatery, 17 Ohuanga Road, Turangi.  RSVP here
  • Taupo - 11 June, 10am - 11am, Victoria's Cafe, 127 Tongariro Street, Taupo.  RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 12 June, 10am - 11am, Absolute Coffee House, 88 Alpha Street, Cambridge.  RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 14 June, 10am - 11am, Robert Harris, 284 - 294 Main Road, Tokoroa.  RSVP here

Friendly Forums 

  • Cambridge - 28 May, 10am - 11:30am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street, Cambridge. RSVP here
  • Taupo - 9 July, 10am - 11:30am, Rotary House, 12 Story Place, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 12 July, 10am - 11:30am, Tokoroa Community Link, Te Rakaunui Room, 8-10 Torphin Crescent, Tokoroa.  RSVP here

Fieldays

  • Visit me at National's stand at Fieldays on 16 - 17 June

Live with Louise

  • Tuesday 1 June, 7pm - I'm hosting a live catch-up online on Facebook on Budget 2021/22.  Send me your questions and join me on the day to have them answered.    

If you aren't already connected with me, please do visit my page and follow me to receive notifications of when I'm going live. I'm also on Instagram and Twitter.

I hope to see you soon, if you have any questions or need assistance in the meantime, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Hon Louise Upston MP for Taupo

News from Louise - April 2021 update

May 07, 2021 Share

April has been a month of highs and lows.  Highs because in our Taupo electorate our businesses are going from strength to strength, lows because our families and communities are feeling the pinch of a rising cost of living with more people relying on taxpayer support to get by each week.

Despite this, I've been meeting so many wonderful people out and about and am encouraged by the spirit shown.  I remain optimistic about our electorate's prosperity against all odds. 

Our community engagement campaign is in full swing and there are several opportunities for you to catch up with me at one of the upcoming engagement forums

We've also taken the fight to the Government on infrastructure causes such as the SH5 Napier - Taupo upgrade and the Cambridge to Piarere (C2P) extension to the Waikato Expressway with a public protest being planned in June.   I'd be keen to hear from anyone willing to be involved in the organisation of the protest.  

On a personal note, my daughter Jess and I completed three events as part of the annual Plunket Fun Run 2021 drive - exhilarating and fulfilling at the same time for a good cause.

Finally, May is Budget month. This year's Budget will have to be focused on creating resilience in our economy and our communities. I'll again be co-hosting our annual Post Budget Business Breakfasts in Cambridge, Tokoroa and Taupo in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, the South Waikato District Council and Amplify.

I'd like to encourage business owners and managers to join us for a presentation on what Budget 2021 will mean for you, your business, your family and economic development in our region.  RSVP is essential, details on the website.



      

Out and about

In April, we hosted Dr Shane Reti, Deputy Leader and Michael Woodhouse MP.  We’ve also met a variety of groups and businesses including Greypower, Cambridge Steel Products & Engineering and Westpac

The Women's Institute Cambridge branch celebrated its 71st Birthday.   I read out the minutes of the branch's first-ever meeting on 11 April 1950 and was presented with a commemorative badge. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the company of exceptional ladies.

The ANZAC dawn service in Putaruru didn't disappoint yet again this year where I laid a wreath in honour of our armed forces past and present in recognition of their sacrifice and service.  I also attended the civil service in Cambridge.

A highlight this month was my tour of NZ's first-ever 'chicken forest', with the opening of Better Eggs NZ's egg farm.  The egg farm was specially designed to create the best possible environment for their free-range chooks through indoor shelters and tree-lined pastures with over 31,000 trees planted on-site. When the trees are mature, they will be milled for timber or pulp, making the business double up as a forestry-poultry enterprise. 


Tauhara College

I’ve been working with Tauhara College in Taupo since December last year when the school sadly suffered great misfortune through flooding from a severe weather event.  The Ministry has undertaken to rebuild by providing fit for purpose classrooms however it is Term 2 already and the classrooms are yet to arrive on site.

Our children deserve better and I’ve written to the Minister of Education Hon Chris Hipkins to request his urgent intervention and ensure classrooms are provided as soon as possible to minimise any further disruption to students’ learning.


Cambridge to Piarere extension to the Waikato Expressway

At the other end of the electorate, we are still fighting the Cambridge to Piarere C2P battle.  At a public meeting held on 6 April with Transport Spokesperson Hon Michael Woodhouse, the community's voice was clear and unequivocal. The Governments continued delays with building this road is unacceptable.  We need action now. 

A protest is being called for and a date of 4 June has been proposed.  This is the Friday of Queens Birthday weekend.  If you are able to assist with arrangements for this protest day, I'm keen to hear from you.  Flick me an email or text at 021 824 922 if you are keen to be involved.  More details about timing and venue will be communicated over the coming days, keep an eye out for updates.


SH5 Napier-Taupo

Even more concerning is Waka Katohi NZTA's intentions to simply slap on a speed reduction as their way of resolving the trauma being suffered by users of that road on a daily due to its poor condition.   

The proposal to lower the speed limit for eighty-three kilometres on the SH5 and is further proof that the Government doesn't consider this route and its many users a priority. 

While lower speed limits can be useful for more dangerous sections of roads, the Government should also invest in urgent road maintenance, surface upgrades and safety features.   

There is still some time for you to make a submission on Waka Katohi NZTA's proposal here.  Submissions close on Sunday 9 May.  Your voice will make a difference.


Wellington activities

My member's bill, the Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill was reported back from the Select Committee on 16 April. I'm really pleased with some of the excellent recommendations made by the Select Committee to improve the Bill.   

The next step is the second reading in the House where MPs will debate the recommended changes which will hopefully lead to a vote further down the line for the bill to become law.  I've worked on this Bill alongside victims and their advocates over many years.

No mother should have to suffer from post-natal depression. I’ve written to all political parties to seek support to fast track the introduction of my 3 day stay Members Bill that guarantees mothers and their babies receive 3 days care in a postnatal facility following birth.

ACT will support the immediate introduction of my bill and I had a good meeting with the Green Party to discuss it too.

However, I need the support of at least 61 MPs for the bill to be introduced to Parliament. I hope Labour and the Maori Party are also able to lend their support to all mums and their newborns at what can be a very vulnerable time.


Upcoming events

In May, our events include Friendly Forums and the annual Post Budget Business Breakfasts.

Friendly Forums 

  • Putaruru - 10 May, 10am - 11:30am, Timber Museum off SH1 Lichfield, Putaruru.  RSVP here
  • Taupo - 14 May, 10am - 11:30am, Rotary House, 12 Story Place, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 28 May, 10am - 11:30am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street. RSVP here

Post Budget Business Breakfasts - RSVP essential 

  • Taupo - 27 May, 7.30am - 9am, Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre, Conference Room, 14 Northcroft Street, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 28 May, 7.30am - 9am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street.  RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 14 June, 7:30am - 9am, Lions Room, South Waikato Sport and Events Centre, 25 Mossop Road, Tokoroa.  RSVP here

Live with Louise

I host regular live catch-ups online on Facebook with the next one scheduled for Tuesday 1 June . If you aren't already connected with me, please do visit my page and follow me to receive notifications of when I'm going live. I'm also on Instagram and Twitter.

I hope to see you soon, if you have any questions or need assistance in the meantime, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,

Hon Louise Upston, MP for Taupo

Tauhara College Students and Teachers left in the lurch

April 30, 2021 Share

The Government should be prioritising the supply of new classrooms at Tauhara College to replace those damaged by flooding during last year’s storm, not contribute to the continued disruption of learning at the school, National MP for Taupō Louise Upston says.

“These students and the teaching team have suffered enough disruption of their learning last year. They shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of continued delays to get back into classrooms through a lack of delivery by the Ministry of Education too.

“To not deliver is bad enough, but then to delay telling the school in a timely manner of their failure to deliver is appalling service by the Ministry.

“I’ve raised concerns with the Minister of Education about the delays in the supply of classrooms that the Ministry had promised would be in place for the start of Term 2. 

"I want to know what the Ministry will do to support the education of those affected students while they delay supplying the school infrastructure needed.

“There are senior students who need classes and contact with teachers to ensure they aren’t left behind or disadvantaged in their learning through circumstances beyond their control.

“I’ve received a response to my initial queries from the Minister’s office who suggested that the replacement classrooms ‘are arriving on-site and installation and fit-out will continue with urgency’.

“Term 2 starts on Monday 3 May, Minister – where are the classrooms?”

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887

 

 

Authorised by Louise Upston MP, 67 Paora Hapi Street, Taupo

Govt needs to speed up the Napier-Taupō SH5 upgrade

April 15, 2021 Share

The Government should be prioritising a comprehensive upgrade of the State Highway 5 (SH5) between Napier and Taupō instead of simply lowering speed limits, National MP for Taupō Louise Upston says.

“The proposal announced today by Waka Katohi NZTA to lower the speed limit for eighty-three kilometres on the SH5 is further evidence the Government does not consider this route and the many users of it a priority.

“While lower speed limits can be useful for more dangerous sections of roads, the Government should also invest in urgent road maintenance, surface upgrades and safety features.

“A lower speed limit will only pile on additional costs in lost time and revenue for those responsible road users who already drive to the conditions and current limits.”

Prior to the 2020 election, National committed to investing $200 million for the improvements to the Sh5 route. The commitment also included an immediate fast track of the safety projects.

Ms Upston says that at the time, the road was described as ‘so patched up it looks like a patchwork quilt’ by the Road Transport Forum and there has been huge public support for an upgrade since.

Maintenance work required includes upgrading the surface and seal of the road and fixing dangerous potholes.

Major safety issues need to be addressed through the retrofitted median and roadside barriers, re-engineered and straightened dangerous corners, new passing lanes, widened shoulders, and a greater number of safe turning opportunities.

“This is sensible, shovel-ready work that can get underway quickly, creating jobs and improving safety,” Ms Upston says.

“While the evidence is clear that better, modern roads are safer, Labour has no plan and no funding to address the deficiencies.

“It’s about time the Government gets on with it and action National’s proposals to improve the poor condition of this road rather than just slowing everyone down.”

Notes to editors: A copy of National’s press release of 24 August 2020 can be found here.

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887