E-Newsletter - December 2015
In this issue
• 7 years on
• Out and about in the electorate
• Beehive Buzz
• Upcoming events
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
After a bumper year full of activities, I am looking forward to a relaxing summer break with my children, family and friends. I hope that your year too has been memorable and brought you great success. May 2016 be wonderful!
Click here to see my Christmas message to you.
7 years on
National has continued to deliver on its promises made seven years ago to ensure our country continues to prosper through sound economic management and our children and families are well supported, especially our most vulnerable, to live happy, healthy and safe lives.
- Increased Working for Families payments and child care assistance to help parents in work, education or training.
- Extended Paid Parental Leave from 14 to 16 weeks and increased free doctor’s visits and prescriptions to children aged up to under 13.
- In 2016, we will roll out a new streamlined special education approach that better supports the children and young people who are most in need of additional learning support.
- Our housing reforms include government financial assistance through the KiwiSaver Homestart scheme seeing more Kiwis into their first new home. We’ve increased land supply and cut development contributions and compliance costs to build more houses.
- Better health care services, with more doctors and nurses and improved frontline services. Our health targets include improved access to elective procedures and shorter waits for cancer treatment.
- Improved judicial processes focussed on victim support and to ensure women and children are safer from violence.
- Streamlined policing services through the use of iPhone 6 technology by allowing video recording of statements that makes it easier for victims to testify about their experiences and hold offenders to account for their actions.
- Better trade conditions with 12 other countries that will allow our country’s businesses and exporters to improve their access to overseas markets, sell more of their products and services.
Out and about in the electorate
Yesterday was a great day for the region as a whole as the completed Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway was officially opened;
Left to right, front: Kaye Clark NZTA, Lindsay Tisch MP, Hon Simon Bridges, Hon Louise Upston, Harry Wilson NZTA
Back: Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest, Waikato Mayor Allan Sanson, David Bennett MP and Tim Macindoe MP
Some other highlights in the electorate this year include:
- I organised and hosted the inaugural South Waikato Economic Development Forum.
- The new Tokoroa Road Rail Terminal was officially opened.
- The Kiwisaver Homestart programme helped 220 people to buy their first home with government funding assistance - 100 in Waipa, 50 in South Waikato and 70 in Taupo respectively.
- Ultrafast broadband was extended to all schools in the electorate.
- The Marotiri school in Taupo benefitted from additional Ministry of Education funding which allowed them to build a new admin block.
- Taupo-Nui-a-Tia College and Taupo Primary School benefits from $22,000 of Unlocking Curious Minds funding to allow the secondary students to explore geothermal environments with the year 3 and 4 students studying native land restoration, biosourcing and composting around Taupo.
- My Youth MP Javan Rose is the first student selected from Taupo and will attend Youth Parliament in July 2016.
- Cambridge hosted the track cycling World Cup at the Avantidrome Home of Cycling.
With PM John Key at Avantidrome and Mark Elliott, Director High Performance, Simon Perry, Chair and Andrew Matheson CEO of Cycling New Zealand
After a first year settling in as a Minister, I have taken the time to get to know my portfolios and I hope to get stuck into some exciting policy initiatives planned for the new year. In the meantime, I was privileged to be able to contribute positively in my portfolios. Some of the highlights include:
- Canterbury property boundaries legislation introduced with unanimous support and will ensure greater clarity for homeowners with boundary shifts resulting from the earthquakes.
- Worked with Minister of Revenue on measures to ensure foreign buyers comply with tax requirements and pay tax on any profits made.
- Integrated Property Services progressing so that all central and local government property information can be accessed easily.
- Lake Wanaka first ten year management plan came to an end and result is that 2/3 of Lake Wanaka is clear of lake weeds.
- Presented at Open Government Partnership Summit in Mexico.
- Review of Environment Canterbury future governance and legislation in the house.
- Developed requirements for a trial of online voting and 8 councils are working on the next steps.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
- Visited every one of the Industry Training Organisations and focussing on how to attract more young people to participate in trade training.
- Working with Maori and Pacific Trade Training to lift participation and ensure there are more girls training in these jobs where demand for skilled workers is high.
- Right for every worker to request flexible work which better supports working parents.
- Launched report ‘Getting it done: utilising women’s skills in the workforce – lessons from the Canterbury rebuild’ where Ministry’s work has led to an increase in women training and the number of women employed in Canterbury’s construction industry has more than doubled in 2 years.
- Working on the Ministerial Group on Family & Sexual Violence.
- Released two research reports on preventing family violence in Maori and Samoan communities.
- Judged NEXT Woman of the Year.
- Launch of ‘Inspiring Women’ on Ministry for Women website.
Friendly Forums will continue in the new year and the first are planned for the following dates. Details of venues will be on my website and promoted through the local paper:
• Taupo - 4 March 2016, 10am
• Cambridge - 11 March 2016, 10am
• South Waikato - 15 April 2016, 10am
Have your say and submissions
You can contact me for appointments through my electorate offices on the following numbers or by email.
Cambridge Office: (07) 827 5572
South Waikato Office: (07) 886 5554
Taupo Office: (07) 376 5563
Parliament: (04) 817 8242
Note: While the physical offices will be closed over Christmas, emails and phone messages will be cleared so that we can attend to urgent constituent queries.
Stay safe and look after yourself, your family and friends.
Have a fabulous break and here’s to 2016!
Authorised by Louise Upston MP, 67 Paora Hapi Street, Taupo.
Please do not reply directly to this newsletter. If you want to share your reactions with Hon Louise Upston, email email@example.com.