E-Newsletter - February 2016
In this issue
Out and about in the electorate
Have your say
I have had a relaxing summer break with family and friends and I trust your festive season too has been memorable and refreshing. I am excited about the new year and the new possibilities and opportunities that it will bring.
Business confidence is high and this year is promising further practical measures by our Government to help not only our businesses, but also our families and children thrive.
The Prime Minister’s recent first speech for the year has reinforced the Government‘s plan to deliver opportunities that New Zealanders and their families deserve.
This year, for example, recommendations out of a recent review of Child, Youth and Family will ensure our most vulnerable children get the care and protection they deserve.
As of 1 April, parental leave will extend to 18 weeks and be available to grandparents and permanent guardians that qualify.
Social housing reforms announced last year have now come into effect. Numbers on the social housing register continue to decline as the changes are aimed at discouraging people from refusing reasonable social housing offers. Better resourcing of government services will ensure our vulnerable New Zealanders find housing that best suits their needs.
Our students are flourishing under educational reforms that encourage excellence in educational leadership and practice. Reports show that more of our students are completing STEM-related subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths.)
Apprentice numbers and completion rates are up. Our workforce needs world-class skills and knowledge that will boost the productivity of New Zealand’s economy while helping individuals to get ahead in life. A more highly skilled, highly qualified workforce is essential for that.
Finally, New Zealand is hosting the TPP agreement signing today. This is a significant event and a document that comprehensively analyses what TPP means for New Zealand, the National Interest Analysis (NIA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), has been released. This document and the text of the agreement are available here.
Out and about in the electorate
It’s hard to believe its back to school time again! Another year lies ahead filled with unlimited potential for our children and parents and hopefully you are ready to meet the challenges head on.
Getting back to school after a long vacation need not be drudgery. One tip I have learnt with my children to encourage them to start the year enthusiastically, is to involve them in buying their school supplies. Many retailers offer fabulous discounts on school supplies closer to the school re-opening dates.
I also know that many teachers have been working hard to prepare for another amazing school year to build on the success and accomplishments of their students of last year.
An example of such success has been students Rishi Kumar and Liam McKenzie of St Peter's School, Cambridge who both scored 43 out of 45 in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. Less than 1% of candidates get such outstanding results. Well done indeed!
Further reforms of the Educational Act will feature strongly this year so keep an eye out for announcements.
Charting the Way forward
It’s been a month since the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway was officially opened. A Charting the Way Forward event hosted by Cambridge i-site was a good opportunity to assess how we can make the visitor experience to Cambridge even better.
I was joined by tourism operators, retailers and representatives of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, the i-Site Board and the Waipa District Council to discuss international and domestic tourism. Tourism is also important for economic growth in the area so that the region as a whole can be economically competitive to markets.
Photo credit: Michael Jeans
New Year’s honours list
It was great to see so many locals featuring in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2016. Their awards fittingly celebrate their valued contributions to society. A full list is available here. Big congratulations to:
Mr David Alexander Civil, of Cambridge – ONZM for services to the dairy industry.
Mr John Mervyn McDonnell, of Cambridge – ONZM for services to cycling.
Mrs Carolyn Gay Solomon – MNZM for services to education.
Mrs Kathleen Janet Guy, of Taupo – MNZM for services to the tourism and hospitality industries.
Mrs Hilary Anne Brown, of Taupo – QSM for services to the community and public speaking.
Mrs Honora Mary Martelletti, JP – QSM for services to the community.
Mrs Kataraina Hodge, of Korakonui, Te Awamutu – QSM for services to Maori.
Taupo Summer Concert
The Taupo Summer Concert was an awesome occasion again this year! Artists included two times Grammy Award Winner Melissa Etheridge, legendary classic rock band REO Speedwagon and American rock icon Huey Lewis. It was great to see local government representatives including Mayor David Trewavas enjoying the concert with thousands of locals and visitors to the region.
With His Worship Mayor David Trewavas of Taupo District Council
This year, I am working on some exciting policy initiatives. I am passionate about gender equality. New Zealand has the lowest gender pay gap in the OECD and there’s more we can do to further reduce it. More details about activities across my portfolios will follow as the year progresses.
The first in the series of Friendly Forums for the year will take place in March. 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
I am always keen to hear your views. And there are lots of ways we can connect. You can join me on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.