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C2P Public meeting yields calls for protest

April 10, 2021 Share

Enough is enough! That’s the message coming through loud and clear at the public meeting attended by over 40 people on Friday 6 April 2021 on the Cambridge to Piarere (C2P) extension of the Waikato Expressway that was cancelled by the Labour Government, with some calling for a protest march to highlight the seriousness of the situation.

This Easter weekend yet again told a story of near misses or accidents and bumper to bumper slow traffic and from what I heard, the people have had enough of talking. It’s time for action.

Joined by Michael Woodhouse MP, Spokesperson for Transport, we talked about the lack of funding allocated by the Government for the construction of the planned extension to the expressway. The current safety work being done is not enough to reduce the risks to road users. 

In addition, the upgrade of the SH1/29 intersection to a 2-lane roundabout construction is only starting in late 2022 and Waka Kotahi NZTA’s proposing the installation of Intersection Speed Zones (ISZs) with no funding available.

The Fergusson Gully Road remains an issue and suggestions include the passing lane be moved to make the start of the road longer.

I provided an update on actions I’ve taken since our December 2019 public meeting which includes writing to Ministers, Hon Michael Wood, current Minister for Transport, Hon Phil Twyford, previous Minister for Transport and previous minister Hon Julie Anne Genter, Associate Minister of Transport at the time.

Neighbouring MP Tim van der Molen and I facilitated meetings between Karapiro School and Waka Kotahi NZTA and I’ve written letters to Waka Kotahi NZTA about the SH1/SH29 roundabout, their plans for Karapiro Road near Karapiro School, the update of the Karapiro Road intersection and speed reduction signs.

Sadly, despite all the above, the Government has not come to the party to reinstate the plans to build the C2P extension and ignored community concerns about increasing risks with more traffic when the Waikato Expressway is complete following the opening of the Hamilton section at the end of this year.

It’s a section of State Highway 1 which forms part of New Zealand’s most important transport corridor between Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga which accounts for a significant proportion of all road freight in the country.

The high volumes of traffic and freight in the area and the impact that has on travel times and increasing safety risks required an urgent investment in high-quality roading infrastructure to future-proof the transport links in the area and improve road safety.

As our towns grow, so do the communities living in them and the road needs to be fit for purpose and of good enough standard to accommodate the safe movement of people and goods. It currently isn’t.

I have urged the Minister to reconsider the decision to delay building this important roading project and address short term safety needs along this route. I’ll keep fighting hard to get this road built and I will be updating the community as soon as I hear from him.

If you couldn’t attend the meeting and would like to express your support of this important cause, you can take action at https://louiseupston.national.org.nz/cambridge_expressway 

You can also sign up to receive updates about the next steps here.  

Take action against gang violence in Napier now, Minister

March 29, 2021 Share

29 March 2021

Action needed on gang violence in Napier now

The Hawke's Bay community wants more police officers whose presence are more visible and who act more swiftly and decisively when a threat is being reported by the community.

“Residents are scared and that’s what we heard loud and clear at our community meeting on gangs in Napier recently,” MP for Taupo Louise Upston says.

The meeting was held in Napier on Wednesday 17 March, hosted by Louise and Simon Bridges, National’s Justice spokesperson.

Speakers sharing their experiences included members of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs, business owners and residents.

Ms Upston says the people have spoken and their voices are unanimous.

“Every day we hear news reports of gang on gang violence and the severity appears to be increasing.

“Gangs are continuing to live up to their violent reputation, their use of guns in public has become far too common. We’ve already seen an innocent member of the public caught in the crossfire.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children joining gangs.

“I’ve written to Police Minister Poto Williams to ask her to take urgent action to curb the increasing gang activity and violence in Napier.

“The community has a right to go about their lives peacefully and without the ongoing threat of violence.

“I hope the Minister heeds this call for action and does something about it before it’s too late and someone is killed,” Ms Upston says.

Notes to editors: A copy of the letter to the Minister for Police is attached.

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887

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

 

MP calls for action to counter soaring gang violence in Hawkes Bay

March 19, 2021 Share

A community meeting on gangs held in Napier on Wednesday 17 March 2021, hosted by National MPs Louise Upston and Simon Bridges attracted a large diverse audience including residents, some with gang affiliations, business people, Napier City Councillors and the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

“This meeting was an opportunity for the local community to come together in a safe, moderated environment for a conversation about gang activity to hear first hand from people who are fearful of the ongoing tension and violence, and to explore potential solutions,” says Ms Upston.

“I went to the meeting with an open mind and expecting a robust conversation and I was not disappointed.

“Some of the experiences relayed were sobering, ranging from business owners being threatened with guns, to mothers sharing stories about their children becoming caught up in gangs with dire consequences for the family, ‘ Ms Upston said.

“While the conversations were frank and passionate, constructive solutions and ideas were put forward too.

“Councillors addressed the meeting and one of the key messages was the need for a greater policing presence to give people more assurance that they can go about their daily activities without feeling fearful in their own communities.

“The Hawkes Bay wants more police officers, a more visible police presence in public spaces and a quicker, stronger response when community members alert Police to an incident.

“I will be writing to the Minister of Police urging her to take urgent action to keep the community in Napier safe.

Ms Upston says she looks forward to continuing the conversation with the community and giving them a voice in Parliament.

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887

News from Louise - Merry Christmas!

December 08, 2020 Share

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is yet again upon us, it feels like not so long ago that we celebrated the start of 2020. Who was to know what the year would have in store for us then!

Thankfully we are on the downhill stretch. On 25 November 2020, I took the oath for the 5th time in NZ Parliament and it was as momentous for me on the day as it was the first time I did it. I am looking forward to a busy next parliamentary term ahead and I'll update more on my plans in my next newsletters but for now, hopefully, you are counting down the days for some much-needed R&Rs, like me.

Click here to watch my Christmas Message.


Awards and ceremonies

While the year is slowly coming to a close, activities in the electorate are still in full swing if the past few weeks are anything to go by. I love this time of the year when I get to join in on celebrations, awards and festivities as seeing people succeed and happy, makes me happy.

I recently attended the Cambridge Fire Brigade and The Taupo and Lake Taupo Brigade Awards events and felt incredibly honoured to be at the New Zealand Police Taupo Area Awards too.

At these awards we recognised our finest Fire and Police Officers and high achievers. They acknowledge our officers' contributions and commitment to our community and they deserve all the praise and thanks lavished on them for their efforts. I was especially proud of Chief Fire Officer Don Gerrand’s 52 years award, that is commitment for you. Well done to all!

Spending time with our children is always special, and this year's Duffy in Homes Books awards at Mangakino School were no different. Reading is such a vital skill for our children and we should do all we can to encourage and support them.


Out and about

A warm welcome to new businesses across the electorate! There are so many but to name a few in Cambridge: Meraki Agora, a new retail store that gives local creators a platform to showcase their products and talent; Green with Envy, in the old Stihl Shop at 42 Victoria Street; Olio Design that has a new showroom at 55 Victoria Street and Odell X Home, on 41A Victoria Street selling fine wares.

We wish all our businesses the very best of success especially during the festive season, and I look forward to popping in if I have not yet already.

I recently visited Impact Hub's new space in Tokoroa, aptly named "Our Space". The local artists' wares are very exciting, who could resist these fabulous pair of earrings?

At the Carol Hughes - Visual Artist art exhibition I left with some lovely art coasters for my new office in Parliament and an awesome vase made by local potter Jo Beckett.

A lovely artisan shop Mākete mahi toi, Putāruru has opened also in Putāruru. Well worth a visit and good on Putāruru Ward Councillor Sandra Wallace and the South Waikato District Council for showing initiative to support local artisans and our community in the lead up to Christmas.

Loved my visit to Russell Ensor and the team at the South Waikato Achievement Trust Centre, one of the biggest employers in the South Waikato. I thoroughly enjoyed the on-the-spot training in the kindling production line! Useful to see the recycling side of the business too. This is such an amazing organisation with amazing people.

Finally, I loved Diwali Celebrations in Taupo!  An unforgettable evening and I look forward to next year's event.


Causes 

I donned my heels for the Walk in her Shoes Violence Free Waipa White Ribbon Campaign, a fabulous turnout for a fantastic cause.

While not so glamorous, but equally important is supporting our local schools like Tauhara College who is facing a long road ahead following the extensive damage to classrooms after a serious adverse weather event. The rebuild of this school’s aging buildings is long overdue and the Ministry of Education must act urgently.

I intend to strongly push this matter over the coming days and weeks. Our children deserve to come back to school in January in fit for purpose buildings, even if temporary until the Ministry can get on with the business of the needed upgrade of the school.


Upcoming events

Clinics will take place in February for those who need an appointment.  Our Friendly Forums will also restart in the new year:

  • Cambridge - 12 March 2021, 10am the Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street.
  • Taupo - 19 March 2021, 10am in the Kowhai Room, Ruapehu Wing, behind the old Waiora House site, corner of Spa Road and Motutaiko Street.
  • Tokoroa - 26 March 2021, 10am at the Tokoroa Community Link, Te Rakaunui Room, 8-10 Torphin Crescent.

Festive hours  

It’s time to press that reset button for a fresh new year with fresh new opportunities.

Put up that tree, plan that holiday with family, go to that festival. I intend to because we deserve it!

My offices will be closed for the annual parliamentary shutdown, however, in the event of an emergency, you can reach me by email [email protected] and phone messages will be checked.

The Cambridge office will physically be closed from 24 December 2020 to 15 January 2021.

The Taupo office will physically be closed from 24 December 2020 to 8 January 2021.

In the meantime, you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram or sign up to my newsletter at www.louiseupston.co.nz to stay in touch.

From my family to yours, a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Best wishes,

News from Louise - National Caucus Line up announced

November 12, 2020 Share

Thank you for your support over the past few weeks, I'm pleased that the election is behind us and we can get on with the business of holding the Labour-led government to account.

National Leader Judith Collins has announced our new caucus line up and spokesperson portfolios and I am thrilled to have moved into the No. 5 spot and with my portfolios of Social Development & Employment, Social Investment, Whānau Ora and Land Information.

These portfolios are all areas that are of huge interest to me and it's an opportunity to continue with the work that I'm already doing in that space, like my First 1000 Days policy that will empower parents to make the best choices for their child in their first 1000 days. 

Further to that work, I am a strong advocate for Whānau Ora as I've seen the difference it makes for whānau not just in Taupo but across New Zealand.  There is an opportunity to ensure more families benefit and when we intervene earlier, fewer people end up in hardship.

I firmly believe that stronger families and communities make for stronger children and youth to transition successfully into adulthood and successful lives.

New Zealand’s 53rd Parliament will formally open with two ceremonies soon – the Commission Opening on Wednesday 25 November 2020 and the State Opening on Thursday 26 November 2020.

These two events are fabulous to watch and I'd encourage you to join in the pomp and ceremony:

In the meantime, in my electorate offices it's business as usual should you need to get in touch.  My next newsletter in December will have details of our opening hours over the festive period.

I look forward to an exciting parliamentary term and continuing my work in the many communities that make up the Taupo electorate.

Warm regards

Hon Louise Upston

MP for Taupo

Authorised by Louise Upston, 67 Paora Hapi Road, Taupo

News from Louise - 3 sleeps to go

October 14, 2020 Share

The countdown is on and on Saturday, Kiwis are arguably making one of our most important decisions this year.

While so much has been out of our control in 2020 because of the unknown, I've heard from many of you that people are firmly focused on the future and you want to move on with the business of living.

To do that well, we need certainty. We need to know what we are going to do and how we are going to do it to get ahead - we need a plan. What is certain, is National's commitment to ensuring we live quality lives with a clear plan for 2020 and beyond to make that happen. 

This makes our election this year more important than ever.

 

Read more

News from Louise - 1 October 2020 update

October 01, 2020 Share

Since the 52nd Parliament dissolved on 2 September, the rest of the month certainly has been a hive of activity.  

This rollercoaster month out and about saw me meeting up with many of you locally, while also getting a feel for the pulse of the land in my role as Spokesperson role of Social Development and Social Investment supporting colleagues across both north and south islands. 

I do hope you enjoy reading a little more about my adventures over the past few weeks in this newsletter. 

There will be one more newsletter before the election and then I'll resume monthly newsletters in November.  You can always stay in touch with me via my Facebook Page or Instagram

In the meantime, happy reading!

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News from Louise - September 2020 update

September 07, 2020 Share

The news that COVID-19 got into Tokoroa came as a shock to many, and I've been keeping in touch with those affected. I know vigilance is high at this time and if you are feeling unwell, it is important you get tested.

I am planning a few Coffee Catch Ups in September and if you'd like to come along, as we will be adhering to physical distancing requirements under alert level 2, it's is important you RSVP to attend. Details at the end of this newsletter.

This week, our newsletter celebrates some of our fantastic businesses across the electorate. Thank you for all your efforts to host me and for your resilience currently. I am immensely proud of our local business community for showing such strength through adversity.

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News from Louise - August 2020 update

August 20, 2020 Share

Hello,

COVID-19 has resurfaced in the community and New Zealand is back to alert level 2.

This time around COVID-19 has hit close to home with the news of our local towns of Tokoroa with 2 positive cases and Taupo being exposed by visits to the area by a family who has tested positive for coronavirus.

I've been in touch with the organisations involved and am very proud of how well they are holding up and their prompt response to the unexpected situation they find themselves in to mitigate any risks of the virus potentially spreading. Like them, for many of us, this has come as a shock. However, I am encouraged by our collective resilience shown so far.

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News from Louise - Recovery, what are our options?

July 10, 2020 Share

It's school holidays and I hope you are taking advantage of the great deals on offer to explore our local backyard, it's certainly been great to see the visitors in abundance out and about too!

Love Taupo has great information on the top things to do when you are in the region, whether you fancy skiing, snow-boarding, cycling or mountain biking or simply just walking one of our amazing scenic trails.

I know our businesses are certainly welcoming the additional income and it is encouraging to see economic reports from Te Waka that spending is on the up again in the region. 

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