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.
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
- 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
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