Parliamentary News Update
Just like that, school holidays are looming again! This year is undoubtedly 'zooming' by. Excuse the pun!
Yesterday was a significant milestone. National released our Opening Up Plan that will see an end to lockdowns and allow our borders to reopen again, albeit with a traffic light type system to allow vaccinated travellers to and from New Zealand with a more streamlined plan for isolation where required.
I've been engaging with Mayors and Councils about Three Waters too. Many of you have been in touch too, to say you are worried about the Government's proposal to centralise water assets and strip local community control of these.
Overwhelmingly, our three district councils have said they do not agree to the proposed reforms in their current form. Those water assets belong to you and your community, and your rates pay for them. You will continue paying for them even when control of them is taken away from you. A meeting is being planned in Cambridge in October but in the meantime, you can make your voice heard by signing the Stop the Three Waters Asset Grab petition.
Finally, on Monday next week, we will know what is in store for us when the Government considers further alert level changes. I remain hopeful that we will soon resume enjoying the freedoms that we are used to in our beautiful country. We must protect ourselves and our children as best we can through vaccination.
In the meantime, I'm continuing my programme of community engagement in the electorate, albeit in a slightly different, virtual manner addressing the issues and aspirations that matter to you. Details of how you can connect with me are in the Opportunities to Meet me section below.
I hope you and your family are keeping well. Keep staying in touch!
Hon Louise Upston
National's Opening Up Plan
Our plan outlines ten steps we need to take, such as supercharging the vaccine rollout, buying vaccine boosters and next-generation treatments, using saliva testing and rapid antigen tests and building purpose-built quarantine.
Councils have been given until Friday 1 October to provide feedback to the Government on its Three Waters reform proposal. All three of our local District Councils don’t support the reforms. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has completely ignored their pleas and has now ruled out halting the reforms.
After spending $4 million on a negative ad campaign and throwing even more money at councils to try to secure their support, it’s clear the Government will do whatever it takes to forge ahead with their plans. I've received many comments from people about recruitment ads that are already actively canvassing for Three Waters roles.
It’s now inevitable that the Three Waters Reforms will be forced on councils, and communities will be compelled to surrender their water assets. You can show the Government that you too, have a say in what happens to your rates and your assets.
A meeting is being planned in Cambridge in October with myself and local government Spokesperson Christopher Luxon attending, details to follow soon.
Youth Parliament 2022
Are you Taupō's next Youth MP 2022?
I'm keen to receive applications from young people in the Taupō electorate to represent their youth community at New Zealand’s next Youth Parliament 2022 that will be held on 18 – 20 July 2022.
- Applicants will need to be aged 16-18 years old (inclusive) on 12 November 2021
- Have the ability to go out and engage with the youth in the electorate when the Youth MP tenure starts on 1 March 2022 through to 31 August 2022
- You need to live in and attend a school or an education facility in the Taupō electorate
- I would like to encourage a range of voices to step forward and encourage young people with diverse backgrounds and abilities to step forward.
- Applicants will need to email in an application form and short CV, with a brief pitch of about 500 words about a community or youth project that they intend to undertake during their tenure to [email protected] by no later than noon on 8 November.
- Application forms will be available at all local high schools and colleges or anyone interested (including young people not formally enrolled in an educational institution but who meet the criteria), can email [email protected] for an application form.
- Shortlisted interviews will take place in mid-November, with the successful Youth MP announced mid-December.
The deadline for applications is noon, 8 November. I will also be visiting high schools and colleges after the school holidays, details to follow in due course and will be available on my website at louiseupston.co.nz/events.
Opportunities to meet me
While we are in alert level 2, our Friendly Forums haven't proceeded. Regular constituent clinics have continued with COVID safety requirements.
You can still engage with me in other forms and manners, including joining me at our regular Live with Louise sessions on Facebook.
Our upcoming Live with Louise on Facebook dates are:
- Tuesday 5 October, 8pm. Please send me your questions and join me on the night to have them answered. You can watch our last session here if you missed it. There may be another opportunity in October to catch up online, details in our next newsletter.
- Tuesday 9 November, 8pm
Join the Debate
You can also watch my speeches in the House here.
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