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.
Although several other visits have been put on hold pending any move to alert level 1, there will be other opportunities for you to meet up with me before this parliamentary term comes to an end.
For example, I hosted another Tele Townhall meeting last night with future dates being planned. The topics discussed are varied - from border control to gangs, benefits, and emergency accommodation in motels. No topic is off-limits and I look forward to seeing you at a future meeting.
Last week, the Prime Minister announced that Auckland will return to what she referred to as alert level 2.5. Many Auckland businesses will be breathing a sigh of relief (as will the rest of the country no doubt), as with the international borders still closed, local tourism is keeping many small businesses afloat.
The lack of local tourists visiting tourism-dependent towns like Taupo, especially following Auckland going back into lockdown, has been sorely felt. To survive, for many a "thinking outside the box" approach is required and entrepreneurs are becoming ever so critical to New Zealand's economic recovery.
If we are to get out of the financial mess we now find ourselves in due to this global health crisis, we need to help small businesses to succeed, grow and continue to hire great New Zealanders. To do so, we need to create jobs while reducing barriers, costs, and uncertainty for the private sector and small businesses.
I am continuing meeting up with businesses and organisations across the electorate to hear how you are holding up and if there is anything my team and I can help with. If you would like me to visit, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
School infrastructure has also been a recent hot topic and I am catching up with schools to hear more about the issues they are facing and their aspirations for our children's education future. Our children deserve to have access to quality education and quality buildings.
Out and about
Parliament has concluded and alert level 2 and its physical distancing requirements has meant that we have to do things a little differently to stay in touch. I've been so grateful for the organisations and businesses who have gone out of their way to accommodate me even if it meant we do so while physical distancing. Masks are now compulsory on public transport and I have already sourced mine from local business Elephant Ollie, very comfortable.
This year, for Daffodil Day I spent time collecting in Tokoroa and Cambridge to support efforts of the NZ Cancer Society to help prevent, detect, treat and cure cancer.
I also loved my visits to the Cambridge Tractor Academy, St Kilda Developments and Kids in Need Waikato in Cambridge. My catch-ups with Rollo Webb & Co, and Mandy Hudson and her team at Te Awa Lifecare were equally rewarding.
In Turangi, I had a great morning in Kuratau and Omori, starting with a delightful visit to Kuratau School to talk to year 7/8 students who are also holding a 'mini election' of their own in their class split into four "political parties". Looks like it’s going to be a tough election with each party having to come up with 3 policies. I look forward to hearing about the results! Loved the waiata at the end of my visit, very special indeed.
We could not pass without stopping at the Floating Rock Cafe in Kuratau for a taste of their amazing coffee by many accounts - thanks Sarah Hunt for the hospitality! Definitely a place to visit on my list of potential pizza nights venues.
Our visit to the Omori Kuratau Community Trust was equally rewarding and along the way, I stopped by the Omori Store, where the service is friendly, and the view is to die for. Great day, full of great people. Very fulfilling.
C&R Developments in Cambridge is a hidden gem employing some 300 people. What a surprise instore when we walked into a building full of race cars. Thank you to Tim, Ross and his crew for showing me around and for the delicious coffee and lunch.
In Taupo, it's always a pleasure to see Mayor David Trewavas, and it was encouraging to hear about the work being done by the Taupo Chamber of Commerce and Kylie and her team at of EGLT to support the local business community through this time of adversity.
Coffee Catch Ups
Please note that RSVP is essential for physical distancing requirements.
More Coffee Catch up opportunities will be available subject to announcements on any alert level changes as of 16 September 2020. Keep an eye out for details in our next newsletter.
- 10 September, 11:30am – 12:30pm
Wooden Farmer, 99 Tirau Street, Putaruru
- 10 September, 2pm – 3pm
Robert Harris, 284-294 Main Road Tokoroa
- 11 September, 9:30am – 10:30am
Ophelia Café, 18 Campbell Street, Leamington, Cambridge
- 16 September, 8am – 9am
The Coffee Club, Shop 6, 36 Lake Street, Lakewood Cambridge
- 17 September, 9am – 10am
Baked with Love, 11 Gascoigne Street, Taupo
- 17 September, 3pm – 4pm
Larte Café, 255 Mapara Road, Acacia Bay Taupo
- 18 September, 9:30am – 10:30am
Lola & Co, 1/4 Hillcrest Street, Tirau
- 18 September, 2:30am – 3:30am
The Dam Café, 115 SH 32, Whakamaru
- Cambridge - 07 827 5572, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Taupo - 07 376 5563, email@example.com
- South Waikato - 07 886 5554, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wellington - 07 817 9347, email@example.com