News from Suze - 5 July

Welcome to the July edition of News from Suze.

I hope you enjoyed the long weekend with friends and family. Matariki provides a unique opportunity to gather, to reflect and to celebrate. While the crisp winter air and night skies filled with stars offer us a moment to appreciate the beauty of the Rangitīkei.

In this issue - 

  • Hon Mark Mitchell Visit 
  • Celebrating Our Volunteers
  • Other June Highlights
  • Ag News
  • Government News
  • Upcoming Public Events

Hon Mark Mitchell Visit: Getting Tough on Law and Order 

It was a privilege to host Hon Mark Mitchell, Minister of Police, Corrections, and Emergency Management and Recovery, in the Rangitīkei.

The visit kicked off with a tour of the impressive Emergency Operations and Coordination Centre Te Ao Nui, a state-of-the-art facility of national significance. 

A key part of the visit was a public meeting at the Feilding Civic Centre. With over 150 attendees, it was a valuable opportunity for the community to share their stories with the Minister and senior police officers. 

We heard from Feilding’s new Police Sergeant, Luke Shannon, who expressed his excitement and commitment to making Feilding safer, and from the Community Patrol NZ team who play a vital role in keeping our communities safe.

Following the public meeting, the Minister and I met with Manawatu District Mayor Helen Worboys, Deputy Mayor Michael Ford and fellow councillors to discuss community policing and crime. The day concluded with a visit to Manchester House, where Robyn Duncan and her team do a fantastic job supporting our community on so many levels.

Celebrating Our Volunteers 

June provided some great opportunities to recognise the many amazing volunteers in the  Rangitīkei who generously give their time to enrich our communities.

It was a pleasure to spend some time with volunteers at Manchester House in Feilding, the Bulls Food Pantry, and the Feilding Repair Cafe. I enjoyed helping out where I could and learning more about the incredible work they do. Their commitment to our communities is truly inspiring.

I was also honoured to attend the 2024 Volunteer Recognition Event with Volunteer Central earlier in June. We celebrated 54 outstanding volunteers from across Rangitīkei and neighbouring regions.

Finally, I hosted a morning tea at my office in Feilding where I was able to personally thank some of our local volunteers. It was wonderful to catch up over a cuppa and some morning tea from the team at Delish Cafe. 

Other June Highlights

Other highlights from the month include a brilliant Friday night in Auckland, where I pulled my Parly Ferns uniform back on again to play a game in support of the Tania Dalton Foundation. The game, featuring several ex-Silver Ferns, was a masterclass in netball and highlighted the Foundation's incredible work in helping young sportswomen achieve their potential. 

In Hamilton, Catherine Wedd, MP for Tukituki, and I celebrated the ten inspiring 2024 Regional Supreme Winners at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards National Showcase. We attended as members of the Primary Production Select Committee and as representatives of rural NZ. It was great to catch up with James and Debbie Stewart of Stewart Dairylands, proudly representing the Horizons region.

It was a privilege to attend the Stakeholders Evening at the Waiouru Officers Mess, at the invitation of Colonel Lisa Kelliher. An annual event hosted by the Waiouru Military Camp to thank the wider community for their support.

I also enjoyed a fantastic weekend at home at Tunnel Hill, hosting five top Auckland chefs. It was wonderful to showcase our lamb, environmental stewardship, and our passion for what we do. I even cooked them lunch (costal lamb racks) and dinner (slow cooked duck - shot on opening morning). Rich thought it was a brave move - I didn't get any complaints! 

It was wonderful to be at National Fieldays, spending time on the National Party stand and getting out and about through the displays catching up with our farmers and rural communities. It was encouraging to hear about the incredible work they are doing as the backbone of New Zealand. We had a strong contingent of National MPs there over the four days, including the PM and Finance Minister Nicola Willis. The reception was resoundingly positive, lots of 'keep it up, you're doing a great job'. While there, I also attended the MPI State of Primary Industries Breakfast.

Ag News

There were some big announcements for our farmers in June, including a landmark decision to remove agriculture from the Emissions Trading Scheme. We are establishing a new Pastoral Sector Group to tackle biogenic methane and investing in research and development to lower on-farm emissions.

Additionally, we’ve scrapped the Ute Tax and halted the implementation of Significant Natural Areas, ensuring our farmers can operate without undue burden. In partnership with Beef + Lamb NZ and the primary sector, we’re committing $20 million to help farmers eliminate the impacts of facial eczema.

In response to the challenging conditions faced by drought-stricken farmers and growers we are providing more financial support through Rural Assistance Payments. These are available in a number of regions, including the Horizon's region. Anyone in the Rangitīkei struggling should contact the Manawatu Rangitikei Rural Family Support Trust to talk about the range of support available and, if needed, to get help applying for a Rural Assistance Payment. 

Government News

June was a busy month in Parliament, with our first ever Scrutiny Week, which allows for sustained questioning of Government Ministers on specific portfolio areas. In addition, we had a week under urgency to push through key legislation. Despite the whirlwind, I took some time to support Dress for Success, a fantastic organisation which is empowering women to thrive in their careers and personal lives. Through providing quality clothing, styling advice, and a support network, they make a remarkable difference. Last year they helped over 3,000 women. 

Recent Government Announcements:

Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines 
Pharmac will receive a $604 million funding boost to ensure more Kiwis can access life-changing medicines. The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines. Read more here

New cops and more Police on the beat
We are going to have 500 more frontline Police by the end of 2025, to help reduce crime and improve public safety. Police are establishing Community Beat Teams, to put these officers straight onto our streets. Read more here

Tougher sentences coming for criminals 
We’re changing sentencing laws, ensuring criminals are facing real consequences for serious crime. We’re capping the discounts judges can apply at 40 per cent, preventing repeat discounts for youth and remorse, introducing a new aggravating factor to address those who commit serious retail crime and encouraging the use of cumulative sentencing for offences committed while on bail, in custody or parole. We are also amending sentencing principles to ensure the interests of victims are prioritised. Read more here

Combatting youth offending  
Our new Young Serious Offender (YSO) declaration will give Police and the Youth Court more options for dealing with serious young repeat offenders. YSOs could be sent to a new Military-Style Academy, which we’re piloting in July, or become subject to increased electronic and judicial monitoring. Police will also have the power to arrest a young person without warrant for non-compliance with conditions of an order or breach of their bail conditions. Read more here

GPS 2024: Record transport investment to drive economic growth 
The Government is investing $22 billion in transport over the next three years to boost productivity and support economic growth. This is the largest transport investment in New Zealand’s history. Read more here

Making it easier to build granny flats
We are changing the Building Act and Resource Management Act so that granny flats can be constructed without the need for a resource consent or building consent, making it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them best. Read more here

National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
We are investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as part of our plan to rebuild the economy. This pipeline shows that local government and the private sector are also rising to the challenge posed by New Zealand’s massive infrastructure deficit. Read more here

The Government is modernising the Public Works Act
New Zealand faces an infrastructure deficit. Critical infrastructure projects like schools, roads, water services and energy projects have not kept pace with our nation’s needs. Read more here

Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
The Government is focused on reinvigorating our cities and regions to support economic growth. Buildings sitting empty and abandoned for months, or, in many cases, years is bad for everyone. Read more here

Funding boost to fix potholes
We are delivering on our commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention, with indicative funding levels confirmed by NZTA showing a record increase in funding to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads. The Manawatu/Whanganui region will be receiving $132,267,428 - an increase of 38%. Read more here

Reversing Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions - 
We’re reversing Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025. They were illogical, untargeted and didn’t take economic impacts into account. We want Kiwis to get to where they need to go quickly and safely. Read more here

Reversing the oil and gas ban 
We’re removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki. If we refuse to make these changes, our annual natural gas production would be expected to peak this year and undergo a sustained decline, meaning we would have a security of supply issue. We cannot ignore the significant economic contributions the petroleum and resources sector deliver, and the opportunities further investment presents. Read more here

Upcoming Public Events 

Manawatu Homes Show:
I will be at the Manawatu Homes Show at Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North on Friday 19 July from 10am - 2pm, and then again on Saturday 20 July from 2pm to 4pm. 

Flock House 100th Anniversary:
On Saturday 20 July I will be attending the Whakatau and official opening of the Flock House 100-year Anniversary Weekend Celebrations at Te Matapihi Bulls Community Centre. I am honoured to have been asked to officially open the event.

Rotorua Electorate Visit with Hon Todd McClay:
On Friday 26 July I'll spend the day in the Rotorua Electorate with Hon Todd McClay, including being guest speaker for the SuperBlues afternoon tea in Te Puke.

Here to Help 

My team and I are always available to assist you.

Reach us by emailing [email protected] or calling 06 323 7253 (Feilding) or 07 896 8008 (Taumarunui).

Visit us in person at one of our office locations.

Feilding Office: 47 Manchester Street, Feilding - Monday to Friday,10:00am to 3:00pm.

Taumarunui Office: 1/101 Hakiaha Street, Taumarunui - Monday 9:30am to 2:30pm and Thursday 9:30am to 12:30pm.

Please feel free to forward this email to friends and family who might like to stay in touch. I appreciate your help staying connected with the community. If you've had this email forwarded to you, you can sign up to receive regular updates here.


Best wishes and keep warm,