Nimon's News - June 2024

Kia Ora everyone!

Welcome to my monthly newsletter.

Your update about what's happening in the Napier electorate, New Zealand Parliament and across our country! 

In this issue:

  • Recent weather events - support for East Coast communities 
  • Budget 2024
  • Environment Select Committee - public hearings on Fast-track Approvals Bill
  • Highlights this month
  • Policy announcements
  • What's happened in the house

 


Recent weather events - support for East Coast communities

The Minister for Emergency Management and Recovery Mark Mitchell visited East coast. The Government is making a contribution of $300,000 to Mayoral Relief Fund to help communities in Hastings, Wairoa and Tāirawhiti/Gisborne following severe weather and coastal inundation.  


Māhia Peninsula

I would also like to acknowledge the tragedy of the three people who lost their lives in the fishing boat incident, my thoughts are with their families, friends and everyone affected by this news.


Budget 2024 – important dates!

Budget 2024 was delivered on 30th May.  The Coalition Government is getting the country’s finances under control and establishing foundations for growth. If you are interested in reading more details about the budget - you can find those details here

Tax relief for the first time in 14 years 

Hard-working New Zealanders will keep more of what they earn. The personal income tax thresholds bracket will change, ensuring tax relief for New Zealanders kicking off 31st July.

Families with young children will benefit from the new Family Boost childcare payment. Parents and caregivers can get back up to 25 per cent of their early childhood education fees, to a maximum fortnightly amount of $150 starting 1st July. 

I would encourage you all to check out our Budget 2024 tax calculator to work out how much tax relief you, or your family will receive. 

Budget 2024 – what it means for Hawke’s Bay region affected by Cyclone Gabrielle

The Coalition Government is committed to supporting the rebuild and recovery of the regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and the 2023 Auckland Anniversary floods. Budget 2024 supports this commitment and invests in New Zealand’s emergency preparedness.

The Government will be fully funding the repair of State Highway and local roads across our community so that vital transport links are restored:

  • $609.3 million over three years to complete state highway recovery works in areas affected by the North Island weather events, ensuring that roads are restored to their previous condition.  
  • $330 million over two years to continue the response and recovery work on local roads that were affected by the North Island weather events.

There will be targeted support for the people of Hawke’s Bay and Tāirawhiti to help with the recovery.

This includes supporting the restoration of marae, whenua Māori, removal of woody debris and sediment, the Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS), and local council recovery functions. 

People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025.

 


Environment Select Committee - public Hearings on Fast-track Approvals Bill (FTAB) 

As part of my role on the Environment Select Committee, I have been in one of two sub-committee’s hearing submissions on the Fast-track Approvals Bill (FTAB) for past 5 weeks. There is a high level of interest in this bill across the country and we have heard so many different perspectives, both in support and those suggesting improvements.

The Committee is gathering information and officials will prepare a report on the bill for the house with its recommended changes. This report is due on 18 Oct 2024. I look forward to keeping you updated.

You can watch public meetings of the Environment Select Committee here

What is a select committee and how does it work?

Select committees are small groups of MPs from across all parties in parliament. Each Select Committee has a particular specialist area it handles, and it is their job to examine bills or proposed laws and hear feedback from the public. There are 12 subject select committees.

I sit on the Environment Select Committee and am the Chair of the Education and Workforce Select Committee.

Committees often ask for the publics thoughts by calling for submissions. Submitting gives you a chance to have your say and helps us as MPs understand how a law change can affect you and other New Zealanders. 

You can make a submission electronically on our website or by giving it in written or you might also speak to the committee in person. Your submissions help inform back on what they report to Parliament.

If you want to find out more about select committees or have a look at what’s open for submissions checkout our website www.parliament.nz

 


Highlights this month

Local constituent's concerns 

This month, we have had several people visiting our office to discuss their various concerns and requesting for an appointment with me.

My office has actively worked on 24 constituent cases. The three key themes for this month were people seeking help with immigration matters, housing, and social development issues.

Another theme emerging from our local community is around the limited availability of dental services that tailor to children in our region.  We have shared these concerns on behalf of the community with the Minister of Health’s office.

I regularly meet with Mayor Kirsten Wise, Napier City Council to learn about local issues which our city is facing. We share information on our recent policies, initiatives, decisions. I also keep in touch with our local Mayors in the region. 

Meetings and events 

I have attended several community meetings, spoke at events and met with local constituents at my office.

This month, I had 27 meetings with individuals, organisations, and key stakeholders in Napier electorate such as Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Age Concern, Grey Power, Federation Farmers and Pudney Hub to learn about their work and any barriers that maybe getting in their way.

I have attended 20 formal events, from Ministers visits, Fieldays in Hamilton, on a Young Enterprises judging panel, Wairoa Hospital visit and various award ceremonies.

Key events 

Minister of Transport, Simeon Brown's visit to Hawke's Bay region 

Post-Budget 2024, Minister of Transport Simeon Brown met with Mayor Kirsten Wise (Napier City Council), Mayor Alex Walker (Central Hawkes Bay District Council), Mayor Craig Little (Wairoa District Council) and Mayor Sandra Hazelhurst (Hastings District Council) at my Napier Electorate Office along with Catherine Wedd – MP for Tukituki.

The Minister provided an update and discussed the core issues post Cyclone Gabrielle and the allocated funding for Response and Recovery works on local roads.

For media interview please see here.

Minister of Emergency Management and Recovery, Mark Mitchell's visit to EPOD, Napier 

Minister Mark Mitchell visited EPOD office in Napier. EPOD are doing fantastic things in the emergency and disaster resilience space. We were lucky enough to show the Minister two of EPODs retrofitted containers that have reached Wairoa. 

These purpose-built emergency and disaster resilience pods (EPODs) are built with communities in mind and work to establish an accessible and centralised emergency response capability directly within the community. 

EPODs are designed and built by professional engineers, made from high-quality materials and fittings, and can be delivered to local community, anywhere in New Zealand.   

Minister talks with EPOD team and takes a look inside of the unit which is fitted with emergency preparedness and resilience items.

Futureopoly Hawke’s Bay - Graeme Dingle Foundation

Futureopoly, an event organised by Graeme Dingle Foundation Hawke’s Bay in collaboration with other stakeholders. It was a great event for young people to gain an understanding of earning while you learn and future employment opportunities in the region.

It was great to be a part of this event and drop by with my colleague Catherine Wedd MP for Tukituki.

Hallmark Angus Bull sale

Agriculture is a very important part of the Napier electorate. I support our farmers and those in agriculture-based industries.

I recently attended the Hallmark Angus bull sale event in Tutira.Connecting with our rural communities and getting to see the fruition of their hard work is such a great way to spend the day.

Wairoa Hospital visit

I was fortunate to be hosted by the Wairoa Hospital for a tour of its departments by the Chief Medical Officer Benjamin Pearson, Acting Group Director of Operations Paula Jones and General Manager Whanau and Communities Penny Rongotoa.

We had an extensive walk around the hospital, discussing what’s working well and some of the ongoing challenges. The whole way round, I was greeted by experienced and skilled staff who genuinely enjoy what they do. I am working hard to improve health outcomes in Wairoa.

Radio interview with 95BFM

Earlier this week I had a radio interview with Radio Kahungunu on the budget announcements we have made. You can listen to my interview by clicking this link

I do regular radio interviews with 95bfm and Radio Hawke’s Bay. 

Hawke’s Bay Young Fruit growers of the Year competition

Another great event that I attended was Hawkes Bay Young Fruit Grower of the Year competition awards held at Toi Toi Hawkes Bay Events and Arts Centre. It was organised by the Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association (HBFA) in partnership with the HB Fruitgrowers’ Charitable Trust. This is a cornerstone event in our region since its inception in 2005.

This competition provides a platform for recognising and celebrating emerging leaders, allowing them to showcase their skills, innovation, and determination. It symbolises the strength and resilience of our community.

The competition results were announced, and the deserving winners were honoured to over 350 industry leaders, supporters, and advocates.

Fieldays 11-15 June at Mystery Creek near Hamilton

A great annual agricultural event for farmers to showcase their work.

This event is in its 56th year and was attended by wide range of people, stakeholders, exhibitors, and visitors who come to Fieldays from all over New Zealand and abroad.

It was great celebrating our farmers and their hard work. I was with my fellow National MPs, including the Minister of Finance, Nicola Willis MP.

St Augustine's Brownie meeting with school kids

I attended the St Augustine’s Brownie meeting in Taradale where I met with young girls who were keen to know what I do as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Napier. It was great to talk to such inquisitive and determined group.

I got to work with them on their ‘Explore Science’ badge. It was fun to work in a team and assist.

It was a great to inspire young girls about future work avenues and opportunities that exist.

Volunteer week 

Happy National Volunteer Week. I want to send my heartfelt thanks to all those who volunteer out in the community - the unsung heroes!

I had attended the Volunteering Hawke’s Bay Excellence Awards 2024. An event to acknowledge the hard and often thankless work done in our communities. It was an honour to address the crowd on behalf of Minister Louise Upston MP and celebrate the amazing volunteers across the region.

Thank you to Volunteering Hawkes Bay for a fantastic night.

New Māhia Sports Court opening

I’m more than happy to get out there and give anything a go - especially for an important event like the new Māhia Sports Court opening at Ormond Reserve.

The rain didn’t keep the community away either and it was so cool to see many generations come together to play.

The new sports facility is going to be a transformational community space, particularly in an area where access can be challenging, and many young kids struggle to stay in sports.

Well done to all those who were involved to make this happen!

 Matariki 2024

Matariki opens the door to the new year. An opportunity to celebrate loved ones who have passed, reflect on times past, and prepare for the future. I wish you all enjoy this time with your family and friends. 


Policy Announcements 

1. Govt strengthens COVID-19 preparedness - read the Beehive PR here

In January, our government announced an extension of public access to free rapid antigen tests (RATs) until the end of June. With a recent spike in case numbers, the Government remains focused on ensuring New Zealanders stay safe this winter.

An additional funding has been confirmed through the Budget 2024 to Health New Zealand who will purchase a further 9.25 million RATs. Free public access to RATs will continue until 30 September 2024. 

2. Government delivers funding boost to fix potholes - read the Beehive PR here 

The Government is delivering on its commitment to boost funding for pothole prevention to help fix potholes on our State Highways and Local Roads.

3. Faster consenting for flood protection projects in Hawke's Bay – read the Beehive PR here

Faster consenting means work to build stop banks, spillways and other infrastructure can get underway sooner, increasing flood protection for about 975 properties and their communities. The works will also help protect the industrial area and Napier’s wastewater treatment plant in Awatoto.

4. Paid Parental Leave increase to help families - read the Beehive PR here

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns.

5. Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions - read the Beehive PR here

The Government will reverse previous governments blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation.

6. Government delivers landmark specialist schools' investment - read the Beehive PR here

The Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive.

7. More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather - read the Beehive PR here

People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025.

8. Job seekers to report on progress after six months – read the Beehive PR here

The Government has introduced a new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with Ministry of Social Development (MSD) after six months to assess how their job search is going.

9. Government takes action to address youth crime - read the Beehive PR here

 The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around.

10. Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings - read the Beehive PR here 

The Government has announced the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings. It is committed to ensuring that we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners.

11. National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $ 120billion - read the Beehive PR here 

The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion. 

12. Making it easier to build infrastructure - read the Beehive PR here

The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure.

13. Women continue to make up over 50% on public sector boards – read the Beehive PR here

Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles. 

14. Making it easier to build granny flats read the Beehive PR here

The Government announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats. 

16. New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease - read the Beehive PR here

A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity.

17. Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation - read the Beehive PR

The Department of Internal Affairs is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material. 

18. Health workforce numbers rise - read the Beehive PR

Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. 

19. Government to overhaul firearms law - read the Beehive PR

The Government announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. 

20. Major Health and Safety consultation begins - read the Beehive PR 

A substantial consultation on work health and safety has begun with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months. This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations. 

21. Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines – read the Beehive PR

The Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines.

22.  $30m investment for faster access to radiology services – read the Beehive PR

New Zealanders will now benefit from free access to radiology services referred directly by their general practitioner, resulting in faster diagnosis and improved health outcomes. 

23. Tougher sentences coming for criminals – read the Beehive PR

The Government is reforming sentencing to ensure criminals face serious consequences for crime and victims are prioritised.

24. Government introduces Three Strikes Bill - read the Beehive PR 

The Government has introduced a Bill to restore the Three Strikes sentencing law.

 


What's happened in the House?

In June, the House doesn't sit for the first two weeks (in recess mode). Third week of June was Scrutiny week (June 17 to 21). 

What is Scrutiny week? 

The 2023 Standing Orders introduced two scrutiny weeks to the parliamentary calendar. These weeks are allocated to select committees, to give them more time to engage in scrutiny activities. It is expected that one will follow the Budget each year, and one will be in December. These weeks will involve looking ahead at the Government’s spending plans, and back, at what public entities achieve with that spending.

The scrutiny weeks in 2024 take place from 17 June – 21 June, and 2 December – 6 December. 

In June, select committees will examine the Government’s spending plans as set out in the Budget (the Estimates). Later, committees will look at what public entities have done with that money (the annual reviews). The expectation is that select committees will increase the time they spend on scrutiny.  

During the scrutiny weeks, the House does not sit, but members of Parliament must attend committee meetings in person. Ministers and leaders of public service organisations are also expected to attend hearings of evidence in person.

House sitting dates - From 25 to 28 June to discuss matters before the house. 

 

Progress in the house

To see bills at varying stages and find out the status, follow this link

What's open for submissions? 

Parliament's decisions affect all New Zealanders. Have your say and influence the laws passed by Parliament. You can get involved by making a submission.

Make a submission - New Zealand Parliament (www.parliament.nz)

 


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Thank you for taking the time to read Nimon's News and if there is anything I can do to help - please give my office a call on 06 835 2569 or email me at [email protected]

I look forward to seeing you around.

Thanks

Katie Nimon MP for Napier