East Coast MP Anne Tolley has today announced she will be retiring from Parliament at the 2020 General Election.
Mrs Tolley has been the MP for East Coast since 2005 and was first elected as a National MP in 1999. Mrs Tolley served as the National Party’s first female Whip and has held a wide range of ministerial portfolios including Education, Corrections, Police, Tertiary Education, Social Development, Youth, Children and Local Government.
More recently Mrs Tolley has been the Deputy Speaker of the House and was elected as the second Vice President to the Bureau of Women Parliamentarians at the 138th IPU Assembly in 2018.
Mrs Tolley gave the keynote address at the United Nations Development Programme’s Pacific Women in Power Forum and was invited to help lead a workshop in Turkey for Women’s Political Participation, to increase their representation in Turkish Parliament.
“I have had tremendous support from my family throughout my political career which has spanned 34 years. My husband has lived a political widower’s life, too often taking second place to the needs of my job.
“So the time has come for me to put life with him and our family first and to do the things we’ve talked about but struggled to fit into a busy political schedule.
“There is no greater privilege than to be trusted to represent your community in Parliament, and for 15 years the people of the East Coast Electorate have given me that trust and support. I’m also extremely grateful to the National Party for the many amazing opportunities it has afforded me.
“I am confident National has the leadership and the team to win Government in the upcoming election. I know our fantastic, hard-working candidate Tania Tapsell will win the East Coast seat, so it is a great time for me to step back, relaxed, knowing I leave it all in good hands.”
An Anzac Day fly-past over Auckland that has been blocked from happening during Level 4 should be allowed to go ahead, National’s Veterans spokesperson Anne Tolley says.
“With traditional Anzac Day commemorations hampered this year, the Auckland RSA had arranged for five warbirds to fly over the greater Auckland area at 8am and 11am, culminating with a smoke trail over the Auckland Cenotaph.
“Sadly, the RSA was told by the Ministry of Transport that the fly-past was considered too risky during Level 4 restrictions, even though safety concerns could be managed.
“It’s ridiculous to suggest this fly-past carries the same risk as someone going surfing or mountain biking during lockdown. We’re talking about professional pilots who follow strict safety protocols. They won’t struggle to maintain social distancing from their cockpits.
“This is incredibly disappointing given it’s the second year in a row our Anzac Day has been impacted after the Christchurch mosque attack saw many services scaled back.
“Anzac Day has a special place in the hearts of all Kiwis and the RSA is really feeling this year’s cancellation. They just wanted to do something to acknowledge those who have served our country and provide a special treat for the young people who have embraced Anzac Day in greater numbers over the years.
“The Government could grant an exception for this fly-past to happen during Level 4, which is due to end two days later anyway. I would urge them to reconsider this.”
Anne Tolley has today announced she will stand for National in 2020 as a list MP and won’t be seeking re-election as the MP for East Coast.
“I have every confidence National will return to Government next term. If we have the privilege to Govern, I will be putting myself forward to be Speaker of the House,” Mrs Tolley says.
“The role of Speaker would require full-time attention, given that, it wouldn’t be fair to continue to be an electorate MP.
“It has been a privilege to be the Member of Parliament for East Coast for the past 14 years. I worked hard to win the seat and I’ve loved every minute of representing such a diverse, hard-working, beautiful area. I have no doubt National will find a strong candidate to take my place, and that person will have my full support.
“While no formal decisions have been made about the role of Speaker should National win Government, I know my experience as Deputy Speaker this term will stand me in good stead.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me over the past 18-years in Parliament, and I will continue to represent and advocate for them while I am still the MP for East Coast. I thank the National Party Board for allowing me to go on the list.”
National MP Anne Tolley will join a small delegation of MPs to travel to Geneva, Switzerland today to attend the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union.
As well as the General Assembly of 178 countries, Mrs Tolley will join Rt Hon David Carter and Labour MP Louisa Wall in attending a number of other side meetings focused on the likes of Democracy and Human Rights, Peace and International Security, as well as meetings of the Committee for Women Parliamentarians, and a Forum for Young Parliamentarians.
As a former senior Cabinet Minister and current Deputy Speaker, Mrs Tolley says she is looking forward to discussions about how to promote women into political and parliamentary roles.
“It is a great privilege to represent the New Zealand Parliament in this international forum to discuss with parliamentary colleagues important issues such as how to maintain peace in conflict-riven countries and how to support long term development.
“I’m also interested in hearing from others on how they engage the private sector in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is to reduce poverty by 50% and is of great interest to New Zealand.
“I also look forward to meeting with fellow women parliamentarians to discuss practical ways to ensure their representation in Parliaments across the world continues to grow in number and influence.
“In between attending the IPU forum and a number of side meetings during the Assembly, there’ll be a number of opportunities to discuss the contribution women make to the major issues debated at the Assembly, and also how we support one another to grow the influence of women in our Parliaments.
“New Zealand has an enviable reputation for our participation at these international fora, our practical solutions and our fair-minded actions, and I am honoured to be part of the delegation,” Mrs Tolley says.
National will re-invest $24 million over 10 years in Gisborne’s road network to support strong growth in the district’s forestry sector, Economic Development and Transport spokesperson Simon Bridges says.
“National is committed to delivering the infrastructure our regions need to support the growing economy. That’s why we are accelerating a package of work to upgrade and maintain the districts roads to help ensure our regions continue to thrive,” Mr Bridges says.
“We’ve made great progress in the Gisborne District recently through the establishment of Tairawhiti Roads, a joint venture between the Gisborne District Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency that looks after both the local and State Highway network in Gisborne.
“The joint venture is delivering savings of around $3.3 million per year for NZTA and the Council through better management of the regions roads. National will direct NZTA to reinvest its share of those savings - $24 million over 10 years – back into improving the roading network in Gisborne.”
East Coast MP Anne Tolley says the strong growth of the forestry sector, supporting local jobs and higher incomes, has driven a significant increase in the number of heavy vehicles on Gisborne’s local and State highway networks.
“Export log volumes through Eastland Port have grown from a couple of hundred thousand tonnes in 2007 to almost 3 million tonnes now. This trend is expected to continue with the forestry sector forecast to grow further over the next few years, creating 630 new jobs in the region,” Mrs Tolley says.
“National will ensure the right infrastructure is in place to support this exponential growth.
“NZTA will work with the Gisborne District Council to use the reinvested $24 million to upgrade selected rural roads to take the heavy vehicles used by the forestry sector.”
Mr Bridges says logging is a key part of the Gisborne economy, and National will ensure the region has the roading infrastructure needed to support the growth of that industry.
“Earlier this year the National-led Government released the Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan. Tairawhiti’s forestry production was identified as an opportunity for growth because the sector is not only one of the largest contributors to the community but because it contributes 14 per cent of New Zealand’s log exports,” Mr Bridges says
“I’m delighted that a re-elected National-led Government will be step in to provide the district with the roading network we need and deserve to support further growth”, Ms Tolley says.
A strong economy under National means more work training, rehabilitation & 1-on-1 support for young jobseekers.
Today, we announced that National will invest a further $72 million to help young New Zealanders on a government benefit move into work to ensure they can stand on their own two feet and reach their potential.
The majority of young Kiwis are doing incredibly well. They’re creating real opportunities for themselves and for New Zealand through hard work and a commitment to doing better.But some young people on a benefit need more support to get into work and to ensure they can stand on their own two feet – we’ll invest more to help them.
So what are we doing?
A National-led government will invest an extra $72 million over the next four years to support beneficiaries under 25 years of age in a number of ways.
We’ll guarantee work experience or training for those who have been on a jobseekers benefit for six months or longer. These will be specifically designed to get them ready for work.
We’ll also help them with financial management training to help them develop financial responsibility.
One in five beneficiaries tell us that drug use is a barrier to them getting a job. That’s why we’ll provide greater drug rehabilitation services for those that need it, to help them to kick drug use and get work ready.
Our approach will also ensure all young people under 25 who are on a job seekers benefit receive intensive one-on-one case management to help them get a job.
We want to invest early, and give young people individual support so they can develop the skills they need to move into the workforce.
This extra support also comes with obligations and personal responsibilities, so all beneficiaries take their own steps to move in to work and improve their lives.
Job seekers without children who refuse to participate in work experience or training or drug rehabilitation will lose 50 per cent of their benefit entitlement after four weeks of not meeting their obligations.
We know measures like this are effective in helping people into work, and once individuals decide to meet their obligations, full benefits will be reinstated.
A strong economy under National means more job opportunities and support for young Kiwis who need it the most.
We’re investing in them and helping them to take greater control of their own lives.
National will help more young people become drug free, move off the benefit and get a job to help ensure they reach their potential.
“Most of our young people are doing incredibly well. There are more job opportunities and more support than ever in our country, as a result of our strong economic growth,” Social Development Spokesperson Anne Tolley says.
“But some young people on a benefit need more support. National is committed to helping them into work to ensure they can stand on their own two feet.”
National will invest $72 million over the next four years to support beneficiaries under 25 years of age by:
- Guaranteeing work experience or training for those who have been on a jobseekers benefit for six months or longer, and financial management training to help them develop financial responsibility
- Providing rehabilitation services if drug use is identified as a barrier to employment
- Ensuring all young people under 25 who are on a job seekers benefit receive intensive one-on-one case management to get a job.
“Only 10 per cent of young people who go on a jobseekers benefit stay for more than six months – but for those that do, their average time on benefit is almost 10 years,” Mrs Tolley says. “We want to invest early, and give them one on one support so they can develop the skills they need to move into the workforce.
“We will guarantee them access to work experience or training courses designed specifically to get them ready for work.
“In addition, one in five beneficiaries tell us that drug use is a barrier to them getting a job - so we are increasing the support we give them to kick drug use and get work ready.”
National will also place obligations on those who do not take up the significant opportunities available in New Zealand to start work or training.
Job seekers without children who refuse work experience or training or recreational drug rehabilitation will lose 50 per cent of their benefit entitlement after four weeks of not meeting their obligations, with further reductions if that continues. This will also apply to those who continue to fail recreational drug tests, where these are requested by prospective employers.
The lower benefit payments will only be able to be used for essential needs such as rent and food – like we currently do with our Money Management programme for 16 to 19 year olds.
“This significant extra support we are announcing today will come with obligations and personal responsibilities, so those who won’t take the opportunities available to them will lose all or part of their benefit until they take steps to turn their lives around.
“We know benefit sanctions are an effective tool to help people into work, as 95 per cent of people who receive a formal warning meet their obligations within four weeks.”
Any benefit reductions will be made at the discretion of WINZ staff, to take account of individual circumstances. And once individuals decide to meet their obligations, benefits will be reinstated.
“New Zealanders are creating real opportunities for themselves and for New Zealand, through hard work and a commitment to doing better. National supports those efforts and is focused on helping all New Zealanders get ahead, even our most vulnerable,” Mrs Tolley says.
National will roll out the changes from 1 July next year
A re-elected National Government will introduce tougher and more consistent freedom camping rules that will protect public spaces and crack down on poor behaviour, Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley say.
“Lots of Kiwis and many of our international visitors love to camp, and they make a large contribution to our tourism industry,” Tourism Spokesperson Paula Bennett says.
“Freedom campers stay longer and spend more on average than other visitors, but there are now a lot more people freedom camping than there used to be and a small minority don’t treat our roadsides and public spaces with adequate respect.
“Local councils have been asking the government to create more consistent rules and to help them penalise those who break these rules.”
- Restrict all non self-contained vehicles to areas that are within easy walking distance – approximately 200 metres – of toilet facilities
- Continue to allow Councils and the Department of Conservation to ban all freedom camping from certain areas, and extend these powers to LINZ and the NZTA to ensure Crown-owned land can also be restricted. The areas could be as small as a certain street or as large as a whole town centre
- Allow Councils and the Department of Conservation to issue instant fines for those who break the rules. If the fine can’t be paid on the spot, it will be assigned to the vehicle owner, including rental car companies
“We will also create a new smartphone app to show exactly where people can and cannot camp, and ensure consistent public signage across the country to ensure freedom campers know their rights and responsibilities,” Local Government Spokesperson Anne Tolley says.
“Our changes will not affect trampers, campers and hunters who enjoy our back country areas as they are not considered freedom campers.
“We want responsible campers to continue enjoying the best of what New Zealand has to offer and add to the $380 million a year they currently spend in our regions.
“These sensible changes, which build on those we made ahead of the Rugby World Cup in 2011, will make the rules much easier to follow, and will still give Councils the flexibility to make rules that suit their communities alongside a simple way to punish those who break the rules with bad behaviour.”
Minister for Children Anne Tolley says a new trial will start next week for direct purchasing and brokerage of services for children and young people in care or at risk of coming into care.
“Budget 2017 invests $6.3 million to set up an Access to Services trial to ensure that vulnerable children and young people in care get timely access to the range of services that they need,” says Mrs Tolley.
“Currently Gateway assessments, which provide detailed information on a child or young person’s needs, do not always result in children or young people getting access to all the assessments and services they need.
“The Access to Services trial will strengthen the Gateway assessment process to ensure the assessments more comprehensively cover health, social, emotional, education and care needs, and that referrals are made to the right services at the right time.
“When services are not available or cannot be accessed in a timely way, then the team will be able to purchase the service directly from the provider.”
The trial starts in Waitemata DHB and Bay of Plenty DHB, with a third DHB to be confirmed. It will work with around 800 vulnerable children and young people in care or at risk of coming into care over the next 18 months.
A Ministry representative will be attached to the Gateway assessment team and will work with the assessment coordinator and social worker to facilitate access to services from the DHB, Ministry of Education, or Government funded providers and NGOs.
Last week the Government announced details of the $100 million social investment fund for mental health, including $4 million to enhance the capacity of Gateway teams by including mental health specialists. The trial is expected to start in early 2018 in Waitemata DHB and Bay of Plenty DHB.
Minister for Children Anne Tolley says the Government is funding two new feedback and complaints systems within the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki.
“Budget 2017 invests $11.79 million to support the development and implementation of more effective, timely and child-centred feedback and complaints systems,” says Mrs Tolley.
“The existing complaints processes and systems are no longer fit for purpose. Our Youth Advisory Panels told us that they are complex and not easily accessible or focused on children and young people.
“We need better systems in place so children and young people can easily share their concerns and provide feedback. We also want to more effectively resolve any concerns that are raised, and ensure that insights gained are used to improve how we support and care for young people.
“A procurement process will begin shortly for a software system which will capture complaints from children and young people and Ministry staff, enabling the Ministry to analyse data and improve how services are delivered. It’s expected that the new system will be up and running in early to mid-2018.
“The Ministry will also run a full trial of the UK developed ‘Mind of My Own’ app which enables young people to express their views and provide feedback on the services they receive.
“An initial trial of the app, which ran from April to June in two Auckland sites, highlighted many examples of how young people were able to give feedback, unfiltered by adults, when they were previously reluctant or unable to do so.”
The app can be used by young people to prepare for a Family Group Conference, during a statutory visit, to raise concerns, give positive feedback, or express how they feel. Young people can use it on their own or with a social worker or caregiver.
The trial is expected to run for at least six months before being evaluated.