Vanessa Weenink - June Update

Winter has well and truly arrived and there have been plenty of celebrations and achievements within the Banks Peninsula community in June:

  • I was honoured to join Minister of Finance Nicola Willis at the Lyttelton Lights factory. We had a grand tour of the factory from local business owner Laura and her team. Laura started her fragrance business in her home kitchen, nearly ten years ago. It was great to see a locally-owned business thriving.  
  • I also was proud to join Minister of Housing Chris Bishop at the opening of Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust’s latest housing development in Somerfield. This project is an excellent example of Government, community, mana whenua, and Christchurch City Council working together to help deliver warm, dry, and affordable homes for families. The Government’s 1500 new social homes funded in Budget 2024 will mean more much-needed housing developments.
  • I went along with the Minister of Police Mark Mitchell to visit Rāwhiti Community Corrections over in Bromley. The team at Rāwhiti Community Corrections do an amazing job helping people, who are on probation to make better choices in their lives going forward. This can include people joining Community Work or programmes to address violence, alcohol, and drug abuse or driving offences.
  • I also travelled up to Rotorua for the New Zealand GP conference, and as a member of the cross-party mental health group, I am always keen to learn about new resources for mental health. “Just a thought” - is an online website which is free to use and has online courses which may be of help to many people. Check it out here:

Community update:

I am still seeking public feedback on State Highway 75 road speed limits, so please click the link: and submit your feedback.

In addition to this, I will be hosting a community event to discuss topics such as this at the Akaroa Bowling Club on July 6th from 1.30-3.30pm. Feel free to get in touch through the office at 03 384 5717, or through email: [email protected]

My community drop-in sessions were in Lyttelton, Somerfield, and Woolston this month. It was good to switch up my locations and cafes around the electorate. Feel free to let me know where you would like to see me next out in the electorate. I also hosted a Pub Politics night at the Valley Inn Tavern. Keep an eye out on my social media pages to see when the next one will be!

National’s 2024 Budget:

  • Budget tax cuts mean an average household in Christchurch will receive around $2639 in tax relief.  
  • We will be delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package through our $604 million medicine investment. This boost means 175,000 patients will get access to medicine to improve their lives. 
  • Granny flats are just one part of the solution to NZ’s housing crisis, so we’re making it easier and cheaper to get them built. We’re making changes so granny flats can be built without the need for a resource consent or building consent, so it’s more affordable for families to live the way that suits them best. 
  • We don’t want kids growing up in motels, so we’ve set a target for 75% fewer families in emergency housing by 2030.
  • National is serious about restoring law and order so Kiwis feel safe, so we are employing 500 more police officers over the next two years to patrol our major cities. 
  • We will be reversing untargeted blanket speed limit reductions that Labour implemented, where it is safe to do so.
  • National will modernise paid parental leave rules by giving parents more flexibility to share their leave entitlements.

Out and about in Banks Peninsula:

There have been some fantastic initiatives happening across the electorate this month.

  • I spent time catching up with a few primary schools including Mt Pleasant, St Martin’s, Somerfield, and Lady Star of the Sea School. I spoke with staff at Mt Pleasant School about the literacy support. I also spoke to the staff and principal from St Martin’s Primary School about the school’s goals for the rest of year and heard about Somerfield School's upcoming Matariki disco. I met with the principal of Lady Star of the Sea School and learnt about their annual fundraising event. A mid-Winter 'Lip Sync' evening where the staff organise and participate in. I’ll be making it to next year’s one!
  • Walked around the new Youth Hub located on Salisbury Street. This will be New Zealand's first purpose-built Youth Centre. The Hub will provide young people with the resources they need to improve and maintain their mental health which will include supported housing services. Stage One is expected to be open from the end of 2024.
  • Popped in to visit Dame Ngaio Marsh’s house and garden. Ngaio Marsh was arguably my neighbourhood’s most famous resident. She was a trailblazer who started writing crime novels in the 1940's until the 1980's. I recommend going if you get a chance.
  • Joined in on celebrating Diamond Harbour’s new Fire and Emergency vehicle which the community raised funds for. A fantastic bunch of volunteers who work hard to keep the community safe.
  • I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Emergency Call Centre team for St John’s. It was fantastic to meet the team, who are working behind the scenes and making sure New Zealanders are being looked after in their time of need.
  • Spent some time pulling out a few tough Mallow plants at the Lyttelton community garden. Project Lyttelton do an excellent job of coordinating volunteers and making it fun all while doing it.
  • Went along to the Encraftment Market, the handmade craft market at Pioneer Stadium. This is great initiative for supporting local and buying quality handmade items.

To keep up to date with everything on a day-to-day basis, follow me on social media:

Facebook: Instagram: @vanessaweeninkbankspeninsulamp

Have a great and safe Matariki weekend!