Vanessa Weenink May Update

Our electorate:

The change of season has meant frosts have replaced the falling leaves. However, the cold weather has not dampened the community spirit within the Banks Peninsula electorate.

May has been another important month for our community:

  • I was honoured to join Minister of Defence Judith Collins in Burnham with Nicola Grigg MP for Selwyn, who announced $571 million in Budget 2024 for Defence Force pay and projects. I'm lucky to work alongside fellow veterans as our commitment to New Zealand’s Defence Force is a priority for this Government.
  • I went for a tour at Dawn Aerospace along with Hamish Campbell MP for Ilam and Tim Costley MP for Ōtaki. It was awesome to hear about everything Dawn is achieving including the significant step towards the next Mk-II Aurora flight campaign with the ground-based testing of the new C2 link at the Tāwhaki National Aerospace Centre.
  • I spent a day in Wainui out on the water as apart of Search and Rescue Exercise Blue Arrow. I was lucky enough to experience first-hand what it is like to be a part of Coastguard Sumner rescue vessel, along with Sumner Surf Life Saving Club and other essential volunteer organisations. It was amazing to see everyone working together to learn the necessary skills to help people in their times of need. Our government has committed $63.644 million over four years in Budget 2024 to Coastguard New Zealand and Surf Lifesaving New Zealand in order for them to continue to fund their important work.
  • I had the privilege of seeing inside one of the Independent Fisheries vessels. As one of New Zealand's largest deep-sea fishing companies, Independent Fisheries catch and process a huge variety of seafood. It was fantastic to hear that Sealord are looking to move more of their operation to Lyttelton. This will be a great boost for local businesses. 

Community update:

I hosted more drop-in community sessions in Sumner, Cashmere and Halswell. It was good to catch up on issues affecting residents. One issue that was raised was the ongoing problem with the pedestrian crossing on Halswell Junction Road with the right-hand turning signal. I am in contact NZTA and the Council about trying to resolve this problem.

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


National’s 2024 Budget:

  • We have delivered on the Government’s priorities – tax relief for hardworking Kiwis, restoring law and order, and delivering better public services.
  • Tax relief for the squeezed middle, which will see a couple on the average income receive up to $102 more per fortnight, and an additional $150 for eligible families with young children for childcare.
  • Targeted investments in public services including a $16.68 billion multi-year funding boost for health services, $2.93 billion for education and $2.92 billion to restore law and order. 
  • Enduring savings of $23 billion over four years to responsibly fund tax relief and provide an additional boost to priority frontline services. 
  • A $7 billion boost to capital funding, so we can invest in the infrastructure needed for future growth and resilience. 
  • Fiscal discipline to get back to surplus by 2027/28 and lower government debt. 

Out and about in Banks Peninsula:

There have been heaps of incredible moments I have been able to experience across the electorate this month.

  • Spent the day over in Koukourarata/ Port Levy at the resident’s association AGM stimulated debate. I want to say you to the committee for the invitation and opportunity to speak with members. I’m looking forward to spending more time out there.
  • I attended an evening informational hui put on by Predator Free Cashmere and Predator Free Cracroft. The team showed participants how they can keep the community predator-free, ensuring neighbouring communities can work together to keep our predator numbers low. I also met up with predator free Redcliffs and was shown all the incredible work they have been doing around Barnett Park.
  • I participated in one of Lyttelton Emergency Hub community conversations taken by Canterbury Civil Defence. These community workshops are being held each month with each session focusing on a different topic. I am pleased to see the community organisations empowering residents to be prepared.
  • I put my gumboots on and joined in on the ‘mother of all cleanups’ which took place across the city near our streams and rivers. I helped the Somerfield Residents Association along the Ōpāwaho / Heathcote River. There was so much rubbish collected but it was great to see everyone doing their bit to help clean up around Christchurch.
  • I visited a few more schools, including St Annes, Oaklands, Thorrington and Tamariki. I’m looking forward to working with each school principal and its teachers to support them with each schools’ challenges.
  • I visited the team at BestStart preschool on Halswell Road. It was great to see all the amazing learning tools the team is using to enhance our next generation's education.
  • I also found myself heading along to Shabby Chic Market to buy some treasures.
  • I finally got to go for a tour of the LYTTELTON LIGHTS factory. This home fragrances business is an excellent example of how hard-working and enterprising people can do well and grow within their means, while still being ambitious. Congratulations to Laura and her dedicated team. I’m looking forward to taking Nicola Willis Minister of Finance of New Zealand for a tour there on Tuesday.  
  • I collected donations for Aviva and Cholmondeley at both New World St Martins and New World Halswell. Both organisations are vital to helping uplift our community and beyond.
  • As a GP, I saw many people who struggled with their gender identity and now as an MP, I want to show my support as well. That is why I am hoping to raise $1000 for Sweat with Pride, but also to exercise for 30 minutes a day, it’s a win win.

Community Drop-In Sessions:

I am pleased to announce my community drop-in sessions for next month. Please do come along to the following session if you are in the area:

Lyttelton at Coffee Culture on Tuesday June 11 from 10-11am. 

Somerfield at Plunge Café on Tuesday June 11 from 12-1pm.

Woolston at The Tannery Cassels Restaurant on Tuesday June 11 from 2-3pm.

For those of you who are busy during the day, you are more than welcome to come to my “pub politics” session in Heathcote at The Valley Inn Tavern on Tuesday June 11 from 5.30-7.00pm.


I spoke to John MacDonald on Newstalk ZB along with City Central MP Duncan Webb. Listen here:

The following week I spoke to John along with East Christchurch MP Reuben Davidson. Listen here:

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 King’s Birthday weekend,