Wedd's Weekly - 30 June

As I write my newsletter I would like to acknowledge all those in Hawke’s Bay and across the East Coast who were impacted by the weather events.

Our region has been battered again as we are still recovering from Cyclone Gabrielle.

Our Minister for Emergency Management, Mark Mitchell was on the ground here to assess the damage and pledge $300,000 of support to Mayoral Relief Funds in Hastings, Wairoa and Gisborne.

I spent some time in Haumoana where homes were evacuated and also some time at the Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence Emergency Management Headquarters.

The team there said they have learnt a lot from the Cyclone Gabrielle response and said they felt more confident and equipped in handling the response this time.


OUT AND ABOUT

We celebrated Matariki in Hastings with an event at the Sports Park which attracted thousands of people for live performances and a fireworks display.

This last week we hosted Minister of Finance, Nicola Willis to outline our Budget 2024 and our Government’s vision to strengthen our Hawke’s Bay economy and support our region’s businesses.

The event was organised by the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Hawke’s Bay Regional Recovery Agency and was a sell out crowd.


Playing some former Silver Ferns was definitely an experience to remember - raising funds for the Tania Dalton Foundation in North Harbour!

Tania Dalton was an incredible sportswoman and inspiration. The foundation was set up in her honour so young women and girls from all backgrounds and all regions across New Zealand can reach their full potential through sport and give back to their communities.

Our Parliamentary Netball and Rugby Teams were pleased to be able to donate to this amazing cause.

We celebrated sustainable farming at the NZ Ballance Farm Environment Awards in Hamilton and I spent time with our East Coast Regional winners, Simon, Hugo and Pip Beamish who run an amazing farming operation.

Loved hearing about all the amazing sustainable farming practises across the country to ensure we are protecting our land for future generations.

Suze Redmayne MP for Rangitīkei and I attended as members of the Primary Production Select Committee and representing rural NZ.

Our government is backing our farmers and growers - being aspirational for our rural communities.

I visited Volunteer Hawke’s Bay for Volunteer Week. They have more than 3000 volunteers signed up across the region.

So many volunteers have helped get our region through Cyclone Gabrielle and we will be forever grateful.

New Zealand is a nation of volunteers, and we thank every volunteer for all they do.

I was excited to attend the launch of the Pan Pac Hawke’s Bay Business Awards recently.

It’s always inspiring to listen to Taurus from Topline Contracting who won the supreme award last year and spoke about the positive experience of being involved!

Good luck to all those businesses putting themselves forward. I look forward to celebrating our amazing businesses later this year.

GOVERNMENT NEWS

It’s been a busy few weeks down in Parliament as we had our very first scrutiny week and a busy week under urgency where we are moving legislation through quickly and getting things done.

While busy in the house I enjoyed some time supporting Dress For Success, an organisation empowering women to get back into the workforce.

RECENT GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

BANKING INQUIRY:

Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy and our government is committed to taking action to achieve a more competitive banking sector.

Recently our finance minister announced a select committee inquiry into banking.

It’s critical we better understand the role of bank competition in New Zealand.

The Minister asked the Finance and Expenditure Committee to lead the inquiry, in conjunction with the Primary Production Committee, which will focus on rural banking.

I am uniquely placed to assist as I sit on both the finance and expenditure committee and primary production select committee which are both involved in this inquiry. I will be one of the MPs listening and asking questions of the banking sector.

New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible.

For Hawke’s Bay, following the cyclone, growing the rural economy is critical to rebuilding our region’s economy and with farmers’ satisfaction with banking services dropping in recent years, it’s critical we better understand the role of bank competition in that sector.

A more competitive economy is a more productive economy – with more growth, innovation, and investment.

Taking action to achieve a more competitive banking sector is all part of our plan to rebuild the economy, lift incomes, and improve the lives of all New Zealanders.

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.

Over a quarter of households that do not own their own home spend more than 40% of their income on housing.

Unlocking the space in the backyards of family members opens the door to new ways of living.

Removing this regulatory red tape will not only speed up the building process, but it will also save up to $6,500 in building and consenting fees.

These legislative changes should be in place by mid-2025.

Cutting red tape and reducing the cost of construction is all part of our plan to rebuild the economy and ease the cost of living.

TRANSPORT FUNDING:

We are delivering a record investment into public transport, to get New Zealand back on track!

Hawke’s Bay will be receiving $17,506,589 – an increase of 116%.

Our government is rolling out contactless payment on public transport by the end of 2026.

Very soon you will finally be able to use Apple Pay and Google Pay on public transport networks in NZ.

JOBSEEKERS TO REPORT ON PROGRESS:

From June 24th, people on Jobseeker Support benefits will be required to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going.

MSD will proactively book the target cohort into work check-ins which will focus on those who are work-ready but do not have a dedicated employment case manager.

The check-ins will be a requirement for job seekers with full-time work obligations rather than those with a health condition, injury or disability who are only required to look for part-time work or take reasonable steps to prepare for work until their situation changes.

IN THE MEDIA:

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/national-mp-catherine-wedd-shares-traumatic-birth-story-bill-drawn-to-give-new-mums-longer-hospital-stays/ZXSUNJHKRFBL5FE7N2WKP7TWRU/

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/central-hawkes-bay-mail/tukituki-mp-budget-2024-great-news-for-hawkes-bay/KFHYLLIXLVF33EOTMLH2WICYDI/

 

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I look forward to seeing you out in our Tukituki community soon.

Regards, Catherine

 

Catherine Wedd | MP for Tukituki

 

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