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I want to start by thanking everyone for your continued efforts as we work through the different alert level measures and pull together to fend off the pandemic. Our community has played its part extremely well and our day-to-day actions have made the difference. 

Thankfully, we appear to have managed the worst of the health crisis – and with good testing and tracing we should stay there; our task now is not-to-inflict any more gratuitous economic harm, over and above what’s needed to continue to keep New Zealanders safe.


Q&A WITH DENISE LEE

You may have seen some new signs popping up around the electorate- no, not election signs (yet!), but signs advertising my upcoming Q&A Livestreams.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be tuning in online to my Facebook page to answer all your questions and discuss your local issues. If you think of any in advance, please do send me your questions, either on Facebook or at deniseleemp@parliament.govt.nz, and I’ll address them on the nights!

  • Thursday 4th June, 7pm
  • Thursday 18th June, 7pm
  • Thursday 2nd July, 7pm
  • Thursday 16 July, 7pm

Click here for event details.


PETROL TAX HIKE

On the 1st July, the petrol tax will increase for the third time by another 4c.

Given the unprecedented economic pain our country is feeling because of COVID-19, we’re calling on the Government to defer the tax hike and give motorists a break and not continue to hit them in the back pocket.

The Government introduced three years of annual tax increases to pay for its promised light rail pet project, but with no business case, no funding, no construction, and no delivery, the tax grab scheduled for July 1 shouldn’t happen either.

To cushion the blow of Covid-19, our families need to keep more of what they earn.


OUT AND ABOUT


BUDGET 2020

We recently saw the cost of COVID-19 with the release of Budget 2020, which shows some of the bleakest figures our country’s seen in decades:

  • Unemployment to skyrocket to 9.8%
  • $140 billion of new debt- that’s $80,000 per household.
  • 1,000 people joining dole queues daily across the country.
  • GDP to fall by more than 20% this quarter.

These are truly sobering figures and there’s no doubt the challenge before us is serious. Unfortunately, Budget 2020 featured eye-wateringly large spending announcements but precious little detail on what is actually being bought with our money.

David Parker asserts that $433 million on regional environmental projects will create 4,000 jobs, but is there a business case to show for this?  We’ve heard Shane Jones predict tens of thousands of jobs from Provincial Growth Fund for more than two years, but the evidence of actual jobs is still hard to come by.

Also announced was an additional $3 billion for infrastructure and $5 billion for building 8000 houses. But, this is the same Government that failed to deliver KiwiBuild, has put light rail on indefinite hold, and has failed to build any new roads.

While I commend the Government for extending wage subsidies, projects in the Budget to grow the economy are in short supply. There should have been a focus on direct cash support for businesses, large-scale incentives for businesses to get ahead and on getting international students back in New Zealand before the start of the second semester.

My colleagues and I will continue to scrutinise this expenditure. We have faith that with the right approach, New Zealanders and our economy can rebuild successfully. We've done it before and together we will do it again.


LEADERSHIP CHANGE

The last week has been extremely busy, including of course a change of leadership for the Party.

We stand united behind Todd Muller, our new leader, and Nikki Kaye, deputy leader.

There’s a big job ahead of us to earn New Zealanders’ trust heading into the election. Our party has a team that offers New Zealand families and communities the experience and management skills to make the right decisions. 

Todd and Nikki have the smarts, they work incredibly hard, and they deeply care about where our country heads.

Politics is often a thankless task and I want to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett, who have been great servants of the party and the country. We honour their contribution.

Expect to see more from the blue team, we are a family, we are focused, and we’ll fight for your family’s future in a post- COVID world.


SHOP LOCAL, SUPPORT LOCAL

Level 2 provides us with the perfect opportunity to support our community and help our local businesses through this tough time. Do not underestimate the huge impact each and every one of us can make when we choose to shop local and support local.

By ordering food from our favourite eateries and shopping at local outlets we can help make a positive difference. Maungakiekie has three hard-working and dedicated business associations that are continuously working for our community. To see how you can support local, visit:


As always, if my office can be of any assistance to you or your family, please do not hesitate to contact us anytime on 0800 DENISEMP or email deniseleemp@parliament.govt.nz.

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