As we return to some form of ‘normality’, I hope you’re keeping well and safely enjoying our ability to reconnect with those close to us. It’s been a rollercoaster month and things don't appear to be slowing down!
But before I get started with my Monthly Review, I want to take this opportunity to honour Constable Matthew Hunt. The tragic killing of Constable Hunt over a week ago was a terrible moment not only for his family and Police, but for our community as a whole. Our police do an incredible job every day, and I believe now is no more of a pertinent time to remember that our Police Officers are our family. They are Mums and Dads, brothers and sisters, and in some cases grandparents. When they aren’t protecting our communities they are helpers in our surf clubs, rotary or lions clubs, coaching sports teams and more. If you see one of our Police Officers out and about, please do consider giving them a quiet word of encouragement. We owe them our gratitude and support.
Q&A WITH DENISE LEE
My Facebook Live Q&A’s continue with two more sessions to go! On Thursday 2nd July and Thursday 16th July, 7pm, I’ll be tuning in online to answer all your questions and discuss our local issues. I’ve really enjoyed hosting these sessions and interacting with each and every one of you as I sit either in my office in Wellington or in Auckland. We’ve also had some great guest appearances!
If you think of some questions in advance of the above dates, please do send them through to me on Facebook or at email@example.com. If you missed out on the last Livestream videos, they can be found here:
MULLER IN MAUNGAKIEKIE
National’s new Party Leader Todd Muller recently visited Maungakiekie and I had a great time hosting and showing him around some of our local businesses.
Our first visit to Steelpipe in Onehunga was very insightful. They have a proud 120 year history of manufacturing pipes and are a key player in NZ's infrastructure industry. We were fortunate enough to tour around their wielding mill, seeing pipe construction in action, and then meet, over smoko, some long-time dedicated workers who had been with the company for over 40 years.
Our visit to Buckley Systems was something completely different. Thank you Bill Buckley CNZM for hosting us - we can definitely see why you're New Zealand's 2020 Innovator of the Year! Watch our tour here.
Our border is our first line of defence, but the Government has completely neglected this and have allowed people to enter New Zealand without proper testing, proper management of the isolation facilities and have enabled people to wander about freely without being tested.
I recently wrote to the Minister of Health David Clark to express my extreme disappointment with how the Ministry has managed COVID-19 quarantine/isolation facilities, particularly at Novotel Ellerslie and Waipuna Hotel.
You can imagine my extreme disappointment when the Minister couldn’t give any answers himself, refused to take responsibility and passed the buck on to the Ministry to respond. When can we get a Minister of Health who stands up?
As the local representative for both hotels, I have significant concerns about the security of the facilities and the risk subsequently posed to local residents. While I don’t oppose the use of these premises for such a purpose, I’m extremely disappointed at the number of Ministry of Health blunders we’ve seen- it’s complete incompetence.
There are reports that Waipuna Hotel recently declined testing unless an individual had symptoms. At the Novotel Ellerslie we’ve seen two COVID-positive women granted an exemption without prior-testing and reports of guests being told by staff that testing is voluntary.
Our community is owed proper assurance and transparency that, in the midst of a global pandemic, the measures protecting our safety are more than just rhetoric. I’ll be keeping a close on eye on this situation. The last thing we want is for the Government’s mismanagement to put everything we achieved during lockdown at risk.
OUT AND ABOUT
QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS
I was really pleased to see six Maungakiekie locals honoured in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List. We have such incredible local talent who have and still are serving their communities, and achieving something special. My warmest congratulations to:
Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM):
- Ms Barbara Ala'alatoa, for services to education. Barbara is our Sylvia Park School Principal who has worked endlessly with and for our students, strengthening their ability.
Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):
- Mr Russell Burt, for services to primary education. Russell is our Pt England School Principal and a leading innovator who has pushed for the integration of digital technology in low decile schools.
- Mrs Kiri Nathan, for services to Māori and the fashion industry
- Mrs Joan and Mr Lloyd Whittaker, for services to heritage preservation and music education
Honorary Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM):
- Ms Lita Foliaki, for services to the Pacific community
THANK YOU PAULA & ANNE
Over the past week National Party stalwart MPs Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley have announced they will be retiring from politics. I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Paula and Anne for everything they’ve done, not only for the National Party but for our country over the past 15 years.
Paula has served as Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader, and held more than 14 portfolios as a Minister, including Minister for Social Development and Employment. Anne served as the National Party’s first female Whip and has held a wide range of ministerial portfolios including Education, Corrections, Social Development, and Local Government.
I wish them both the very, very best.
We have a few exciting upcoming events in the electorate that are worth taking note of:
- Meet Denise Lee MP Cafe sessions (no appointment necessary!)
As always, please don't hesitate to contact my office on 0800 DENISE MP if you or your family are in need of any assistance.
If you would also like to get your hands and feet dirty and help volunteer on my re-election campaign as your local MP, get in touch. I'd love to have you on board!