As always, a lot has been happening both around the electorate and in Wellington. Not only have we had a full programme in the House, but we have also celebrated and commemorated Easter and ANZAC Day.
While many of us had a relaxing Easter break with loved ones, the people of Sri Lanka suffered from a devastating series of attacks. Easter Sunday for Christians symbolises new life. To hear of the horrific and cowardly attack while people were in churches and at hotels was more than disturbing, and so my thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the Sri Lankan community. As we now know ourselves, it is during these difficult times that we need to remain strong and united.
Though it is now 104 years since the ANZAC troops arrived at Gallipoli on that Sunday morning on the 25th of April, the campaign that took the lives of nearly 2,800 brave New Zealanders far from home will never be forgotten.
Anzac Day is our national day and it’s a shame we’re seeing fewer events. I was pleased, however, that both Onehunga and Panmure’s ANZAC services proceeded in light of Auckland Council’s decision to reduce events from last year’s 84 to this year’s 26. Anzac Day brings us together, in New Zealand, in Turkey, in Australia and in many countries around the world, to honour all New Zealanders who have continued to serve in the fine tradition of courage and compassion demonstrated by the Anzacs at Gallipoli. We remember the commitment and sacrifice others have made to establish the truly free land we live in today.
I was privileged to be a part of Mt Wellington/Panmure RSA service and have my Maungakiekie Youth MP, Jess McKnight join me in remembrance and deliver a heartfelt speech as their youth speaker. Thank you President Leon Matthews & Deputy Jan for all that you do in Panmure, and to Rona and the RSA team for your services in Onehunga.
On Easter weekend, I competed in my fourth Demolition Derby at Waikaraka Park Speedway with fellow colleagues Hon Mark Mitchell, MP for Rodney, and Hon Todd McClay, MP for Rotorua. While it wasn’t my night, as Mark took out his second championship for the MP stakes, it was an exhilarating experience and a night that many families turned out for. Thank you President Frank Irvine and the Speedway team for allowing us to compete once again in such a popular event- I look forward to claiming next year’s win!
TRANSPORT IN ONEHUNGA CONCERNING
Onehunga is a major growth centre for Auckland and the contribution that our community makes to the nation’s economy is overwhelming. Our GDP contribution is second to Auckland’s CBD. We’re lucky to live in a vibrant area, but the responsibility to get growth right is paramount.
Over half way through this Government’s term, we are yet to see any efforts in controlling this growth, particularly on our roads. Congestion is worsening and the complete silence around the East West Link is deafening. My office has received several safety issue complaints from local residents and businesses who are forced to burden the cost while nothing gets done.
On top of that, NZTA appear to be rushing ahead with the Mangere Bridge replacement, which concerns me as I have not seen any plans that show how this project will work with other major developments. Getting answers from NZTA is a priority for me moving forward. The last thing we want is unnecessary additional crossings over the harbour that do not fit within the wider masterplan for the area. Please be assured that I’ll continue to advocate for Onehunga and journey with our community as it develops and grows.
OUT AND ABOUT
GOVERNMENT BACK DOWN ON CGT
While it took 18 months, caused massive uncertainty for New Zealanders and cost $2 million for the Working Group, National’s relentless opposition to a Capital Gains Tax finally saw the Government back down from their flagship tax policy that would have hurt us all. This is a policy that the Prime Minister made as the hallmark of her leadership.
We knew that a Capital Gains Tax would damage small businesses, hurt mum and dad investors, stop investment in start-ups, and stop research and development. It was something that wasn’t needed and wasn’t wanted.
The big question remains though, what is the Government doing to encourage the economy to grow?
Unlike the Government, National has a plan. We won’t introduce any new taxes in our first term, and we will index tax brackets to inflation, ensuring Kiwi families can keep more of what they earn.
We have a few exciting upcoming events in the electorate that are worth watching out for:
- Mt Wellington and Onehunga monthly drop-in sessions
- Seniors Morning Tea
- Community clean ups
If any of the above captures your attention, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Last but not least, my office this month celebrated its first year of being open. Since then, we have handled hundreds of constituent cases, ran multiple public meetings, drop-in clinics, community clean-ups, and morning teas for community groups. We have lobbied Auckland transport on parking, the 31X bus service and successfully called for safety improvements at the Church and Victoria Street intersection.
Being accessible is important to me. If my office can assist you in anyway, please do contact me on 0800 DENISE MP or DeniseLeeMP@parliament.govt.nz