Wow, it’s hard to believe how fast 2018 has gone and that October is already upon us. As I sit here and write this month’s newsletter, I can’t help but reminisce over the last 12 months and think about the numerous events that has made my first year as an MP nothing short of exhilarating.
The 23rd September marked one year since I was elected as the local MP for Maungakiekie. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the wonderful people of Maungakiekie- both within the electorate and in Wellington. Thank you to the many volunteers, friends, and supporters who have dedicated their time and energy to helping me serve the community. Together, we have achieved a lot and have plenty more planned for the next 12 months!
Ellerslie Fairy Festival
The Ellerslie Fairy Festival and Pirate Party was the perfect way to kick-start Spring, and I was pleased to run the Fairy Floss machine with Ellerslie School for the seventh year. While it’s always a sticky job, it never gets old!
My office also hosted Auckland Libraries, which was very special as they held a fairy and pirate themed story-time and sing-along that many children enjoyed.
A separate mention must be made to Town Manager Megan Darrow, the Ellerslie Business Association, and to all the volunteers and stall holders who made this event as successful as it was. Bring on next year!
Last month, my office hosted a couple of fundraisers that helped raise awareness for two worthy causes: Blue September and Loud Shirt Day. Blue September as some of you may know, is the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s national awareness campaign that not only helps spread the message for men to get regular checks, but also helps fund research that will improve diagnosis and treatment outcomes. We raised over $350, which 100% of was donated to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.
My office also proudly fundraised for Loud Shirt Day, which is the The Hearing House’s annual appeal to help deaf children with cochlear implants to listen and speak. The Hearing House is a local Maungakiekie organisation so I was more than pleased to play my part as the local MP and raise $200 for them.
A special thank you to Ellerslie Bakers Delight, Ellerslie Four Square, and to our community volunteers. Without their generous support and donation of time and resources, we couldn’t have pulled these off.
125th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage
On the 19th September, we celebrated the 125th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. This was a huge milestone for us as a country and I was more than honoured to commemorate the day by making a speech in Parliament and paying tribute to the women who led the charge for equal status.
I also had my first appearance on TV One’s Breakfast morning show with Labour MP Ginny Anderson. This was a fun panel discussion that covered topics such as the Prime Ministers’ GDP slip up, 125 years of women’s suffrage, and how the world would be different if women ran the show. Have a watch to see how it went!
While the anniversary was of huge national significance, all politics is local. So, I want to take this opportunity to highlight and pay tribute to a key Maungakiekie woman in the suffrage movement, Elizabeth Yates.
On the 29th November 1893, Elizabeth Yates was elected Mayor of Onehunga - the day after New Zealand women led the world by voting in a general election for the first time. Elizabeth was a woman of many ‘firsts’. Not only did she defeat her sole opponent to become the first woman mayor and the first JP in the British Empire, but she was also the first woman to record her vote in the electorate under the new Electoral Act of 1893. It’s a privilege to be part of a community that has this pioneering spirit and I look forward to hearing many more stories in future about our community’s colourful characters.
Pay Equity for Women
Earlier this year, my private members’ bill on pay equity was drawn and debated within two weeks of putting it in the ballot. My bill, which was previously a National-led government bill, was a blueprint for closing the gender pay gap by ensuring female-dominated jobs were paid fairly.
Gender equality and pay equity are targets that we need to continuously be working towards, and we must take every opportunity presented before us without delay. You can then understand my disappointment when the Government voted down my bill just after its first reading and delaying progress even further.
A couple of weeks ago, conveniently in time for women’s suffrage, the Government announced their own version of a pay equity bill. It is shockingly similar in wording to mine that it makes one wonder about their motives and the photo opportunity to celebrate Suffrage Day. Read more here.
Out and About
We have a few exciting upcoming events in the electorate that are worth taking note of:
- Monthly drop-in sessions
- Business Breakfast with Hon Amy Adams
- Electorate day with Hon Simon Bridges
- Mt Wellington Community Patrols Information Evening
If any of the above captures your attention, please do not hesitate to contact my office on 0800 DENISE MP to find out more information.
I hope this newsletter has updated you on what I have been busying myself with over the past month. I look forward to continuing to work hard for you and your family in our great electorate.