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I trust this latest newsletter finds you well and you’re enjoying the blossoming of Spring. Long nights and BBQ season is just ahead!

It’s been a busy past few weeks since I last wrote. In addition to my usual work in Wellington, I have also been on parliamentary recess. Make no mistake, while recess sounds like a break, it is nothing but! Recess allows me to get back in the electorate for a wide array of events, meetings with residents, school visits and general local business. This part of the job I really enjoy as I get to connect with my electorate and meet many diverse and wonderful people.

What Now

For the first time in history, the children’s TV programme What Now visited Panmure and I was fortunate enough to be part of their special show! Beaming live from Tamaki Primary School, What Now not only showcased Panmure and its surrounds but also provided an eventful morning for all our local children and residents. Fun, games and gunge, we had it all!

Of course, I couldn’t resist getting completely slimed myself and lucky for you it was even caught on camera! Have a watch here.

School Visits

As part of my usual engagement with the electorate, I regularly visit our local schools. In addition to Tamaki Primary, I also visited Panmure District School, Point England School, Onehunga Primary and Panmure Bridge School.

It always interests me hearing about the latest activities and achievements that set our schools apart from the rest. One classic example of this is New Zealand’s first in-school relocatable health clinic that I got to see first-hand at Panmure Bridge School. The container-made health clinic, known as Whare Hauora, contains a waiting area, private treatment space and office space that all allow for an on-site nurse to help meet the needs of our most vulnerable children. Panmure Bridge School is the only school in the country to host such an awesome initiative.

We’re very lucky to have some great schools here in Maungakiekie and it’s always a pleasure to hear from both the principals and students about how they’re developing from strength to strength.

Auckland Central New Bus Network

Have you been affected by Auckland Transport’s new central bus network?

As part of an overhaul to create a “simpler, more frequent and integrated public transport network”, AT has changed many of their services. Any bus route changes, however, should be making it easier and more convenient for public use. From the large amount of feedback I am receiving, this is not the case.

I am in close communication with AT about these changes and have asked them to front at a public meeting that I would organise about the 31X bus. Unfortunately, they declined my request. I encourage you to take the opportunity to contact their bus review team who have committed to respond to each individual enquiry. It will be hard to ignore a continual stream of people saying the same thing!

Please be assured I am continuing to work on your behalf and am making sure AT is aware of the issues the new network is causing you.

Youth Parliament

The 9th New Zealand Youth Parliament is just around the corner and I’m on the hunt for an enthusiastic and passionate student who can represent me, our local youth, and the mighty seat of Maungakiekie in Parliament in 2019.

Every three years, young New Zealanders get to experience Parliament as Youth MPs and have the opportunity to actively work on topics and issues they care most about. If you are up for the challenge of working with me, touring the electorate, meeting other young people and gathering their views on just about anything affecting youth then I encourage you to get involved!

For more information about the application process, watch my video here, or flick me an email with any questions.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Education and Workforce Select Committee

As some of you may know, I currently sit on The Education and Workforce Select Committee. This select committee, in particular, has been one of the busiest this term as we have been working through two big pieces of legislation introduced by the government: the Education Amendment Bill, and the Employment Relations Amendment Bill.

The Education Amendment Bill, amongst other things, puts into law the removal of both National Standards and the Charter School model. This has caused much disarray.

As a committee, we’ve had countless families explain to us how much of a difference the charter school model is making in their children’s lives. Not only has their confidence increased but they are also excelling in an environment that the state school system failed to provide. It’s truly disheartening to see these changes being pushed through despite the clear positive impact these schools have.

In the same vein, the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, another key new policy from the government, not only removes 90-day trials for businesses with more than 20 staff, but also gives full workplace access to unions to recruit and undertake union activities on company time, and introduce industry-wide standardised wages. 

Not only will these changes, amongst others, decrease the flexibility of the economy, but they’ll also have the largest impact on small and medium businesses. It is ill-thought out policies such as this that are causing our plummeting business confidence.

Out and About

Upcoming events

We have a few exciting upcoming events in the electorate that are worth taking note of:

  • Monthly drop-in sessions
  • Seniors Morning Tea with Hon Simon Bridges
  • Business Breakfast with Hon Amy Adams

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.

Denise Lee
MP for Maungakiekie

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