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Nelson MP Nick Smith is asking for residents’ views on increasing the age of criminal responsibility, immigration policy and what the government’s 2017 budget priorities should be in his annual newsletter, which is being delivered to 27,000 homes in his electorate this week.

“I am seeking people’s views on extending the Youth Court’s jurisdiction to age 17 because the Children’s Commissioner has proposed the change as a means of better managing young offenders and reducing re-offending” Dr Smith says.

“Immigration has been a topical issue as a consequence of 30,000 New Zealanders per year no longer leaving and other New Zealanders returning home. Even though new Residents Permits have been consistent at about 50,000 per year since 2000, it is now resulting in a faster population growth. I am giving Nelsonians the option of indicating what level of immigration they would prefer in the future.

“The Government has started work on Budget 2017. We are in a much stronger financial position than we have been after the big deficits from the Global Financial Crisis and the cost of the Christchurch earthquakes. There is never enough money and we will need to make some choices on high priority areas like health, education, police and other priorities. This is an opportunity for people to express a view on how Government spends their hard earned taxes. 

“My newsletter and survey is a great way to keep in touch with Nelsonians. I really appreciate the feedback and encourage people to ensure they have their say. While the questions are topical, some of the most valued responses are from the extra comments people make on issues of most concern to them” Dr Smith says.

People can respond via free post, online, or by dropping the survey off at one of the 10 collection boxes on the form which are located from Atawhai to Brightwater. If Nelsonians don’t receive a newsletter, they can call the electorate office on 547 2314 to have a copy sent out.  Responses to the survey are due by 28 November.

"This annual survey is particularly important, as my Ministerial roles mean I have been spending more time out of Nelson. I encourage people to have their say to ensure I keep in touch with local views’’ Dr Smith says.

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