Nelson Matters - 2021 Priorities

This week Parliament resumes and I give my annual speech to Rotary. It is a good opportunity to outline the big issues for 2021 and my priorities for the year.

The big national issues are vaccination for Covid, recovering the economy, housing and the centralisation of public services. National strongly supports the science of vaccination and will be constructively pushing the government to ensure the job is done urgently, competently and professionally.

New Zealand has been insulated from the economic pain of Covid by massive borrowing and money printing. We need a plan to wean ourselves off this support and build a sustainable recovery.

Housing costs are out of control and National has offered support to the Government for the urgent measures needed to fix the problems like the RMA. Locally, Government support for first home buyers has declined in the last year and I also want to see this fixed.

Another big issue will be the Governments agenda to centralise public services. We lost local control of NMIT in 2020. We now risk losing control of our Nelson/Marlborough DHB. Nelson will not get better health services if they are run out of Christchurch or Wellington. Labour is also proposing taking away our locally elected members.

There are three law changes I want to achieve this year. We need to ensure victims of crime committed by the insane get a fairer deal. We need to introduce random roadside drug testing to reduce the annual toll of over 100 deaths a year from drug impaired driving. I also want to get my bill through Parliament that repeals Winston Peters undemocratic electoral law changes.

You can read my full Rotary speech on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/honnicksmith

I welcome feedback on how my work as an MP can make Nelson and New Zealand an even better place