I seek your vote in Election 2020 so I can continue to champion this wonderful Nelson Tasman region we share.
I do this job because I love helping people. I have the experience to know how Government works. Recent cases include getting NZ residency for volunteer firefighter and florist Steve and Gail Webster, resolving the Ministry of Education bill of $15,000 for teacher and new parent Jasmine Jenke and helping access cataract surgery for Angela Wilson. I sort hundreds of cases like these each year. This work also helps me identify where Government is not working and drive change.
I am also motivated by the opportunity to advance projects with others that will make Nelson an even better place. They have included establishing the Kahurangi National Park, getting Garin College, building Whakatu Drive, upgrading our arts facilities and projects like Saxton Stadium for our sports and the Early Settlers Memorial recognising our history. Projects started but not completed include the Waimea Community Dam, the Great Taste Cycleway and the extension of Snowdens Bush.
My top priority in this next Parliament if re-elected will be getting progress on a new hospital for Nelson. It will involve investment of over $500 million. The current buildings are outdated, too small and New Zealand’s most earthquake prone hospital. The Building Act changes I made as Minister require it be replaced by 2028. We need to get on with it.
Nelson’s growing traffic congestion cannot be ignored. National has announced a fully funded $210 million plan to get on with building the Inland Route and converting Rocks Road into a boulevard for walking and cycling.
These major infrastructure projects are part of National’s economic plan. A recession is a smart time to be investing in community assets. It is far better to create jobs building these facilities than on paying thousands of people the dole.
My Election 2020 campaign has focussed on jobs. Nelson has already lost hundreds of jobs and dozens of businesses. Unemployment is tipped to top 220,000 nationally and 4,000 locally. Labour is compounding this problem by imposing extra costs and regulations on businesses. National’s policies like Jobstart and Skillstart do the opposite and will help keep people in work.
The other major campaign issue has been Labour’s centralisation of our most important public services like our polytechnic, NMIT and Nelson Marlborough District Health Board. Nelson has everything to lose and nothing to gain from them being run from afar. National will ensure we retain local control of NMIT and our District Health Board.
Nelson is the best little city in the best little country in the world. These are challenging times. I offer the experience of having helped get Nelson through two previous recessions. Working together we will recover and make Nelson even better.
My final plea regardless of who you may be supporting is to ensure you vote. Nelson proudly has one of the highest polling rates. It shows respect for those who have fought for our freedoms and that we care about Nelson’s and New Zealand’s future.