It has been a huge privilege being Nelson’s MP. I have had an amazing opportunity to work with thousands of Nelsonians who make this place such an entrepreneurial, caring, creative and successful community. I have given the role my everything and acknowledge the generous support of my staff, party volunteers and family.
I congratulate Rachel Boyack on her election as Nelson’s MP in Labour’s landslide victory across New Zealand. She deserves extra commendation for becoming Nelson’s first woman MP. It is another important step alongside our Mayor Rachel Reese in the ongoing journey of ensuring equality in our community.
The provisional election results show I have been elected to Parliament on the National’s list. I will need to wait the count of 480,000 special votes and the final election result announcement on Friday 6 November. I will have three important tasks if these results confirm my continued role as a Parliamentarian.
New Zealand is facing the most difficult economic and uncertain times in a generation. There are times when Government and Parliament has little impact on people’s daily lives but this is a period of extraordinary intervention. The Covid pandemic has Government passing rushed laws, borrowing billions, putting unprecedented limits on people’s freedoms and making huge economic decisions impacting on business. These have been necessary but require careful scrutiny. I have had the experience of helping chart New Zealand’s recovery from two previous recessions. I know how new laws can work and fail.
My top priority will be constructively contributing to New Zealand’s economic recovery. I particularly went to ensure that the $150 billion being borrowed is spent wisely, a key role for the opposition. We owe it to the taxpayers of the future who will be repaying this huge debt for decades.
National has a huge task ahead to rebuild the trust and confidence of New Zealanders. It is always difficult to challenge a first term Government and made more so by the extraordinary circumstances of the Christchurch Mosque attacks and the Covid emergency. But we have not helped ourselves. National needs unity and discipline. My experience from when we successfully rebuilt National after the 2002 election drubbing will be relevant as we recover from 2020. National’s core values of rewarding hard work and enterprise, protecting New Zealand’s freedoms, valuing family and supporting community are as relevant today as when our party was founded 84 years ago.
I will also, if confirmed as a list MP be a voice for Nelson. I will work across party to ensure our region gets a fair share of Government resources and that our public services are improved. Nelson can only gain from having Chris Bailey the new ACT MP, Rachel Boyack from Labour and myself all advocating for our region.
I conclude in thanking everyone who voted and commend Nelson on a turnout of over 80%. We need to cherish our peaceful democracy. Politics globally is becoming more hateful and polarised. We need to work together to get through these challenging times.