This newsletter reports on my work as Nelson’s MP but now also covers all of Tasman as National’s assigned MP for this area.
Election 2017 has resulted in an unusual outcome where National won the election but lost the MMP negotiations. We secured 1,152,075 votes which is more than we did in 2008, 2011 or 2014. National’s party vote of 44.4% was higher than Labour’s 36.9% and significantly more than under Helen Clark’s three Governments.
This odd outcome came about because NZ First has ignored the convention both in New Zealand and overseas that the party with the most votes gets to form the Government. It is Winston Peters saying he knows better than the voters.
The one advantage of no longer being a Minister is having more time in Nelson to advocate and progress important local projects like the Waimea Community Dam, the new Nelson Regional Hospice, earthquake strengthening of our Nelson Cathedral,
the redevelopment plans for Nelson Hospital, a new school for Richmond West, a Fisheries Museum and Marine Education Centre and the clean-up of Nelson Haven.
My greatest disappointment from the change of Government is that the Southern Link into Nelson city that National had committed to begin construction of by 2020 with up to $135m in funding, will not now progress. Our congestion problems will only compound with our regional population projected to grow by 25,000 to 130,000 by 2043. The new Government’s alternative is form a committee. I fear nothing will happen, the money will go elsewhere in the country and our traffic issues will just get worse.
I welcome your feedback and ideas. Please drop in to see me at the Nelson Market each Saturday, the A & P Show or at my monthly caravan sessions in Richmond and Motueka.
Hon Dr Nick Smith