Happy New Year! I Hope you’re enjoying the festive break and making the most of what our beautiful part of the country has to offer.
Although I’ve been keeping busy seeing family, putting the long line out for a couple snapper off the coast, and enjoying the sunshine, my mind has often been brought back to the job and a few of the big decisions we’ll be making on behalf of New Zealander’s this year.
Namely, before the end of 2019 we’ll be looking at updating our laws around abortion, legalising assisted dying and legalising marijuana.
On abortion, the law society has produced a report that will help to guide our decision-making. Of the options given, I’m leaning towards only requiring a statutory test after 22 weeks and strongly believe that abortion should be taken out of the Crimes Act and treated as a health issue.
On assisted dying, this has come to Parliament via a Members Bill in the name of Act Party leader David Seymour. This will legalise voluntary euthanasia in certain circumstances.
On legalising marijuana, there will be a referendum where all New Zealanders will be heard, and then the Government will act on the outcome.
On all three of these issues, MPs are not bound by their party and will be held by conscience vote. As such, it is important to me that I know the views of our community. If we haven’t already discussed these matters, I encourage you to get in touch or catch-up with me at the Papamoa Lions Markets or at public meetings being held during the year.
Phew! A big year ahead! But for now you’ll find me trying to catch another snapper. I hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday break.