As many Kiwis do, I’m making the most of the summer by spending quality time with my family and friends, catching up on sleep and reflecting on the year that’s been; it’s my annual opportunity to re-energise myself and plan for the year ahead in Parliament.
It’s an honour for me to represent the sunny Bay of Plenty, a popular destination for many holiday makers from throughout New Zealand and overseas. It takes a lot of effort to provide a warm welcome for the thousands of extra people who visit our beaches, shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants; thank you to the hospitality workers who go without days off to ensure others have a great time in our city.
I also thank our lifeguards, medics, firefighters and police for keeping us safe on the beaches and streets; always challenging work and – with the extra people around over summer festival period – their skill, vigilance and good humour are greatly appreciated.
To those of you who have experienced delays coming in and out of the city over the holiday period, I feel your frustration; our state highways cannot cope with the traffic volume. If we’re given the chance to govern in 2020 National will be the party of infrastructure.
We will get on and build things. We will invest in the safe, efficient high-quality highways that motorists deserve in return for all the tax Labour has stung them with. We’re proposing to complete our original Roads of National Significance and begin a second-generation programme to connect our regions, unlocking their vast social and economic potential.
Rather than sting motorists with new and larger taxes, National will look at funding these programmes via infrastructure financing and procurement, including commercial revenue schemes, partnerships with the private sector, and capital injections from general government spending.
We still have six weeks of summer to go but I’ll be ready to get back to work to help National make 2020 a year of success for the Bay of Plenty and New Zealand.