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Your Local Voice - May 2019

It's been a busy start to the year with so many things happening, not only in the electorate but also in Parliament. My latest newsletter is about to be delivered to the electorate - check it out below. My door is always open to constituents and I'm more than happy to meet to hear your views on issues that are important to you. Please feel free to contact my office and make an appointment.

Nikki Kaye MP speaking a my Future of Education meeting

CGT Flip Flop A Relief For Many Locals

The Government's backdown on the capital gains tax is a huge win for New Zealanders. Over the last year I have been inundated with letters, emails and visitors to my electorate office - all hard-working locals - who have taken the initiative to prepare for their future and their retirement by saving and investing. They told me they feared a capital gains tax would negate all of their sacrifice and hard work. For 18 months business owners, farmers, investors, KiwiSavers, lifestyle block owners and people who run businesses from home have been in a holding pattern while they waited for the Government’s decision on CGT. The relief expressed by people who have stopped me in the street has been overwhelming. These were the many voices that National has amplified over the past 18 months. Interestingly, the PM did not lay the blame for her backdown on NZ First - she conceded that she did not have a mandate from New Zealanders. For the last 12 years capital gains tax has been a cornerstone of Labour Party policy. Labour’s front bench politicians desperately want it; the unions want it; the Greens want it; but New Zealand does not. The deep divide between the public will and this Government’s tax plan became increasingly clear, hence the PM’s unwillingness to debate the issue, her backdown and her refusal to introduce a CGT under her watch.  But while this decision will be a relief for many, New Zealanders need certainty and stability moving forward as the economy starts to show signs of weakening.  Despite inheriting a strong economy from National, in mere months the Government’s poor management of the public purse has seen them fritter away billions on poorly-targeted pet projects. In lieu of sensible spending, we got billions delivered to Winston Peters to spend on Swedish embassies, race horses and the NZ First $3B survival fund (also known as the PGF). And despite splashing cash around, the number of New Zealanders needing assistance to eat and live is at a record high. Hardship assistance has increased by $48 million in the past year. Benefit numbers have increased by 13,000. Under this Government, rents have increased on average by $50 and there were an extra 70,000 requests for assistance for food in the last year. Over the next 18 months, the National Party will present our vision and plan for a growing economy with evidence-based, targeted services that allow us to deliver more to Kiwis across a broad range of areas while helping those most in need.


My son Alex and I spent some time recently selling poppies in Browns Bay for the RSA's Poppy Appeal. We were heartened by the huge generosity of local who gave donations. This year, my family and I marked ANZAC Day in Opononi.

Albany Park & Ride

Recent changes to parking around the Albany Park & Ride have caused an uproar in the community.  CLICK HERE to let me know your stories as I’ll be going to see AT and our local ward councillors about this issue.

Controversial Changes to Education Unpopular with ECB Schools

On 1 April, I hosted a public meeting with National’s education spokesperson, Nikki Kaye, to discuss the future of education and the Tomorrow’s Schools report, which proposes the biggest shake-up of the education sector in decades. The feedback from both educators and parents in the room was the same: they were extremely wary of the proposed transfer of power from Boards of Trustees to government-appointed bureaucrats in centralised hubs looking after 125 schools each. Cost was also discussed: while the Government says that no dollar figure has been put on the hubs, our estimates are in the hundreds of millions. It was pointed out that this money could be far better spent on teacher salaries and special education, rather than another layer of bureaucrats to replace the thousands of hours of time currently donated by Boards of Trustees. BOT members present at the meeting were concerned that their expertise and intimate local knowledge could not be replaced by officials each responsible for 125 schools. While I acknowledge that some schools, particularly small rural schools, do require additional assistance, my main concern is that this should not come at the expense of well-performing schools like ours in the East Coast Bays. Overall the Board of Trustees system has worked well and our schools have flourished under this model. Serious questions need to be asked on whether the current system, which works well in most cases, needs to be completely replaced in order to benefit a few schools. The huge cost of this proposed change could be more effectively used to target those schools who do require additional help. Parents expressed their concerns to me about the possibility for the hubs to draw new school zone boundaries; remove the ability for schools to take out-of-zone students and overseas students; and potentially move high-performing principals and staff to other schools.  We have passed all the feedback from our meeting, and the 70 others held around the country, to the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce. A second report based on this feedback is due out later this year.


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