Field days a welcome chance for a catch-up

It’s been a busy summer for many, and I hope you have had a chance to spend some time connecting with family and friends.

The Southern Field Days are here.

I’ll be at the National Party’s stall with some of my MP colleagues and I am looking forward to talking with all the people enjoying the return of this amazing event.

Parliament has also returned and is buzzing with activity as the coalition government continues progressing its 100-day action plan priorities, such as streamlining infrastructure and resource management approvals.

On February 2, the government announced proposed changes to resource management laws which promise a fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime for major projects that will benefit Southland’s economic future and environmental wellbeing.

It will come in the form of a stand-alone act that aims to unlock opportunities in farming, aquaculture, mining, and more, ultimately boosting our regional economy and creating jobs.

Some of the large crowd on a very hot day at the Southern Field Days today. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Some of the large crowd on a very hot day at the Southern Field Days today. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Speaking of jobs, another crucial focus for this government is improving our communities.

After every election, new ministers are given briefings on the state of their portfolio areas.

These briefings to incoming ministers have made for challenging reading this time, and clearly demonstrate the previous government’s view that the amount you spend is more important than the outcomes you get.

They prioritised spending over outcomes, leaving challenges like inadequate education, unemployment, and rising crime unaddressed.

As the new chairman of the social services and communities select committee, I look forward to holding ministries accountable, scrutinising their work and ensuring resources reach where they’re needed most.

Child poverty, housing shortages and benefit dependency are concerning issues demanding clear solutions, and the coalition government is determined to deliver them.

But we’re only just getting started on our 100-day plan, and there will be a lot of work ahead.