Opinion: economy, law a focus

It’s a privilege to contribute a regular column in The Star, to have the opportunity to give my perspective on the happenings in Parliament and in particular how that impacts us here in Dunedin.

For those who may not know me, I’m a New Zealand First list MP based in Taieri.

I have the great honour of being Minister for Rural Communities and Associate Minister of both Agriculture and Regional Development.

In addition to being an advocate for the rural sector, I intend to use whatever influence I have to make a difference here in Dunedin and am actively engaged with community leaders to that end.

I’m a farmer of some 35-odd years, the last 17 of which I have been farming sheep and beef in Lawrence.

My family also has a base here in Dunedin, where my wife works and our daughters go to school. So we have skin in the game in this community.

We love it here and believe Dunedin is highly underrated as a place to live, work and bring up a family. I believe the city, if managed well, is set to benefit from a number of global trends and some golden years should lie ahead.

Unfortunately, the previous government left us with many challenges. Ensuring the hospital rebuild is fit for purpose, engineering flood protection plans for South Dunedin and Mosgiel are progressed, making sure our university and polytech are ably supported and addressing the crisis our health and aged-care sectors find themselves under, to name just a few.

The first 100-day plan is a major initial focus for the coalition government. From there we will continue delivering on the wider programme outlined in our coalition agreements.

Make no mistake. The government has changed, and it will be different. But we face a great many challenges and will have to make some tough compromises.

You can expect this government to produce tangible outcomes, not virtue signalling. We will be focused on a stronger economy, and improving the lives of all New Zealanders. There will be a strong emphasis on the return of law and order and the protection of freedom and democracy.

That’s what we collectively promised and that’s what we intend to deliver.