Plains Profile - April 2016

Columns
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Like everyone on the Plains, I’ve been keeping a close eye on dairy sector news, pricing and Fonterra. I’ve also been working hard to make sure channels of communication are open and that they stay open during what will be a challenging winter for many in our region.

We all know the medium to longer-term outlook is positive, but that doesn’t help today, this week or over the next 12 months. This will be a very tough year for many. The pressures are not just financial. They are personal and impact on relationships and family life.

My advice is to take advantage of the professional and social services support that is available. Talk to bank people, talk to accountants and don’t hesitate to ask for advice or to talk through issues.

Keeping physically fit is just as important as keeping financially fit. I was pleased to join a big team of Ngatea locals on the first 10km leg of the Fit4Farming cycle tour to Bluff. Hauraki District Mayor, John Tregidga and I made our away to Kerepehi without problems. Special credit to pupils from Ngatea Primary who biked doggedly through the rain with us.  Likewise it was a good night at the Paeroa Memorial Hall to be with Paul Jackson and his family as he was awarded his 25 year Gold Star for dedicated volunteer service. Our volunteer firefighters do important and vital work for our local community and it’s always a privilege to honour our local heroes.

Recently an important international agreement was signed at the Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre at Kaiaua between our Department of Conservation (DOC) and the State Forestry Administration (SFA) of China to protect wetlands in both countries used by migratory birds.

The red knot and the bar-tailed godwit fly an incredible 12,000km migration each way from New Zealand to China and beyond to their breeding grounds, before returning to New Zealand – a round trip of at least 24,000km each year. The agreement ensures these remarkable birds can continue their journeys and that their wetland habitats in both New Zealand and China will be protected.

Finally, as a Government we’ve had an iron clad commitment to keep the retirement age at 65 and to keep the rates of superannuation and pensions for veterans at 66 per cent of average incomes.  I’m pleased that again this year there a further increase took effect at the beginning of this month.

Please never hesitate to make contact with me if I can be of assistance with any matter. For an appointment you can phone my electorate office on 07 868-3529. email: mpcoromandel@parliament.govt.nz


Authorised by Scott Simpson MP, 614 Pollen Street, Thames