Coastal News - December 2016

Columns
Monday, December 19, 2016

Tribute to John Key

The big and unexpected news of the week has been the resignation of the Prime Minister John Key. Mr Key has been a good friend to our region and I hosted him  on many  occasions here over the years.

It’s been an absolute privilege to work with him and to serve in the National Party caucus he has led. Old hands tell me that the National Party has never been more united.  Many of the factors generating our current economic boom have been as a result of initiatives he has championed during his time as Prime Minister.

I believe John Key  is  one of New Zealand’s greatest leaders

His sunny and optimistic demeanour and open personality  has got us   through the good times and bad while his strong leadership has been steadfast. He leaves a country more, successful and self-assured  than when he became  Prime Minister.

Under John Key’s leadership the Government has worked alongside New Zealanders to ensure our country is one of the most desirable places to live, work and raise a family in the world.”

Our Shaky Isles

Our hearts go out to those who have suffered the devastating earthquakes that hit central New Zealand, crippling Kaikōura and parts of the Main Trunk Railway and SH 1. The quakes also affected Wellington, where a number of buildings suffered major damage and require demolition, but others came through unscathed. It’s been a very unsettling time in the wake of many aftershocks and the recovery work that lies ahead.

It’s clear that there were inconsistencies in the way warning messages and siren warnings were applied throughout the country, including in our own patch. I firmly believe that technology solutions can play a key role in protecting New Zealanders in times of national emergency and the Government is considering all options. Like most things in life there’s no single magic bullet, because no technology is 100% failsafe and it’s important to have a range of warning channels (e.g. TV/radio, social media, apps, sirens).

Before the recent earthquakes, the Government was already working on a new public alerting system where your cellphone could ring with a distinct sound (even if on silent mode). Moreover, you wouldn’t need to subscribe to the service to receive alerts, like an app, you would automatically receive alerts in your local area.

 

Happy and safe holidays

While Christmas is almost here, Parliament continues working well into December.

For many in our region, summer is the busiest time of the year. I hope you can take some time and enjoy this special time of year with family and friends.

Finally for 2016, I want to extend my very best wishes to you and yours for a safe, peaceful Christmas and New Year.

ENDS