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THE SCOTT SPECTATOR NEWS FROM

ALASTAIR SCOTT MP FOR WAIRARAPA

WELCOME TO THE SECOND EDITION OF THE SCOTT SPECTATOR I love the Wairarapa and it is a privilege to represent constituents – you, the people of the Wairarapa – in Parliament. There has been plenty of good news from our Government in recent times – a huge boost in Police numbers meaning more cops on the beat and in our rural areas, a long overdue pay rise for more than 55,000 care and support workers, an increase in mental health and addiction nurses, and more students achieving NCEA Level 2 than ever before. Here in the Wairarapa, we’ve welcomed Ministers Paula

Bennett and Paul Goldsmith to our patch, and seen huge growth in our towns. While the summer weather didn’t join our party, tourism remains one of our biggest earners, bringing visitors in and providing jobs and continued growth to the Wairarapa. I was really proud of how the hard-working people behind such events as Wings Over Wairarapa, the Masterton A&P Show, the Wairarapa Harvest Festival and the Wairarapa Balloon Festival dealt with what the weather gods threw at them, and marched on as best they could.

Down in the Beehive, I continue to work hard for the Wairarapa, taking the concerns of the people to my ministerial colleagues and advocating as much as I can for our constituents. I look forward to an exciting 2017 and to meeting as many of you as I can.

MP FOR WAIRARAPA

INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Riversdale Beach Surf Livesaving Clubrooms

It is a privilege to serve Wairarapa in the Bill English-led National Government.

WINTER 2017

Launch of 2017 Balloon Festival

Green Jersey Cycles, Martinborough

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Ever popular Martinborough Fair


NEW ZEALAND IS ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Mid-way through 2017 and it’s proving to be another busy year - we can have confidence New Zealand is on the right track.

We are in capable hands with Bill English and Paula Bennett as leaders, and an energetic team of ministers and MPs behind them. The Government is gearing up for the challenges of election year with a busy agenda and a clear plan for our country’s future - building on the strong momentum we have achieved over the past eight years. I’m enjoying another productive and busy year for Wairarapa. New Zealand is well positioned compared with most other countries. That’s no accident. It’s the result of New Zealanders’ hard work, backed by the National-led Government’s clear plan for our country’s future. Our economy remains one of the strongest in the developed world. And Kiwi families are seeing the benefits. More than 200,000 more jobs have been created over the past

three years and unemployment is falling. The average annual wage is now almost $59,000 - up $12,000 since we were elected in 2008 and more than double the rate of inflation, while interest rates are low.

I’m looking forward to another productive and busy year for Wairarapa in 2017. The country is back in surplus and we’re getting better results from important public services like hospitals, schools and social programmes. We are seeing strong growth in sectors such as tourism, ICT, construction, and high-tech manufacturing. Tourists coming through our area, particularly over summer; event-filled months, are pumping money into our local economy, which is creating business growth for the Wairarapa People.

Alastair Scott and Prime Minister Bill English.

New Zealand is also experiencing our biggest building boom in the past five years annual residential building consents have more than doubled. This is reflected here in the Wairarapa, with more new builds and new subdivisions popping up regularly. As a nation, we now have the resilience and the financial

strength to bounce back from challenges such as the Kaikōura earthquake, and the Government will continue to support the recovery efforts there. National is committed to ensuring this stability and progress continue throughout 2017.

CRIMES AMENDMENT BILL Offenders who supply explosives to commit crime will soon face tougher penalties. I was pleased that my Crimes Amendment Bill (Increased Penalty for Providing Explosive to Commit Crime) was drawn from the ballot in November. The bill increases the maximum penalty for providing explosives to commit an offence. At the moment the maximum penalty for providing explosives to commit an offence is two years imprisonment. Considering the harm and death explosives can cause, this is just not high enough. My bill will increase the maximum term of imprisonment to five years.

Individuals simply carrying or possessing dangerous weapons unlawfully are potentially liable for a longer imprisonment term than an individual who knowingly provides explosives intended to endanger property or people. That’s just not right. Explosives cause immeasurable harm to innocent bystanders, taking life and limb. We need to send a strong message that supplying weapons of this nature is unacceptable. It makes sense for those who knowingly supply explosives that put people or property in danger to face higher penalties. My bill means they’ll face up to five years’ jail time.

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SOCIAL INVESTMENT It is great news that Budget 2017 will invest an extra $68.8 million over four years to support vulnerable children and their families.

participation in Early Childhood Education, and ensure more mothers who need it can access community-based mental health services.

The $321 million Social Investment Package was announced by Prime Minister Bill English in May.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye announced that $34.7 million over four years will be invested to expand services for children with severe behavioural difficulties, focusing on those aged eight and under.

The package includes $28.1 million to help expand Family Start, an intensive home visiting programme, $34.7 million to support more children with behavioural issues, and $6 million to help children with communication issues. Family Start is a good example of the Government’s social investment approach – focusing on the needs of individuals and families, intervening early, and tailoring support around what we know delivers the best results for Kiwis.

This investment is about expanding the significant level of specialist support already available, and also providing more support at an earlier age.

Budget 2017’s investment will increase the number of Family Start places by around 570 a year to ensure the programme is available throughout the country.

We know that young children with severe behavioural issues are more likely to be involved in antisocial behaviour later in life. By providing more support earlier, such as working with an educational psychologist or special education advisor, we’re aiming to help steer more young children onto a positive path in life, and also reduce disruption in the classroom which can compromise other students learning.

Family Start can help reduce infant mortality, lead to higher child immunisation rates and

We expect to increase the number of children receiving specialist behavioural support

With Chanel College students heading into Masterton Intermediate School for the Kapa Haka contest.

from around 5,000 to around 6,000 children annually. The package also includes $6 million over four years to support three and four year olds with oral language difficulties. If children enter primary school behind their peers when it comes to basic language skills, this can affect their learning and have a detrimental effect on their future prospects. This investment will upskill up to 1,920 teachers working in early childhood education in

lower socio-economic areas, to help them better support young children showing difficulties with the building blocks of literacy, such as letter and word awareness and listening comprehension. There will also be more specialised support for around 7,600 children with the highest needs, and overall we expect up to 50,000 children will have access to the enhanced language support available.

WORLD RECORD HAKA ATTEMPT I was fortunate enough to witness the spine-tingling, world record Haka attempt at Masterton’s Memorial Park back in November. The event was organised by Wairarapa Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP) and Masterton Intermediate School (MIS) and what a pleasure it was to see the

community pulling together and more than 7000 school students performing “Ko Wairarapa” nine times in a row to break the record currently held by a group from France. From the students of both MIS and Chanel College, who spent months and months tripping around other schools to teach

their peers “Ko Wairarapa” to a very high standard, to the marshalling and logistics of having that many kids – aged from pre-school right up to tertiary age – to the transport side of things, which saw 65 Tranzit buses co-ordinate 132 “movements” in order to get everyone there at the same time.

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It was an excellent illustration of how powerful a community can be when all working together towards a common goal. My warmest congratulations to the team from Wairarapa REAP, MIS and everyone else who put such a lot of effort into making this dream a reality.


OUT AND ABOUT One of my favourite parts of the role as Wairarapa MP is being in the electorate and meeting with you, the people who make this area so special. Swinging the bucket in Pahiatua, helping out with the New Zealand Heart Foundation collection.

Tour guide at Parliament for the Dannevirke Ruahine Ramblerz.

Inside a giant colon for Cancer awareness at the Waipukurau A&P Show.

At the 2017 Wairarapa Balloon Festival launch with Brent Gare and Bob Francis.

James Laver at Laver & Wood Cricket bats in Waipawa makes the best hand crafted cricket bats in the world, for some of the world’s finest test cricketers, since 1999.

With some of the crew from the increasingly popular Green Jersey Cycle Tours, Martinborough.

Picking the tree Classic Christmas Trees, Woodside, Greytown.

With our new Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Paula Bennett

At Waipukurau’s new mountainbike track, keeping us fit in Central Hawke’s Bay.

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With the Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy, and others at the official opening and blessing of the St Matthews Collegiate School new upper classroom centre.

Wairarapa DHB do a fantastic job serving our region. In this photo, the new CT scanner. Keep an eye out for other new services, including chemo, dialysis and bowel screening.

This stunning pic shows lift off at the Wairarapa Balloon Festival in Martinborough – photo by Sean Herbert Photography

With Riversdale Surf Lifesaving Club Captain Mike Taylor at the fabulous new clubrooms at Riversdale Beach.

At the Masterton A&P Show with President, Peter McWilliam.

Selling berries and ice cream at the everpopular Martinborough Fair.

At the opening of the new classroom at Alfredton School, part of the Government’s $4 million investment in new classrooms around the Wellington region.

We welcomed a new tenant to Level 2 at Parliament House – welcome to our floor, Mr Key.

Challenged with a haka from Chanel College students at Masterton Intermediate School.

On a Parliament Tour with students and staff from Central Hawkes Bay College. I always love catching up with visitors to the Beehive from the electorate.

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Christmas fun at the Masterton Santa Parade.

Thank you to Papawai and Kaikokirikiri Trustees for support as our bill passes its third reading - a great result for education and for Wairarapa iwi.


BUDGET 2017 Budget 2017 shares the benefits of growth by improving public services, investing in infrastructure needed for a growing country, reducing debt and lifting incomes. Our ninth Budget shows continuing improvement in the Government’s books and solid economic growth expected to average around 3 per cent over the next five years. This is delivering more jobs and higher wages for New Zealanders. The average annual wage is expected to reach $64,300 by 2021 - up more than $17,000 since National came into office. Well over 200,000 jobs have been created in the last three years- and a further 215,000 jobs are expected over the next four years. Family Incomes Package: $2 billion a year will go towards helping hard working New Zealanders got ahead by adjusting income tax thresholds, while also increasing Working for Families and providing additional support for people on low incomes with high accommodation costs. The package will lift the incomes of 1.3 million families by an average of $26 a week. It is expected to lift 20,000 families above the threshold for severe housing stress, and reduce the number of children living in families receiving less than half the median income by around 50,000. This is fantastic news for Wairarapa families who deserve a bit extra each week. Investing in Infrastructure: Budget 2017 invests $4 billion to help build the public infrastructure we need to support our growing economy, as well as addition funding to strengthen the Business Growth Agenda which will help drive further economic growth, create jobs and lift wages.

We are completely modernising our telecommunications system with the Ultra Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiative programmes- Featherston, Martinborough, Carterton, Greytown, Pahiatua, Woodville and Dannevirke will be receiving better broadband from the rollout of phase 2 of the UFB initiative. Additional grant funding of $26.7 million over the next three years plus a capital boost of $63 million towards irrigation investments will benefit rural communities.

investment to a record $16.7 billion next year. DHBs will benefit the most with an extra $1.76 billion added over four years to invest in services, improved access, and help meet cost pressures and population growth. This is great news for all New Zealanders, particularly in areas such as the Wairarapa that have an ageing population.

Law and Order: The budget invests $1.2 billion in new operating expenditure over four years for law and order. This includes funding 10 per cent more police staff to reduce crime and reoffending and ensure 95 per cent of the population will live within 25 kilometres of a 24/7 police presence - this is a huge benefit to the Wairarapa and other rural communities.

Transport is $9.17 billion in capital for NZ’s state highways alone. In addition, $548 m to maintain and upgrade New Zealand’s rail network, supporting freight movement, exporters, tourism and public transport. This investment is essential for the Wairarapa as we need to keep up with a growing population and record tourist numbers. Health: We are allocating an extra $3.9 billion over four years into the health sector- taking health

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PAY RISE FOR 55,000 HEALTH CARE WORKERS The Government has announced an historic $2 billion pay equity settlement which will benefit some of our health sector’s lowest paid workers, including some here in Wairarapa. The wage boost follows the TerraNova pay equity claim brought by E tū (previously the Service and Food Workers Union) on behalf of care worker Kristine Bartlett. The settlement will deliver pay increases of between 15 and 50 per cent, over the next five years to 55,000 workers in aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services. It will help to ensure we have a higher paid, more skilled and engaged workforce caring for around 110,000 of New Zealand’s most vulnerable. Around 20,000 of this predominately female workforce are currently on the minimum wage of $15.75 an hour. The settlement means that on July 1 they will move to at least $19 an hour, a 21 per cent pay rise. For a fulltime worker, this means they will be taking home around

an extra $100 a week, which is over $5000 a year. This pay increase will also help to reduce the high turnover of our care and support workers across aged and disability residential care, and home and community support services across Wairarapa. Under the agreement a new pay matrix will be put in place. Existing workers will be transitioned to positions on the new pay scale which reflect their skills and their experience. For new workers employed after July 1 wages will be based on an individual’s level of qualifications. The $2 billion settlement over five years will be funded through an increase of $1.85 billion to the health budget and $192 million to ACC. There may also be an increase in costs for people in aged residential care facilities, whose assets keep them above the subsidy threshold. This will be determined through the annual Aged Residential Care contract negotiations.

Over the past six years the Government has invested heavily to strengthen the care and support workforce in recognition of the vital role they play in the lives of many New Zealand’s most vulnerable population groups. In 2011 we introduced the minimum wage for sleepover shifts for night-time support in residential care services.

In 2015 we began phasing in a new policy which meant care and support workers are now paid for travel time and mileage between client visits. We have also increased the minimum wage by $3.75 an hour since we came into office, and last year we increased Working for Families by $12.50 a week. The Government is committed to supporting hardworking New Zealanders and their families.

KAIKOURA QUAKE REMINDS WAIRARAPA TO BE PREPARED It has been almost 7 months now since the Hurunui/Kaikōura 7.8 earthquake hit. Strong to severe shaking was felt throughout New Zealand and lasted for over two minutes in some places. Since then there have been many thousands of aftershocks, and seismic activity is expected to continue. Two people lost their lives and there was widespread damage in the area. Road and rail links to Kaikōura were cut. The main quake also damaged several buildings around Wellington and demolition work is happening in the city. Fortunately, Wairarapa wasn’t too badly affected by the quake. However, as we live in an earthquake prone area it’s yet another reminder for us to be

prepared for another big shake. The Government acted quickly in terms of immediate support to affected regions. Parliament has also passed laws to aid the recovery. Civil Defence Emergency Management legislation allows a smoother and more effective transition from the response phase to recovery after an emergency. Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery legislation allows flexibility to deal with potential matters in the recovery process, such as temporary housing, accommodation supplements, and streamlining planning processes. It also includes provisions for undertaking geotechnical assessment, and

providing greater flexibility around tax reporting deadlines.

Devising a household plan should include agreeing how everyone in your home would The financial cost of the quakes meet up after a disaster. Every will be significant but we will bear household should have plenty of that. We have a strong, growing food, water and other essential economy, our books are in order supplies. and our debt levels low, so we When an earthquake happens, have the financial capacity to make sure you drop, cover and fix infrastructure and to support hold and if you’re near the coast our affected businesses and and feel a long or strong quake, communities. The earthquake, then head inland or to higher and advice from GNS, serves ground immediately. Do not as a timely reminder to all New wait for official warnings – the Zealanders living in earthquake earthquake itself is the natural prone areas such as Wairarapa warning. I would encourage to be prepared. people to visit the Civil Defence We need to be well prepared website for natural disasters and it’s www.civildefence.govt.nz/getessential that we all sit down ready for information on how with family and friends to make to get ready and get through a sure we have a plan. potential disaster.

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POLICE

In his first major announcement of the year, Prime Minister Bill English unveiled a significant investment in police and the wider justice sector to reduce crime and keep our communities safe. The half-billion dollar Safer Communities package will provide an extra 1125 police staff, including 880 sworn police officers. All police districts will receive extra frontline officers with the Police deciding how many will go where, based on need. The first recruits will begin training in July and hit the beat in November. Regional New Zealand will benefit from a bigger police presence on our streets. Wairarapa residents will benefit from a bigger police presence on our street. Crime is a major issue which we have been tackling. New Zealand is the fourth-safest country in the world, but we want to make it number one. This package unashamedly targets offenders to ensure they are off our streets – by providing additional resources to resolve more crime and target criminal gangs and organised crime. The 880 extra frontline police officers will work in areas where we know they’re needed. Those officers will improve the speed of police to attend emergencies. They will also focus on youth offending, burglaries, and community crime. Knowing there’s a nearby police presence at all times is something the community

Police helping out at the New Zealand Cycle Race stage two at Admiral Hill.

expects. We’re making a commitment that people in cities, the regions and rural areas will have officers they can call on 24/7. Regional communities will get more support which is great news for Wairarapa. Another 140 officers will focus on regional and rural policing, meaning 95 per cent of New Zealanders will be within 25 kilometres of 24/7 police support, every day of the year.

underlying drivers of crime – through preventative work by the Police and greater investment in rehabilitation for prisoners.

140 officers will focus on regional and rural policing.

for the Police. Those include higher attendance at home burglaries, more assets seized from organised crime, fewer deaths from family violence and a reduction in reoffending by Māori. The targets won’t be easy to meet – but we don’t shy away from hard issues.

There will be more specialist investigators in the areas of child protection, sexual assault and family violence. And more officers will target organised crime.

By focusing on specific areas in this wide-ranging policy we will deliver a more responsive police service, prevent crime and victimisation, resolve more crimes and more effectively target criminal gangs and organised crime.

We’re here to make a difference. Investing more in police will make our communities safer. It will reduce crime and reoffending, and help steer some of our most disadvantaged young people on to a more productive path.

We’re also providing additional resources to address the

The package also comes with a range of challenging targets

That’s an outcome worth investing in.

ALASTAIR SCOTT

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The Scott Spectator 2017  
The Scott Spectator 2017