One issue that is very worrying to a number of constituents is National's decision to increase the price of prescriptions from $3.00 to $5.00. Some of you will be familiar with the daily dose blister packs of pharmaceuticals – these too have increased in price, often adding up to $6.00 over and above the $5.00 price of your prescription.
For people in the Wigram electorate struggling to meet these increased costs, Work and Income offers the Disability Allowance which is payable up to a maximum standard rate of $60.54.
You can apply for this benefit online and forms are also available from Work and Income, or from my office.
If you need any further assistance with...
The Owaka Pit fire continues to burn but progress towards putting it out is being made. Since my last update, I held a public meeting with local residents and key stakeholders, including Environment Canterbury and the Fire Service. This was an important step in opening lines of communication and offered residents a chance to relay their concerns and frustrations regarding the response to date.
In the past week the Fire Service has begun the process of putting the fire out but as I have been making clear, the issue of the Owaka Pit and its environmental impact on the local area will not be going away.
I supported local residents' call for Environment Canterbury t...
Last week Bill English presented his fifth Budget. Unfortunately there is little in there for every day kiwis. It's a blackjack Budget that overlooks the people of Wigram and millions of other New Zealanders who work their guts out every day trying to get ahead.
We've been promised a brighter future, but it seems the well-heeled and the well-connected are the primary beneficiaries of National's policies. They've created a two-speed economy, a fast lane for casinos and speculators and a slow lane for manufacturers and hardworking Kiwis.
One particular area of the latest Budget I have grave concerns about is the cuts to student support for people wanting to up-ski...
I’m really pleased with the high level of response to the Addington Traffic survey I sent out last month. The response rate only serves to highlight to me how strong the people of Addington feel about this issue. The responses produced some interesting findings which have now been collated and you can view results below.
Along with the Chair of the Spreydon Heathcote Community Board Phil Clearwater, I recently held a meeting with key stakeholders, including representatives from the Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury and the Addington Residents & Businesses Association and will keep people updated on developments as they occur.
Addington Area T...
Here's my contribution to the Second Reading of the charter-schools enabling legislation. Education should be about just that, education, not profit!
According to Environment Canterbury, spontaneous combustion caused a fire that has been burning at the Owaka Holdings site since last week.
Over the past few days I have been in constant contact with the Fire Service, the Medical Officer of Health, Environment Canterbury & Chair of the Riccarton-Wigram Community Board Mike Mora about the fire and logistics of putting it out.
MDF at the site has been burning and releasing small concentrations of formaldehyde, which produces a pungent smell causing understandable distress to local residents. I have received assurances that the concentrations produced in the smoke are not harmful. Despite these assurances, Environm...
While it's great to see a surge in rebuild activity and a strong economic revitalisation across the Wigram electorate, recently I've been hearing from many local residents with grave concerns about increased traffic volumes and parking provisions.
As a result I sent out a survey to Addington residents asking for their experiences and views on local traffic issues. So far over 250 people have responded and more forms are coming in every day. Concerns are shared by many residents about the volume & flow of traffic at peak times, parking on narrow streets, the speed of vehicles and potential for accidents.
I am currently working with the Chair of the Spreydon Heathcote...
Research that ranks Christchurch as the 5th most congested city in Australasia shows how important it is to get our transport infrastructure right. A recent TomTom study reported on by The Press (5 April) shouldn't surprise Wigram residents.
The aftermath of the earthquakes is an opportunity to rethink transport in Christchurch. Getting it right is not a nice to have, it’s critical to ensuring we have a modern, world-class city. We need to think about connected modes of transportation, prioritising active transport and ensuring adequate provisions are in place to connect the inner-city with the suburbs.
I was encouraged to hear the council’s new guidelines for the d...
A huge congratulations to Emma Moffett who has been selected as the Wigram Youth MP after a highly contested selection process and a fantastic speech to community members.
All finalists spoke with passion about what it is going to take to rebuild our city, young people having a greater voice in decision-making and stressed the need to tackle youth unemployment.
Youth Parliament is a great opportunity for Emma. She is a remarkable young woman and understands the needs of the electorate, Christchurch and the country. I’m sure she’ll do us all proud and I wish her all the best.
The 2013 Youth Parliament is a two day event held in Wellington on the 16th and 17t...
David Shearer recently announced a portfolio reshuffle and designated myself as Labour's tertiary education spokesperson.
I'm determined to get stuck in and make sure Labour's voice is heard in what is a hugely important sector. Some of the recent developments in tertiary education are quite troubling and will have a significant impact on the Wigram electorate, including the recovery of the University of Canterbury and Steven Joyce's continuing restructuring.
The University of Canterbury recently revealed a $67m deficit. Vice-Chancellor Rod Car says that it is critical the Government comes to the University's aid. Labour's position is clear, the Government must ...