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Greater Christchurch National MPs enjoyed getting out on Monday and reconnecting with the people who work so hard for our region. We met with a range of organisations from Canterbury Police to Regenerate Christchurch to ChristchurchNZ. As I often say, it’s only when MPs are working on the ground that we can see the impact larger issues have on people’s daily lives and it’s important to stay connected.

Waitangi Day brought our communities together in the spirit that has made New Zealand the envy of other countries. The traits we value as New Zealanders, such as our distinctive national identity and respect for diversity, hold as true today. I’ve begun my own Te Reo Maori journey and enjoyed a greater understanding this year of our Maori tikanga. I encourage you on your own Te Reo journey.

Constituents looking to purchase their first home are losing confidence they will be getting the keys soon through Government’s KiwiBuild initiative following the Housing Minister’s admission they will be going back to the drawing board on this one.

This comes after Government spectacularly missed its first-year target to have 1,000 homes built by July. First we saw that number downgraded to 300 – and now interim targets have been scrapped altogether. So far, only 47 homes have been built – amid discouraging reports of buyers pulling out and the homes being sold on the open market instead of going back in the ballot. National has always said the way to build more houses is to release more land and speed up the consent process, and we proved this after the earthquakes. Added to this was our KiwiSaver HomeStart scheme, which allowed people to withdraw from their Kiwisaver funds and gifted them an up to $10,000 grant towards their deposit. The results? Between April 2016 and March 2017, 315 HomeStart grants were approved just in Waimakariri electorate. The figures speak for themselves.

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