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This year, my family and I made the decision to enjoy a Waimak staycation, making use of the great beaches, walks and cafes not only in the Waimakariri but in Canterbury and North Canterbury, and I’ve been out meeting with people who are working hard in our community. As local MP I often walk part of the journey with constituents while supporting them with their issues, and they share with me their stories.

I have huge respect for many in our community who are faced with making tough decisions.

I’ve been advocating for a constituent who has to travel a considerable distance twice a day, every school day, from a rural area to take their child to the pick-up point to attend special-needs education in Christchurch. The conveyance allowance they receive nowhere meets the current record fuel prices.

It is when MPs are working on the ground that we see the impact that larger issues, such as Government’s increased fuel taxes, have on the daily lives of people.

The parent spoke of how their child has responded wonderfully to the help they are receiving at their specialised school, which is changing their lives. How terrible, then, that they are at their wit’s end not knowing whether they can sustainably keep meeting the daily costs of dropping their child off and picking them up from Kaiapoi.

Petrol is a key measure of the rising cost of living and it is not long before the effects start hitting Kiwi families. How many other families are having to face terrible choices of what they need to give up to be able to put food on the table and pay rising power bills? The best way to help families get ahead is to let them keep more of what they earn – not take it away through hiking fuel taxes and chasing bad policies.

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