Great things are happening in Waitaki.
As kids head back to school, they can look forward to some exciting changes in their classrooms thanks to the extra funding their school received last year ($2,252,285 in Waitaki alone).
Parents also face a little less pressure in the household budget, thanks to increased school funding that means they don’t have to pay for NCEA fees or school donations.
We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child, and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms.
Over the past two years, the Government has made good progress on many issues that affect our region.
Some highlights include the winter energy payment, which helped protect around one million New Zealanders from the cold last winter.
We’ve made record investments in mental health and addiction services, including funding for digital and telehealth services, which will make a real difference in rural communities.
We’ve expanded access to the Community Services Card, which means more people can attend the GP for less than $20 and all GP clinics in Waitaki now provide low-cost access to ommunity Services Card holders.
Telford at SIT has been boosted with $4.7million of extra funding, and Invermay has been saved: big wins for not only for the South but for agriculture across the country..
The list goes on.
But there is still more work to do and we’ll never lose sight of that.
The Government has hit the ground running this year.
This summer we’ve shared more of our plan to improve road safety and public transport, to help upgrade almost every public school in the country, to fix up hospitals, and to help lower our carbon emissions.
Our second wellbeing budget is just around the corner, and the Minister of Finance has said his priorities this time will be shifting us to an economy that’s set up to tackle climate change, helping us take advantage of new technologies, lifting Maori and Pacific skills and incomes, reducing child poverty, and improving our physical and mental health.
Over the summer we also learned the date of the next election – September 19. This is an opportunity for New Zealanders to have their say; to share their thoughts, cast their votes, and ultimately shape their future.
And it’s an opportunity for politicians to listen carefully, reflect on the three years past, and share their vision for New Zealand’s future.
But regardless of the election date, providing a strong and stable government comes first. Kiwis can trust that the Government will continue to serve its people; delivering on its promises, and making progress in tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand.