What a month March has been!
From toing and froing out of Alert Level 1 and 2, through to announcements about a transtasman bubble announcement and the implementation of winter grazing regulations being delayed until 2022.
There will be many relieved people throughout the Waitaki district.
Last week, National launched a petition calling on the Government to get a move on with the transtasman bubble.
Australia has proven it can be done safely and while it was promising the Government had floated the bubble being open next month, Monday’s announcement of an announcement date was disappointing.
The petition is still open, so if you haven’t signed it, make sure to head to my Facebook page and add your name to the more than 42,000 people who have already signed.
I can only imagine there will be many pleased farmers in North Otago, following the Environment Minister’s announcement that the implementation of winter grazing regulations has been delayed until 2022.
Groundswell New Zealand, a group launched by concerned farmers to strive for sensible policy, held a meeting here last week and I’m sure there were many thankful people in attendance from across our primary sector.
It was fantastic to meet Oamaru North School principal Stacey Honeywill this month and to see what exciting plans she has for the school.
She has embraced her new role with open arms and it was great to be able to welcome her to Oamaru.
It’s been a busy month in the conservation space with submissions closing on the Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill, and hearings by the Environment Committee under way.
Nearly all of the 2000 submissions received on the Bill opposed it, highlighting why the controversial Bill should be turfed.
It was fantastic to see New Zealanders taking a stand for our high country farmers and submitting in such high numbers.
Our farmers are our caretakers of the land, preserving the unique flora and fauna of our high country.
This Bill would create a regime where our high country farmers require numerous consents for what many would consider simple day-to-day activity on farms, like fencing.
It is clear the Bill aims to put an end to farming in the high country. This will lead to poor environmental outcomes as areas become overgrown and unmanageable.
The National Party opposes this Bill and will not sit back while our high country farmers are the latest victim of an anti-farming crusade.
Many avid hunters will no doubt have packed their bags and headed bush for the roar this year.
After it was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, I’m sure our hunters will be more enthusiastic than ever this year.
As always, stay safe and I wish you well on your ventures to bag that ever-elusive trophy head.
We have some fantastic events fast-approaching on the calendar here in Oamaru.
Good luck to all the finalists in this year’s Network Waitaki Sports Awards being held next week. Congratulations also to those being inducted in to the Waitaki Sports Hall of Fame.
I’m looking forward to cutting the ribbon at the North Otago Relay for Life next month to open the event.
We have a truly wonderful community here, and to see everyone come together for such a deserving cause makes me incredibly proud to be your Member of Parliament.
- Jacqui Dean is the MP for Waitaki