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Out and About
It's hard to believe we are already in July and half way through 2012! It has gone quickly and has so far been a very eventful and busy time in the Taupo electorate, with June and July again playing host to a wide range of events in our beautiful part of the country.
In June I hosted several Post Budget Coffee Catch Ups across the electorate, and I'd like to thank those who turned up to discuss any issues or questions about Budget 2012. It is important for me to hear your thoughts, and as your elected representative I make it a priority to make myself as available to you as possible.
I was also thankful for another opportunity to talk to local business people about Budget 2012, with opportunities to be a guest speaker at a Cambridge Chamber of Commerce post budget breakfast, an Enterprise Great Lake Taupo morning tea, and a Business After 5 function in Putaruru.
Of course another event which I attended with the Prime Minister, and always a real highlight for me, was the annual Fieldays at Mystery Creek. It is great to see so many locals from the Taupo electorate there and chat to you. The rural sector is hugely important to us as a nation, particularly within rural areas such as here in Taupo. It is the economic backbone of our country and Fieldays really displays and showcases the importance of this sector, not only to our economy, but to our culture and identity as well.
At the start of July the Cambridge Friendly Forum guest speaker was MP for Rodney, Mark Mitchell. Prior to being elected as MP for Rodney, Mark had an extensive background both in the New Zealand Police and as a Businessman. He started his own company specialising in hostage rescue, supply chain security and risk management. I know the attendees thoroughly enjoyed hearing him speak, and really appreciated hearing about his focus on justice and safer communities.
On another note, last week I did the first of the three half marathons held in Taupo for 2012. The Saucony Off Road half marathon was held in the beautiful settings of Mount Tauhara. I'm pleased to say I made it again, and am looking forward to seeing many of you at the future half marathon events in Taupo. Good luck if you are participating.
Louise with Prime Minister John Key and Scott Simpson MP at Fieldays, Louise with Hon David Carter. Louise with 'Stop Youth Suicide" volunteers in Tokoroa, Louise at the Cambridge Friendly Forum with Mark Mitchell MP, Louise at the start of the Saucony Half Marathon in Taupo
Creating a cleaner, greener, brighter future
National is committed to creating a cleaner, greener, brighter future for all New Zealanders, which is why Prime Minister John Key recently announced amendments to New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
The changes ensure our country continues to do its fair share towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, without loading extra costs onto Kiwi families, employers and exporters.
Key changes include keeping the "one-for-two" obligation in place after this year, meaning participants in the scheme will continue to surrender units for half the carbon they emit.
The $25 cap on the price firms will face if carbon prices rise internationally has been maintained until at least 2015.
We have introduced off-setting for pre-1990 forest landowners, and allocated the full second tranche of compensation where offsetting is not taken up.
Financial liability for biological emissions from agriculture has been left out of the ETS subject to review in 2015 but there is mandatory reporting of biological emissions by processors from 1 January 2012.
Labour's ETS was to come into effect in 2010 and 2011. It increased the price of petrol and electricity, and imposed costs in areas such as steel, cement, and aluminium production. National amended the scheme by adding transition measures to soften its impact. Our changes more than halved the costs on households and exporters compared to Labour's original scheme. And, given the ongoing international economic environment and minimal progress made by other countries on climate change tools, we will extend these measures.
Ordinary New Zealanders will not notice any difference in the way the ETS affects them. The amendments make the ETS more flexible. Too onerous an ETS would have the effect of driving many businesses offshore to countries where very few or no climate change initiatives are in place, doing no favours to the environment or New Zealand.
We want to slowly and steadily reduce the carbon intensity of our economy, in a way that offers Kiwi exporters, employers and households certainty in a challenging and changing world economy.
Tongariro Volunteer Visits
There is some fantastic work being undertaken by volunteers in Turangi and Tongariro, as witnessed on both of my visits last month, to both Project Tongariro and the Tongariro River Trail, during Volunteer Awareness Week.
Project Tongariro (Tongariro Natural History Society Inc) was established to promote a wider understanding of the natural processes and human history of Tongariro National Park. It works with the Department of Conservation to focus on four key areas: biodiversity, history, education and recreation.
It's important to note that many people have put enormous time and effort into these projects, and it was great to be able to visit them and learn about some of their current work.
After my visit I adopted a hectare at Lake Rotopounamu, which I encourage you to do also. It is a great way to support a local cause and help preserve the beauty we are fortunate enough to have on our back doorstep.
I also visited the Tongariro River Trail, which is a loop trail that uses existing angler access tracks at Turangi, and links with other existing walking and biking tracks up the eastern banks of the mighty Tongariro River. It goes through a spectacular native bush setting. This work has been facilitated by the Advocates for the Tongariro River -an active community group based in Turangi concerned with the preservation and enhancement of the Tongariro River environment.
The day I visited it was awesome to see completed construction of the first boardwalk for the trail, which had been completed that day! The trail has been in planning for a long time, and it is fantastic seeing it come to fruition, so that people can enjoy the pristine landscape we have running along the highway.
HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE ALCOHOL AGE
Parliament will soon be voting on the purchase age of alcohol. This will be a conscience vote, so I want to know what you think:
1) Keep the age at 18
2) Split age - 18 on-license (cafes and bars), 20 off-license (wholesalers)
3) Raise the age to 20
Click here to send an email to my office
20th - Waipa District Council Citizenship Ceremony, Te Awamutu
20th - Waipa Networks Business Awards, Cambridge
21st-22nd - National Party Conference, Auckland
23rd - Launch of Maori Language Week - Arohaitia te Reo, Hamilton
23rd - Weir House debate, Victoria University, Wellington
26th - Aspiring Leaders Forum, Wellington
27th - Taupo Constituent Clinic, Taupo
27th - BNZ Great Lake Taupō Business Awards Gala, Taupo
29th - Parliamentary Sports Trust Fixture, Palmerston North
1st - Industry Training Federation Conference, Wellington
3rd - Alcohol Forum, Taupo
3rd - Squares & Compasses Meeting, Taupo
4th - Smokefree Pasifika Beats Final, Rotorua
5th - Taupo Mizuno Half Marathon, Taupo
6th - Alcohol Forum, Taupo
7th - Caucus Energy Visits, Taupo
9th - South Waikato Alcohol Forum, Tokoroa
13th - Cambridge Constituent Clinic, Cambridge
13th - Business & Professional Women 30th Anniversary, Cambridge
17th - Business Breakfast, Cambridge
17th - Constituent Clinic, Taupo
19th - Whakaipo Bay Native Tree Planting, Taupo
20th - South Waikato Constituent Clinic, Tokoroa
For details on the upcoming Alcohol Forums and constituent clinics please visit my website or contact the electorate office.
I always enjoy hearing your views on issues that matter to you and I appreciate the time taken to express these to me.
07 827 5572
07 886 5554
MP for Taupo