Skip to main content

Local Government

Message from Hon Scott Simpson – MP For Coromandel

It’s been a year since our region and other parts of New Zealand were devastated by severe cyclone weather events.
 |  Scott Simpson  |  ,

The damage done to local housing, roads, small businesses and to our daily lives has left a lasting mark on so many people. Sometimes the worst of situations brings out the best in people and communities.

There was a lot of that during last year’s weather crisis turmoil. Looking back now, for me it is one of the most enduring memories as I saw so many examples of people, neighbours and communities working together to help each other out at a time of great need.

In terms of politics, the parliamentary year is well underway and we’ve been making our way through our 100 Day Plan.

This month we’ve repealed Labour’s grandiose Three Waters legislation.  Their plan was deeply divisive and would have been a bureaucratic mess. It was simply a ‘Wellington knows best’ approach and it took no account that different communities have different needs.

Repealing this law is the first step in our Local Water Done Well policy which recognises that local decision making and flexibility is crucial to delivering water services now and in the future.

There will be two more pieces of legislation introduced this year to ensure the delivery of safe water services in a financially sustainable way.

Importantly, the Local Water Done Well policy will restore local council ownership and responsibility. It won’t be Wellington calling the shots as would have been the case under Labour’s Three Waters. The new legislation is expected to be passed before the next local government elections in 2025.

I’m also pleased that we are fulfilling our commitment to establish a medical school at the University of Waikato.

Signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the university is the first step in this process and it was part of our 100 Day Plan. Our country, but particularly rural areas like the Coromandel, are facing a dire shortage of doctors.

We’re going to need more and more GPs in regions like ours in coming years. The current schools at Auckland and Otago do a terrific job of training high quality health professionals, but more needs to be done to ensure all New Zealanders have timely access to healthcare. A third medical school will be good for the country and our region.

During the last six years there was very little in the way of actual delivery from government and an awful lot of wasteful spending. Now the message seems to be getting through that this new coalition government is focused on delivery, getting things done and doing so in a way that shows a much greater respect for hard earned taxpayer dollars.