The speech was delivered on Minister Borrows’ behalf by Nigel Fyfe (Deputy Secretary Legal and Operation Services, Ministry of Justice)
Ladies and gentlemen, I apologise for not being with you today. Following the delivery of this Government’s fifth budget yesterday, the House is currently in urgency, meaning my Parliamentary colleagues and I must remain within the confines of the Parliamentary precinct.
Those of you who are familiar with the workings of Parliament will understand the deep trouble I would bring upon myself if I defied the Government Whips to be with you today.
It is always good to run a measure of our place and to see how we stack up in comparison to the competition for tourism, conferences, and other activities.
Whenever we have friends to stay for the weekend, we make sure we show them around. Last week we had well over a hundred National Party delegates to the Lower North Island Conference to stay in Whanganui. They were rapt at all it had to offer. The Friday night function at Chronicle Glass was a highlight as Katie Brown constructed a huge glass patter which was later auctioned. Starting the conference with a focus on arts certainly turned a few heads. Nowhere to be seen were the gangs and prisoners who put Whanganui in the headlines, instead a glimpse into the vibrant arts scene we know and love. The Kingsgate hotel proved a superb venue, with the flexibility to host us all in one place, or split out into breakout sessions, as well as accommodation for many of the delegates. The function at Parnells Cafe gave those local people attending the opportunity to meet about eight MPs, and Ministers, including the Prime Minister. Food, hospitality and activities left all visitors wanting more and saying they are coming back with time to stay, explore and truly experience a city that has so much more to offer than they had previously thought. One of the biggest comments was how friendly people were and how competitive prices were. We came up shining, and formulas for calculating economic activity would suggest the immediate financial benefit for the city is about $80,000.
Older New Zealanders deserve to enjoy their retirement. They deserve to know they are being taken care of, and that the financial support they rely on will still be there for them, despite the difficult global economic conditions we’ve faced as a country.
This is why Prime Minister John Key promised all New Zealanders that the rate of superannuation would remain at 66 per cent of the average wage for a married couple, under his leadership. I’m proud to be part of a National Party that is giving seniors the security about their future they deserve.
And despite the difficult financial times, in the past five years under National the rate of superannuation has increased by 25 per cent - much higher than the rate of inflation over this same period.
Next week’s National Party Lower North Island regional conference in Whanganui is a great opportunity for the city, says local MP Chester Borrows.
The conference, held at the Kingsgate Hotel starts, runs from the evening of Friday 10 May to lunchtime Sunday 12 May.
“I’m really looking forward to hosting my fellow National Party members and caucus colleagues in Whanganui,” says Mr Borrows. “Whanganui is a vibrant city, an arts and heritage centre, and has a lot to offer.”
The conference will be attended by around 100 people, and will feature discussion panels and addresses by a range of MPs and senior Government Ministers, including the keynote address by Prime Minister John Key on Sunday morning.
Other highlights of the weekend include a glass blowing demonstration at Chronicle Glass Studio on Friday night, and a comedy debate during the Saturday night dinner, featuring champion debater James Penn, formerly of Wanganui High School.
“The conference will be a great chance for National Party members to gather, catch up with old friends, and discuss the work this Government is doing to deliver a brighter future for New Zealand.
“I’m sure many will also take some time out from the conference to sample all that Whanganui has to offer, and I know they will not be disappointed,” says Mr Borrows.
Whanganui MP Chester Borrows welcomes the news that three schools in the Whanganui and South Taranaki area have been included in the next round of IT network upgrades to increase digital learning and teaching opportunities.
The schools are Gonville School in Whanganui, Kakatahi School, and Rawhitiroa School near Eltham.
“It’s great for our local schools to be a part of the Ministry of Education’s School Network Upgrade Project (SNUP). This is all about ensuring our schools have affordable, safe, ultra-fast internet access,” says Mr Borrows.
In the National-led Government, Whanganui MP Chester Borrows is Minister for Courts, Associate Minister of Justice and Associate Minister for Social Development. He is also a Member of the Commerce Select Committee.
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