A brighter future for all of New Zealand.

As New Zealand’s third biggest city, and the fastest growing urban area, Manukau East is a vibrant electorate with many different ethnicities and is strengthened by its diversity and rich culture. I am proud to be working closely with these communities.

Last week I was proud to be involved in the Festival of Holi. The coloured powder or gulaal used during the festivities is thrown and smeared on revellers to make everyone the same under the eyes of God. The colourful powder allows us to transcend race, colour and creed so we're all equal. The symbolism is beautiful.
Building a brighter future for all New Zealanders is a priority for our Government; but the responsibility of achieving our goals spreads much wider.

This month the Government rolled out the first stage of our welfare reform package that we campaigned on at the election. Delivering better public services is one of our four top priorities for this term of Government. Welfare reform is an important part of this.

Long-term welfare dependency can become a trap leading to a life of limited outcomes and limited choices. Welfare will always be there to support people in our community who need it. But anyone who can work should be in work, or looking for a job.

Unfortunately the current welfare system is not working. 350,000 people are on a benefit – that’s one in 8 New Zealanders of working age. Getting off welfare and into work means a better life, better opportunities, and a brighter future for people and their families – we are here to help our communities achieve this.

Government has a role to play to help people into work. We're providing more tertiary and trades training places and supporting people to get the skills they need for employment. We must invest in our young people; they are our security and hope for the future.

We’re changing the give way rule on 25th March this year. We’re changing the law to make it simpler, bringing us into line with the rest of the world. There are two key changes. If you’re turning right, give way to vehicles turning left; and at a T-intersection, give way to vehicles on the continuing road. Changes to the give way rules are one of many actions the National is taking under the Safer Journeys action plan, to improve safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.

You can learn more about the changes at www.giveway.govt.nz.