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I hope this newsletter finds you well and that you had a relaxing and safe Easter weekend. My lovely staff have been ringing up to check in on members of the East Coast Electorate during these unprecedented times; and have received a wonderful response, which is great to hear.

 

The Epidemic Response Committee are back this week pushing the Government for the answers and information we need!

Today as always they will focus on Health, and from 10am they will be questioning Australia’s Chief Medical Officer - Professor Brendan Murphy, Singapore’s Director of Medical Services – Professor Kenneth Mak, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, Finance Minister Grant Robertson
and Treasury Secretary Caralee McLiesh.

Wednesday they focus on the media with former NZ Herald Editor in Chief Gavin Ellis appearing as the independent expert. We’ll also hear from representatives from Stuff, NZME, TVNZ, Mediaworks, Radio NZ, NBR, Newsroom and the Spinoff. And Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi will appear.

Thursday they will look at economic development with Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr, NZ Council of Trade Union President Richard Wagstaff, Trade Minister David Parker and Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford.

You can watch the Committee live each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am on Parliament TV Freeview Channel 31 or Sky 86 or view both live and past Committees here:

www.parliament.nz/watch-erc

 

Testing clinics for Covid-19 on the East Coast are drive through only. Please stay in your car.

Only attend the clinics if you have; a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose.

Testing in Opotiki is available at the Opotiki Memorial Park on Monday, Thursday and Saturday between 10 am-2 pm.

Kawerau testing is located at Ron Hardie Recreation Center on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday between 10 am-2 pm.

At Whakatane War Memorial Hall testing is available Monday-Friday between 9 am-4 pm.

Testing in Gisborne is available at the War Memorial Theatre Assessment Centre 7 days a week. Available to essential workers only between 9 am-11 am and 1 pm-3 pm for anyone without an appointment.

 

I believe the government attempting to fast track the Electoral (Registration of Sentenced Prisoners), Amendment Bill, during a national crisis is very undemocratic because it does not give the public and media a fair chance to scrutinise the bill in the public forum. It is very sneaky to fast track a bill while the whole nation is under a level 4 lockdown. The public is unable to make well thought out submissions due to the time and travel restrictions during our level 4 lockdown. The public also needs the media to have enough time so that they have a chance to inform the public of the proposed bill amendments for our democracy to be transparent. I encourage you to register your opposition to this Bill by making a submission. The submissions deliberately seek the opportunity to be heard. It will look very poor for the Government if they push this through without hearing people who want to make submissions.

 

Grocery Shopping:

We all want to know how long the line is at the local supermarket, right? Well, a new website has sprung up which tells you just that!  Allow it to know your location so that you receive local information. It relies on the public to let others know their experience, so be sure and update it!

www.howlongistheline.org

What if you’d rather not venture out and prefer to shop online? Apart from ordering online or by phone from your supermarket, the following site has an extensive list of Kiwi businesses offering delivery of foodstuffs during lockdown: https://delivereat.co.nz/

 

Home Exercise options:

It’s important to keep moving and get out for a walk when you can.  For days when inside exercise is preferable, check out the following courtesy of Sport Wellington: https://www.sportwellington.org.nz/assets/Resource-Documents/ee07e7e1c1/Home-exercise-options-v2.pdf

 

Banking and paying bills:

If you are used to paying your bills over the counter at your local Post Shop, don’t despair, all that can be done online these days! Your bank would be happy to help you set up online payments to cover your bills automatically!

Just give them a call.

 

Keeping in touch:

Phone calls are a great way to keep in touch during lockdown but wouldn’t it be even better to be able to see who you’re talking to? Skype and Zoom are two online calling platforms which allow you to do just that. You can even have a conversation with a group of people all around the country!  A great way to have a family “get-together”. You can use your laptop or computer, so long as they have a camera, or your iPad or mobile phone.  Best of all, calls are made via the internet, and are FREE!

Skype:  https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/

Zoom: https://zoom.us/download

You can also search and download the apps on your phone in the App Store or Google Play.

 

Don’t forget to regularly check www.covid19.govt.nz for the most up to date information. Our country’s lockdown efforts have started to show some promising results, but we all must continue to stick to the lockdown rules to ensure it’s effective. Keep active and healthy this week but remember to keep to your bubble!

Stay home - save lives

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