I hope this newsletter finds you well,
Te Puke's Ngā Kākano Foundation is listening to the community - and responding. The health and community service provider swung into action as soon as the severity of the Covid-19 situation became apparent and has been distributing around 300 care parcels each week of the lockdown in collaboration with Te Arawa Whānau Ora Collective, The Daily Cafe, EmpowermentNZ, Colab and Kiwicoast Lions. Seeka has also donated boxes and kiwifruit. The packages are going to our most vulnerable patients and clients - such as the elderly, single mums who may be struggling to be able to do their shopping or those with mobility issues. The packages contain hygiene supplies, food and activity packs for children and adults containing educational booklets and puzzles as well as Covid-19 and health information.
Super Grans Tairawhiti has been busy throughout Covid-19 helping with food parcels. The community have generously donated surplus fruit and vegetables and Super Grans have packed up hundreds of food packs. There is kindness to be seen everywhere. One of many ways is on your local walls you will find boxes of surplus fruit, so you can help yourself to some delicious seasonal fruit – some even provide bags.
Sergeant Shane Tailby, Officer in Charge Kawerau has congratulated the community over this past few weeks. He told us there has been a drop in all crime across the district with a more than 30% reduction. He said currently there is a 4% decrease over the year. This includes family harm with these numbers down as well, bucking the national trend. Well done Kawerau.
Now that New Zealand has flattened the curve, our first priority now must be to lift the restrictions that are flattening the economy. Small businesses have shouldered a disproportionate amount of the economic burden. We need to get cash flowing to thousands of small businesses that were forced to close in the national interest. National understands the key to growing the economy is to encourage and incentivise business investment. National will work to create jobs, sustainable growth and boundless opportunities for New Zealanders and their families. National will get New Zealand working again.
- National would offer a GST cash refund of up to $100,000 – based on the GST they paid in the 6 months to 1 January 2020 - to the small businesses most affected.
- They would need to demonstrate a revenue drop of more than 50 per cent across two successive months due to the lockdown rules.
- We estimate this could benefit up to 160,000 businesses and save countless jobs.
- We would temporarily lift the threshold to expense new capital investment for firms to $150,000 for two years. (Government lifted the threshold from $500 to $5000). For example, if a company spends $145,000 on a new machine to improve its productivity, rather than depreciating that asset over many years, it will be able to expense the full $145,000 in this tax year.
The Epidemic Response Committee has agreed to issue summonses to the Solicitor-General, the Director-General of Health and Police Commissioner seeking all legal advice on the legality of lockdown and ongoing restrictions. Parliament has never before summonsed the Solicitor-General. National has repeatedly asked for this information over the past 5 weeks, serious concerns have been raised by academics, lawyers and the Law society. New Zealanders should be proud of the efforts they’ve made during this lockdown but they also deserve to know what the legal basis for the lockdown was.
The Prime Minister has suggested that coming out of lockdown too soon would be ‘rolling the dice’. The Government needs to recognise that it’s employers around the country who are rolling the dice each day, trying to decide whether to battle on or give up, to employ or not to employ. It is certain that if we remain in lockdown longer, more jobs will be lost. New Zealand has seen 1,000 people joining the dole queue every day these past few weeks, and that’s at a time when 1.6 million Kiwis are being temporarily sustained in work by the $10 billion wage subsidy. As the wage subsidy comes to an end there is the real risk of mass unemployment. We should look for every opportunity, every week to allow more New Zealanders to get back to work.
I would like to give a shout out to students throughout the Eastern Bay of Plenty. In the last couple of weeks, myself along with The Whakatane Beacon, Paper Plus, Whakatane Society of Arts and Crafts and Mandy Hague invited all students to send in a painting or drawing thanking any or all of the essential services that have been working so hard keeping us safe, fed and well. It is running for 4 weeks and each week a selection will be shown in the Beacon. At the end of the competition, all entries will go in a draw for fantastic Prizes including, a pottery session with Pam Mossman, a painting session with Robyn Watchorn, a $25 book voucher from Paper Plus and a movie pass. As well as the prize draw we have a section of Peoples popular choice and that wins the student a $250 voucher from me! So far the entries have been great so keep them coming in. You can photograph your artwork or scan and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org = email@example.com”
The Thankyou Essential Services (TESA) competition in Gisborne finished stage one on Saturday with the second 8 finalists printed in The Gisborne Herald. What a lot of exceptional young artists we have! We have been very fortunate to have Phoebe Gander select the 16 outstanding artworks, taking into account age, from hundreds of great entries. We now move into the public vote the artwork with the most votes receiving a prize of $250 from me and the runner up will get an art class with Robyn Watchorn. Voting is on Facebook page TESA finalists.
While we now know what Alert Level 2 will look like, we are not there yet. Be sure to get active and check in on your friends and family this week, but be safe in doing so!