New Mobile Office Location
Clayton has changed the location of his Mobile Office in Rangiora which was previously on Percival Street. Clayton will now be located on High Street in Rangiora, opposite the Post Office; 9am to 10am every Monday. Look out for the Red Bus! Feel free to drop in and have a chat with Clayton.
Yesterday I had the honour of opening the Canterbury BuildNZ trade show at CBS Arena. The event is New Zealand’s largest trade gathering of build, construction, and design industry professional, and is expecting to have 5000 people attend over three days. There were some incredibly innovative ideas and technologies on show, and it is great to see this event in Christchurch for the first time in 25 years.
Media Statement: Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
Hon Clayton Cosgrove
Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
28 July 2014
Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“Information obtained from Christchurch City Council shows just 2160 Code Compliance Certificates were issued in the two years to June 2014, while CERA says Canterbury 25,000 are needed,” says Phil Twyford.
“This shows the residential rebuild has been painfully slow. With so few houses being built it is easy to see why rents and house prices continue to go through the roof.
“The Government likes to crow about projected consent figures, but code compliance certificates for new dwellings are a much better indicator as they are issued after building work is completed.
“Gerry Brownlee’s rebuild has fallen way behind schedule,” said Phil Twyford.
EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove said the figures were shocking coming on top of news reports of faulty earthquake repairs.
“Now we have got lawyers in Christchurch warning of shoddy repair jobs, and saying it could be as big as the leaky buildings crisis.
“One insurance lawyer Duncan Webb has been reported saying there was no auditing process so substandard repairs were being passed off as complete.
“Legal action against insurers and building companies is mounting with High Court’s so-called earthquake list showing 222 cases are active of a total of 327 filed.
“When John Key tried to defend Gerry Brownlee’s latest troubles he said his minister ‘got a lot of things right’. He got it wrong with the rebuild – he should have put in quality control measures in the beginning to get it right first time,” said Clayton Cosgrove.
Contact: Phil Twyford 027 444 9161, Clayton Cosgrove 021 829 562
Authorised by Phil Twyford, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.
There were 1328 Code Compliance Certificates issued in the year to June 2014 and 832 in the year to June 2012.
39th Birthday of the Belfast Friendly Club
This afternoon I attended the 39th Birthday of the Belfast Friendly Club, and even got the opportunity to cut the cake with the oldest member present Ted Smith, and President Marion Burns.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 28th of July), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: Orion Energy CEO’s $180,000 pay rise; CERA’s $1.8 million travel bill; hospital food cut backs; Gerry Brownlee bypassing airport security; and the latest political polls. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Rangiora Midwinter Splash
On Saturday morning I participated in the Rangiora Midwinter Splash to raise money for the Rangiora Stroke Club, which provides support for suffers of strokes. It is always great to be able to support such an important cause, and thank you to all of those who donated.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 21st of July), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: New Zealand First’s election slogan and policies released over the weekend; Commuter rail being off the cards; the conflict in Gaza; and the passing of Cathedral Dean Lynda Patterson. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Annette King visits Waimakariri Electorate
I spent the day with Annette King, Labour Spokesperson for Health visiting Oxford and Kaiapoi today. We got to catch up the Oxford Community Trust, and had the pleasure of spending time with the staff and residents of the Kaiapoi Lodge.
Media Statement: Ensuring insurance works for all into the future
9 July 2014
Ensuring the insurance industry works as it should when Kiwis need it most is the driver behind Labour’s plans for an Insurance Commissioner, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says.
“The Canterbury earthquakes have highlighted just how under-prepared both the industry and EQC were to handle a major disaster.
“Being able to call on EQC’s natural disaster fund has certainly lessened the cost of the rebuild for the rest of New Zealand. However the earthquakes also exposed some serious shortfalls, not the least the lengthy and stressful claims process faced by affected residents.
“An independent Insurance Commissioner, funded by a levy on insurers, will take a hands-on role in overseeing the industry and making sure it works better than it has when it is most needed.
“The Commissioner’s first task will be to review and make follow-up recommendations on the actions of EQC and the insurance companies in the wake of the earthquakes.
“Based on what has been learned from Canterbury, Labour will also move to have EQC levies collected through rates rather than through home insurance, with the levy proportional to the value of the home. This fixes the problem of uninsured properties not being eligible for EQC payouts.
“We will also:
• Increase the current $100,000 cap on payouts, as recommended by the Commissioner
• Ensure EQC covers the cost of temporary accommodation for people unable to live in their damaged homes once private cover has expired
• Require EQC to pay for work to protect homes from increased geological risk, such as flooding where land has slumped, following earthquakes
• Work with the industry to develop a plain English insurance ‘template’, able to be varied by mutual agreement of both parties
“The Canterbury earthquakes have highlighted what does – and what doesn’t – work when it comes to the insurance sector. We need to learn from the last three and a half years and be prepared should a similar disaster happen in future,” Clayton Cosgrove said.
Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Media Statement: More asset sale slush fund spending revealed
4 July 2014
Rather than paying down National’s record $60 billion debt as promised, Budget documents reveal the asset sale money is still being used as a Government slush fund, Labour’s State-Owned Enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says.
“It is outrageous the public were kept in the dark about what hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars raised from selling the family silver has been spent on.
The grab-bag of spending identified in the documents includes:
• A marine operator safety system
• A $23 million subscription to the World Bank
• ‘Cashing up’ private sector R&D losses for Inland Revenue
• Census 2018
• The TVNZ archive
• Capital work for Parliamentary Services
• Implementing the Insolvency Practitioners Bill
• Paying for the IRD to comply with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
• Fixing the Aratere ferry
“The Government conveniently neglected to identify these items in the May Budget documents.
“Bill English and Tony Ryall need to come clean over where this money has gone.
“Another insult revealed in the documents is that because asset sales came in well over a billion dollars short of target, the Government was advised to ensure its spending was justified. It was encouraged to defend it to the taxpayer as value for money.
“Yet Treasury found the initiatives had ‘little alignment with improving economic growth’.
“The truth is asset sales are being used to cover up the $4 billion-plus hole in revenue caused by the Government’s 2010 tax changes.
“The asset sales programme was an economic disaster which is still costing taxpayers billions and delivering little in return,” Clayton Cosgrove says.
Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
‘Labour Pledges 24hr GPs’
Take a look at this article about Labour’s Canterbury Health Policy on the front page of the Northern Outlook yesterday. It was great to have Annette King down for the announcement on Monday and to be able to show off the Waimakariri electorate on on such a stunning afternoon.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 30th of June), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: if we should be putting fluoride in our water in Christchurch; National’s promise of $212 million for regional highways; the latest figures on cycle safety in Christchurch; the mini-series about the Canterbury February 2011 earthquake; and what we need to do in Christchurch for our youth. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Media Statement: Canterbury health services to get boost
Check out Annette King’s media statement on today’s Canterbury Health Policy announcement below:
Canterbury health services to get boost
Annette King – Health Spokesperson
30 June 2014
Labour is to invest in Canterbury’s health system to help people dealing with the ongoing health impacts of the earthquakes and their aftermath.
“Nearly four years on and people in Canterbury are still struggling with the after effects of the quakes,” Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.
“We are hearing reports of increasing numbers of young people being on suicide watch and mental health providers struggling to cope with the extra demand.
“That is why Labour is promising to invest $1million in local non-government mental health services and double the number of nurses working in the Canterbury District Health Board schools-based mental health team.
“Labour is also committing to investing $12.5 million for new health hubs in Rangiora and Akaroa, something the DHB has been left to pay for out of baseline funding despite extra and on-going costs following the earthquakes.
“We will also ensure that after hours GP services are available.
“The people of Canterbury want to get on with their lives. Having access to the health services they need is an essential part of that,” Annette King said.
Authorised by Hon Annette King, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Canterbury Health Policy Announcement
Today I had the pleasure of announcing Labour’s Canterbury Health policy with Annette King, outside the Rangiora Hospital.
Under the policy Labour is promising to invest $1million in local non-government mental health services and double the number of nurses working in the Canterbury District Health Board schools-based mental health team; invest $12.5 million for new health hubs in Rangiora and Akaroa; and ensure that after hours GP services are available.
5th Habitat for Humanity house dedication in Kaiapoi
On Sunday I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Habitat for Humanity house dedication in Kaiapoi.
Karl and Sari Fisk and their two children Jacob and Amy were Earthquake victims when their home was destroyed in Linwood and they have moved to Kaiapoi.
Habitat for Humanity have done a fantastic job with these homes and I wish the Fisk family all the best for a wonderful future in their new home and congratulate Habitat for Humanity for their tremendous work in re homing a total of 5 families in Kaiapoi.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 23rd of June), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: the proposed $30 million playground for central Christchurch; the 8% hike in rates for the city; Christchurch’s Tenants Protection Agency having to close its doors unless it can raise money fast; and the latest revelations on Team New Zealand. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Media Statement: Misleading costs the final insult on asset sales
20 June 2014
Today’s claim by the Government that the cost of the asset sales programme was $120 million is just a lie, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“The Government and Treasury need to be straight up with the taxpayer on the costs of the asset sales which totals well over half a billion dollars. Treasury has ignored a whole series of costs and bonuses.
“National’s asset sales policy was a massive failure. At the last election John Key promised Kiwis the sales would raise between $5 billion and $7 billion. They ended up well short of that because they mismanaged the sales process and drove Solid Energy into the ground.
“The Government claimed that the costs of the sales would be no more than 2 per cent of the proceeds; however it has ballooned out to well over twice what they claimed.
“In their list of costs today, Treasury has omitted to include the bonus and free share schemes which cost $80 million, the $30 million subsidy for Rio Tinto, the increases to executive salaries, the foregone dividends and the losses on the sales .
“The Government needs to come clean on what the real costs to the taxpayer are. The asset sales programme has been a massive failure and misleading people over the costs is the final slap in the face for the public.”
Partial list of omitted asset sale costs and expenses:
Bonus and Free Shares: $80m
• Bonus shares for MRP $25.0m
• Cost of Meridian incentive $33.0m
• Cost of Genesis bonus shares $22m
Foregone dividends: $147m so far
Rio Tinto subsidy: $30.0m
Bonus payment to MRP CEO, increased board and CEO salaries: At least $1 million (as supported by Bill English)
Losses on sale: $383m
• Mighty River $167m gain
• Meridian $422m loss
• Air NZ $52m gain
• Genesis $180 loss
Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 16th of June), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: whether the Government should support the Americas Cup; what the new Council CEO, Dr Karleen Edwards’, priorities should be as she begins the job today; Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel being the only Canterbury Mayor to not support having a mix of appointed and elected officials at ECan; and if we are on the right track with the Performing Arts Precinct. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Phil Goff MP Visits Waimakariri Electorate
Yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting Hon Phil Goff’s visit to the Waimakariri Electorate. Both Phil Goff and I attended the opening of the Pegasus Bay School, and had the pleasure of the pupils and staff that are already enjoying their amazing new surroundings show us around the new complex. It was a very enjoyable morning.
I also had the pleasure yesterday of taking Phil Goff to visit Hellers Limited in Kaiapoi where John McWhirter CEO and Chris Walsh, Chief Operating Officer took us on a very informative and enjoyable tour of the meat plant.
During Phil Goff’s visit to Waimakariri yesterday we took a tour of Deanes Apparel in Rangiora where Donna Hamilton the manager introduced us to the staff and their various machines. I always take great pride in being able to show off the great people of the Waimakariri to visiting MPs like Phil Goff.
Community Champion Awards June 2014
Today (11 June 2014), I presented my latest round of Community Champion Awards to local people in the Waimakariri Electorate.
Lynda Goodrick of Belfast, Jayne and Michael Rattray of Rangiora, Lesley Ottey of Rangiora, and the Kaiapoi Brass Band are the latest recipients to be recognised as Community Champions at a presentation at the Kaiapoi Club.
I set up the Community Champions Awards soon after I became a Member of Parliament in 1999 to recognise the hard work of volunteers in the Waimakariri Electorate and people who go out of their way to help others. It has been an honour to recognise literally hundreds of volunteers in the Waimakariri Electorate.
You can get some more info on the great things that the latest recipients of the Community Champion Awards have been doing in the below media statement.
For over a decade, Lynda and the Belfast Community Network have provided immense support to members of the Belfast community,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
“The organisation began in 2001, at which time Lynda was in sole charge and her role was part time. Now, through over a decade of hard work, Lynda has the support of 11 staff who all help contribute to the Belfast community.
“The Belfast Community Network runs holiday programmes for up to 40 children, coordinates 6 weeks of programmes at the Belfast Pool, provides sports activities for 1000 children at 3 local primary schools each week, holds community events, youth programmes, breakfast on Christmas morning, community meals, and makes their new facilities available for the community to use for meetings and events.
“Through Lynda’s dedication, the Belfast Community Network has grown into something that the community can be truly proud of,” Mr Cosgrove said.
Jayne and Michael Rattray
“Over the past 5 years Jayne and Michael have raised over half a million dollars for The Cancer Society of New Zealand – Canterbury/West Coast division – through the Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
“The Scooter Safari is a charity event involving 250 motorised scooters riding 250km Coast-to-Coast over the Southern Alps from Christchurch to Hokitika to raise funds for the Cancer Society.
“Beginning in 2009, the Scooter Safari is now bi-annual with the most recent event held in May 2014 raising more than $200,000. Since 2009, over 4 events, the Scooter Safari has raised more than $575,000 for the Cancer Society.
“Jayne and Mike make a great team. Jayne is a whizz at planning, promotion, registrations and sponsorship, while Mike brings his expertise as an engineer and experienced motorcyclist, keeping riders safe with good traffic management.
“Jayne is quick to recognise the riders and their families for their efforts in fundraising, and she is right. However, good leadership is vital to getting an event like this off the ground, let alone embedded as a regular and substantial fundraising event.
“I enjoyed helping to serve afternoon tea to this year’s participants, and am looking forward to the next ride which will be held in May 2016”, Mr Cosgrove said.
“Lesley is well known around Waimakariri for her work at Kaiapoi Community Garden. Although she has passed the torch on to others now, she continues to support community gardens in the region whenever she can,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
“But her gifts to the community do not stop there. She set up and ran Rangiora Badminton for 9 years, made brooches from earthquake-broken china, supported surf lifeguards by coaching and speaking at pre-schools in order to educate children about surf and safety at the beach, knitted beanies for charity, and even collects neighbours’ compost material.
Lesley challenges the people of Waimakariri to take a small step each day to improve their community. “Hold a door open, smile … it doesn’t take much,” she says.
“It is this kind of attitude and continued support of the community in new ways that makes Lesley a community champion,” Mr Cosgrove said
Kaiapoi Brass Band
“The Kaiapoi Brass Band has been proudly representing Kaiapoi for the past 129 years,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
“From just 6 members in the 1930s, the band has grown to 21 quality performers, with ages ranging from as young as 10 years to 80 years.
“The Band regularly plays at funerals, church services, Waitangi Day celebrations, community events, shop openings and Christmas events, and therefore is always an important part of the Kaiapoi community and events.
“From time to time they even form a Bavarian Oompa Band which is popular entertainment at Christchurch events and helps them to raise funds to keep the Brass Band going.
“Kaiapoi Brass Band is made up of a group of dedicated performers committed to Kaiapoi and always willing to participate in any community event, which makes them an integral part of the Kaiapoi community, and they are always looking for new members.”
The family feeling, team spirit and kindness are what keeps the band together. “We are very supportive of each other, here to share a love of music,” says Promotions officer Amanda Fahy.
“I know that the Kaiapoi Brass Band will continue to be an integral part of the Kaiapoi community for another century”, Mr Cosgrove said.
Visit to Southbrook school
I had a great morning meeting with Principal Shane Fletcher and staff at Southbrook school today, they did a great thing in honouring their support staff for all the good work they do in helping run the school.
Also got the chance to have a discussion about Parliament at the invitation of the school and spoke to some of the students, and unexpectedly in the middle of that I got a phone call from Chris Lynch of NewsTalk ZB to give a report on how people in Waimakariri have been coping with the district’s awful floods they have been experiencing over the last couple of days, in the course of that Chris did a big ‘shout out’ for the wonderful pupils of Southbrook School and the children reciprocated in kind.
It has been a tough couple of days for people in the area, through Kaiapoi, Rangiora, right up into North Canterbury and surrounding areas who have been pretty stoic and everyone is pulling together as usual during all this rain and subsequent flooding, all the best for these for those who are cleaning up after the deluge today.
Media Statement: Brownlee should be backing residents
10 June 2014
Gerry Brownlee has once again shown where his priorities lie, picking to side with insurance companies rather than the people of Christchurch, says Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“Mr Brownlee and the Insurance Council are throwing their toys over Labour’s plans to create an ‘earthquake court’ to clear a backlog of claims still waiting to be settled almost four years after the earthquakes, arguing the insurance sector is on the case and doing its job and that ‘only a small fraction’ of claims are in dispute.
“There are more than 10,000 claims yet to be settled. The insurance council says exactly that on its website: ‘Of the 22,455 over cap dwellings, 9,875 (44%) had been settled, 9,755 (43%) were pending settlement and 2,876 (13%) were still to be made an offer or the insured had not made a decision on their offer’.
“Add the high number of large EQC claims outstanding and it’s plain more needs to be done.
“To argue that cases which are pending settlement are settled is ludicrous. Sending an offer to a claimant is not settlement. The reason there is conflict and non-settlement is because of disagreement between the insurers offer and the claimant’s view of damage.
“Insurers have a duty to settle claims within a reasonable time. To suggest that Labour is misguided because we want to ensure they meet that duty is duplicitous, as are threats to bump up premiums because they may be forced to do the job they are there to do.
“The insurance industry and Gerry Brownlee have failed the residents of Christchurch. No one should have to wait over three years to have a claim settled. People should be compensated for that delay. The costs of resolving disputes should be met by insurers. Why is Mr Brownlee opposed to that?
“Labour’s earthquake court will ensure justice is available to all.”
Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 9th of June), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: living costs going up in Canterbury; the announcement this morning that a Labour government will set up a special Earthquake Court to speed up the claims process for Cantabrians and immediately begin working on protecting flood-risk homes; Vodafone kicking off the innovation precinct; the potential demolition of the Cathedral; and the Civilian Party receiving $33,000. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Media Statement: Now almost 900 job losses from Solid debacle
6 June 2014
With 137 jobs set to go at Stockton mine, the total number of job losses from the Government’s disastrous management of Solid Energy is close to 900, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“The loss of 137 jobs is yet another massive blow to the people of the West Coast, alongside the more than 700 other Solid Energy jobs lost.
“With much of its workforce gone Stockton will end up operating under capacity, along with Spring Creek which has been mothballed. National has campaigned on promoting mining in New Zealand but ironically it’s shutting them down instead.
“Solid Energy’s near collapse is the result of years of mismanagement by Ministers and the former Board. Tony Ryall and Bill English were warned repeatedly about the problems facing the SOE but ignored them and took no action, leaving it almost $400 million in debt and shedding jobs by the hundreds.
“This is why the company is in the state it’s in today, reliant on a bailout from the banks and Government, and now a shadow of the export award-winning company it was under Labour.
“If Ministers had taken action earlier many of these jobs could have been saved.
“Tony Ryall is responsible for every one of these job losses leading to his legacy as the most negligent and incompetent SOE Minister in history,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
Damien O’Connor MP visits Waimakariri Electorate
I spent Tuesday 3 June showing Damien O’Connor, MP for Tasman/WestCoast around Waimakariri and had the pleasure of meeting with Steve Murphy (Director) and Chris Murphy (General Manager) of SML Limited Trucking Contractors. Damien and I had a good discussion about transport and forestry issues.
Media Statement: Brownlee must reassure over asbestos
28 May 2014
Gerry Brownlee must address the concerns around asbestos raised by Canterbury’s chief medical officer and get as much information as possible into the public domain rapidly to provide reassurance for Cantabrians, says Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“Gerry Brownlee is unable to confirm whether or not a review is under way. He needs to cut the bluster and get an investigation underway immediately.
“If it’s good enough for the chief medical officer for Canterbury to be concerned, it should be good enough for Gerry Brownlee.
“Labour has obtained a briefing note from EQC to Gerry Brownlee showing that in May 2013 EQC was aware that it had poor records for asbestos and no coherent strategy for testing.
“Nothing appears to have been done since.
“It is incredible that no one is able to say how many damaged homes may have created exposure to asbestos and that in some cases no processes were in place until last year.
“Labour has previously called for an asbestos register of affected houses in Christchurch.
“Gerry Brownlee is unable to provide a straight answer to the people of Christchurch on asbestos exposure. His approach is, as usual, far too combative to provide any answers. Cantabrians have had enough.
“Residents and rebuild workers have every right to be concerned that they may have been exposed to asbestos. They must be reassured as soon as they possibly can,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
Official opening of the Beach Grove subdivision
I attended the official opening of the Beach Grove subdivision today. A fantastic event that showed that affordable housing is possible and that when local authorities, developers and builders get together and coordinate their efforts building can happen rapidly. Fantastic event. Also it was great to see – as always – the kids from the Kaiapoi North School Kapa Haka group with their principal Jason Miles. Yet again they did their school proud. Also pictured is David Ayers cutting the ribbon on the opening of the Beach Grove subdivision. Congratulations to all stakeholders. Great to see people being able to move into houses within Kaiapoi.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 26th of May), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: the most recent election opinion polls; the IRD building potentially becoming apartments; and whether Ecan or the Council should be in charge of Christchurch’s transport model. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Tranz Alpine Scooter Safari
On Saturday I had the pleasure of helping serve refreshments to the riders and support crew participating in the Trans Alpine Scooter Safari, raising money for the Cancer Society. It was a pleasure to help with such a well organised and successful event, well done to Jayne and Mike Rattray, all the riders, sponsors, volunteers and support crew, your support of the Cancer Society has been amazing. You can check out their Facebook page here.
Kaiapoi Brass Band’s new club house opening
Pictured is John-Luke Langford, a 12 year old cornet player with the Kaiapoi Brass Band, who showed exceptional talent on Sunday where I had a great day celebrating the opening of the bands new facilities.
The Kaiapoi Brass Band is 129 years old this year and it is great to see the group thriving and going from strength to strength at local and national events and has to be commended for seeing Kaiapoi through the difficult times during the earthquakes.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 19th of May), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: The full scale inquiry into EQC wanted by Councillor Ali Jones because of lost claim files; the Council’s decision to not sell stakes in the Port, Airport, and Orion which could raise nearly $1.4 billion; an update on how things are going to get the issue of flooding resolved; and the announcement that it may take 4 to 6 years to resolve traffic issues for residents getting in and out of Christchurch city. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
‘Battle of the Rebuild’ Boxing event
It was a great pleasure to attend the ‘Battle of the Rebuild’ Boxing event, organised by the Enth Degree Limited. It was a fantastic night with over $250,000 raised for three great charities: The Canterbury Youth Development Programme; The Champion Centre; and the Aranui Linwood College Breakfast Club. Jane and I had the pleasure of catching up with our old mates Frank and Joan Endacott, and it was a great night had by all.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 12th of May), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: the Government holding back money from the Earthquake Recovery in order to show that the books are looking good; the Council’s changes to its social housing structure; potential answers for Flockton residents that may come out of the Council meeting today; and Gerry Brownlee saying that he is going to do an independent report on the independent Korda Mentha report. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think
Media Statement: Less competition in insurance industry with IAG buy out
7 May 2014
IAG’s final approval to buy New Zealand’s Wesfarmer Insurance arm means the insurance industry has become even less competitive, showing the need for a KiwiBank-style company in the sector, says Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“More than 90 per cent of the insurance industry is already owned by offshore interests. That’s just increased even further.
“Many in the insurance industry warned about the threats involved in the merger. Tower chairman Michael Stiassny said the level of market dominance created a ‘significant risk’.
“It’s been clear from the three-year delays in Christchurch that the industry is simply not performing. It needs a shake-up.
“A KiwiBank-style insurance company that acts in Kiwis’ interest is essential to boost competition and raise standards for the industry. Labour’s KiwiAssure will offer New Zealand families an innovative and nimble option that they will have a stake in,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
On Tuesday CTV played a story called “Fringe Zoners” on Street Stories. I have had the privilege of meeting with many of the Red Zone residents on several occasions over the last 3 years, and, after all this time, these residents are still feeling isolated and are living in ‘limbo’. Constant flooding in these areas is adding to the issue and nearly 4 years down the track, life is not improving for these people. You can watch the story here.
Media Statement: Aussie supermarket prosecuted over supplier issues
5 May 2014
Australian supermarket Coles is going to be prosecuted by the Australian Consumer and Commerce Commission for unconscionable conduct in dealing with suppliers, showing the issue is rife internationally, says Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“The ACCC alleges that Coles used undue pressure and unfair tactics when negotiating with suppliers, provided misleading information and took advantage of its superior bargaining position.
“These actions were allegedly directed towards more than 200 small suppliers.
“The behaviour of supermarkets towards suppliers is an issue of international concern. The allegations and prosecution of Coles shows that bullying and unfair tactics occur internationally.
“The Commerce Commission in New Zealand is taking this seriously with seven investigators and is issuing section 98 subpoenas to compel evidence and people.
“We have been working on a proposal to address these issues, one that is tailor-made to New Zealand circumstances, not just Xeroxed off from another jurisdiction.
“There are now investigations on both sides of the Tasman. This issue was raised by Labour while the Government, which knew about it, sat idly by and did nothing.
“This is an issue that must be thought through very carefully as there are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake as well as thousands of jobs,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
For more information on the ACCC investigation see the following news article here.
I will be appearing on CTV tonight at 8.30pm to discuss local Canterbury issues with Chris Lynch. Check it out tonight, or watch it later “on demand” on the CTV website.
Weekly Radio Interview
Today (Monday the 5th of May), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: Whether after acting unprofessionally Judith Collins needs to go? If action to fix flooded areas such as Flockton Basin and Kaiapoi has been moving fast enough? And if the Epic centre closing down because of high rent means more bad news for the central city rebuild? Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Media Statement: Action wanted on Kaiapoi flooding
29 April 2014
Local Member of Parliament Clayton Cosgrove is calling for action from both the council and the government following more flooding in Kaiapoi.
The MP met with flood-affected residents and the Mayor of the Waimakariri District, David Ayers today.
“The Kaiapoi community has had enough. Ever since the earthquakes there have been issues with flooding. The recent heavy rain has again caused substantial damage to some homes, with ongoing issues including exposure to raw sewage, mould, vermin and health problems. Many residents have been unable to leave their properties to get to work on numerous occasions.
“Bracebridge Street and the surrounding area in North East Kaiapoi have been particularly hard hit.
“It is time for action. It is time the problem was resolved.
“These people shouldn’t have to suffer having properties under a foot or more of water, nor should they have to put up with not being able to use their toilet every time it rains.
“They want to know the exact cause of the flooding and then they want it fixed.
“If the cause is in the red zone then it is the Government’s responsibility. If the cause lies in the green zone then the council must take action.
“If it is a combination of both, the Government needs to support the council to get it sorted. Three and a half years is surely long enough to wait,” Mr Cosgrove said.
ANZAC Day 2014
ANZAC Day 2014 was spent remembering the many brave New Zealanders who fought in conflicts overseas.
I was privileged to have spent the day with veterans at the Christchurch Dawn service and in Kaiapoi, Tuahiwi, Rangiora and Papanui.
Pictured is the wreath laying ceremony to honour of Charles Upham VC & Bar
Weekly Radio Interview on Newstalk ZB
Today (Monday the 28th of April), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: synthetic drugs; Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel’s statement in respect to the Arts Precinct that “working arrangements between the council and the Government aren’t working”; Shane Jones’ departure from the Labour Party; and interest rates going up, and how this effects Canterbury home owners and potential home buyers. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Media Statement: Labour to protect subbies in construction failures
Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove will introduce a supplementary order paper to the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill to ensure subcontractors are paid for the work they’ve done when construction companies collapse.
“As we’ve seen with the likes of Mainzeal, the biggest losers in construction company failures are subcontractors,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
“The hundreds of subbies affected are at the back of the creditor queue and are the last cab off the rank when it comes to payments.
“Last year Labour said it would work with industry to develop a solution to protect the payments that subbies are rightfully owed.
“As a result of consultation, we are proposing a simple fix to protect subcontractors working on big commercial projects as the major problems with collapses tend to exist within the commercial sector. This policy will not apply to the residential sector.
“The proposal will require developers to set up an independent trust to receive progress payments that would normally go directly to the lead contractor. In the event of a lead contractor’s collapse the money in that trust will be ringfenced from receivers to ensure subbies get paid.
“The trust will be a secure holding station and payments will pass through it. It will not in any way interfere with contractual obligations and will not interfere with payment timing.
“In practice this means money will flow from the developer through the trust to be paid out to subcontractors and the lead contractor under whatever contractual arrangements are negotiated by them. In the event of a lead contractor’s collapse monies held within the trust will be ringfenced from the receiver and be paid out to subcontractors for work they have done.
“These arrangements are now in place in New South Wales at minimal cost to the industry. We will work with business to fine-tune any regulations as needed.
“If the developer does not want to establish a trust they can utilise the facilities of the Public Trust Office rather than setting up their own,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
Local Bowling Clubs’ Closing Ceremonies
I had a great day last Saturday doing the rounds of the local bowling clubs’ closing ceremonies. There are some highly skilled bowlers in our community, and some of them are pictured below in a photo from the closing ceremony at the Woodend Bowling Club.
Weekly Radio interview on Newstalk ZB
Today (Monday the 14th of April), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including the Royal tour, the Maori Cultural Hub, and what happened to our “rock star” economy as 85 jobs go. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Clayton Cosgrove MP confirmed as candidate for Waimakariri
Member of Parliament Clayton Cosgrove has today been unanimously confirmed as the Labour Candidate for the Waimakariri Electorate in the September 2014 General Election. Mr Cosgrove represented the seat from 1999 to 2011. Since 2011 he has continued to work and advocate for the community as a local MP. Mr Cosgrove said he was honoured to once again be selected to contest the seat and represent the people of Waimakariri. Although the proposed boundary changes appear to make the race tougher Mr Cosgrove said he is up for the challenge. “The people I talk with in Waimakariri have told me they want a strong local voice advocating for their needs and representing them.” Mr Cosgrove said his long association and deep links with the Electorate will ensure voters know he will stand up for them.
Local Day care for the elderly at the Darnley Club in Kaiapoi
Earlier in the year I had a lovely visit with our local Day care for the elderly at the Darnley Club in Kaiapoi. The amazing volunteers, under the guidance of Tania and Chris, provide great recreational activities on a day to day basis and it’s always great to catch up for a chat and a cuppa, I even managed to get a refresher course in euchre!!!
Chinese lantern festival
Earlier in the year I had the great pleasure of addressing the gathering at the official opening ceremony of the Chinese lantern festival in Christchurch on Saturday 22 February 2014, which marked the beginning of the year of the Horse for the Chinese New year.
The city turned on a beautiful evening and the occasion was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone present at Hagley park, amidst the hundreds of lanterns.
Opening of the Schools garden category at the Ellerslie international Flower Show
Back in February I had the great pleasure of attending the opening of the Schools garden category at the Ellerslie international Flower Show in Christchurch on 25 February 2014.
This was the first time schools had been invited to design a garden and West Eyreton primary school captured a Gold medal in their first attempt with their delightful “Life’s a Breeze” showcase, which came from challenging students to explore and create in their environment.
This was a fantastic effort by the young people, teachers and parents.
Well done West Eyreton School, congratulations.
ISPS Golf Tournament
Earlier in the year I had the great privilege to watch Lydia Ko at the ISPS Golf Tournament at the Clearwater Golf Club. What a fantastic kiwi! Lydia played brilliantly, and was such a professional, given that she was unwell on the day. If she can play golf to this standard when she is not 100%, the rest of the world had better look out when she is at full capacity, what a fantastic athlete!
North Canterbury Special Olympians at the Rangiora Christmas parade 2013
Here are some photos of North Canterbury Special Olympians at the Rangiora Christmas parade late last year.