Mobile Office Location Clayton has changed the location of his Mobile Office in Rangiora which was previously on Percival Street. Clayton can 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.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday 15 December), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. Topics of the morning covered Housing NZ’s Building Programme where the current new house stock is low – is the Government failing? We touched on the status of the Euthanasia Bill, and moved on to the Cera well-being study, which said people are happy with everything including the roads but is this truly accurate? Next week is the last of my radio talks for the year so I’ve shared early, my highlights of Christchurch city for 2014. Anyway, have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview Last Monday (8 December), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We had a robust conversation about the decision last Friday by the council to sell assets and whether there was an alternative. Plus we discussed the two teams responsible for seeking private investment in Christchurch and its impact. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview Last Monday (24th November), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about some relevant local issues, including the state of Christchurch streets, Ian Rennie’s conduct regarding the Roger Sutton resignation, and finally, Andrew Little’s Labour line-up. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview On Monday (17th November), I had my weekly radio slot with Tyler Adams on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues, including the resignation of Roger Sutton, where to for him and Cera, the revelations regarding EQC culture, and finally the G20 Summit. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview On Monday (10th November), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues, including Sunday’s Special Remembrance Day, the trams returning to Christchurch, and whether commissioners are preventing meaningful progress in the city. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview On Monday (3rd November), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues, including if fireworks should be banned, if New Zealand should join the fight against ISIS, and the government potentially selling thousands of state houses. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday the 13th of October), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including returning democracy to Ecan, the Labour Party leadership contest, and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry supporting 1080. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday the 6th of October), I had my weekly radio slot on Newstalk ZB with Russ Cryer. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including John Key’s new Cabinet, Andrew Little and the Labour leadership, and the attack on Police in Riccarton last night. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday the 29th of September), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including my priorities for Canterbury in the next parliamentary term, the results of the general election, and the Labour leadership process. Have a listen via the link here and let me know what you think.
Media Statement: Foreign firm kicks out Kiwi company after buying farm 17 September 2014 An American company has kicked a Kiwi business off its land after successfully convincing the Overseas Investment Office to buy 100 per cent of a farm lease, without informing the office of the Kiwi firm’s access rights, Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove says. “In 2010 Coast Range New Zealand successfully increased its stake in Flock Hill Station from 24.9 per cent to 100 per cent following an application to the Overseas Investment Office. “Its application did not mention the land access rights that High Country Explorer Tours has had for 23 years that are crucial to its business, nor the investment High Country has made in developing a road for tourism across the farm. “Coast Range recently terminated High Country’s access rights, effectively shutting down the business. This is despite saying in its OIO application that its purchase would not cost jobs. High Country employs up to 16 people, making a significant contribution to the tourism economy of Canterbury. “High Country’s appeal to the Overseas Investment Office was turned down yesterday. That’s not on. The OIO is supposed to apply an economic benefit test. That has clearly been ignored. “I call on the OIO to immediately review this case and help protect High Country and its employees. There is no way a long-standing Kiwi company should have its business shut down when an overseas application is granted. “Under Labour this would never have happened. Labour believes in keeping Kiwi land in Kiwi hands and will, in effect, prevent farms sales to foreigners,” says Clayton Cosgrove. Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Woodend School Fair Yesterday I had a fantastic day at the Woodend School Fair. There was an excellent turn out and everyone was having a good time. It was a really great fundraiser for the school. The students also competed in a ‘Woodend School’s Got Talent’ competition. They had a lot of fun, and there were some really talented and entertaining students. Congratulations to the Woodend School PTA, staff, parents, students, and supporters. A great day was had by all.
Media Statement: Nats subbies plan a complete copy of Labour 9 September 2014 Nick Smith’s plan to protect subbies comes more than 18 months after Labour announced a similar plan to tackle the problem, Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Nick Smith is late to the game. I lodged a supplementary order paper in Parliament in April to do exactly what Nick Smith is proposing. If he really wanted to help subbies he wouldn’t be doing this in the middle of an election campaign. “Nick Smith should stop playing politics, pick up my amendment and run with it,” says Clayton Cosgrove. Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Pegasus Bay School ‘Treemendous’ School Makeover I had the honour of speaking at the conclusion of the Pegasus Bay School ‘Treemendous’ School Makeover along with the Mayor of Waimakariri, David Ayers, to congratulate the students and community members on their fabulous work planting a new garden. Pegasus Bay School is one of four schools nationwide to be selected to receive a garden makeover using native plants, as a part of the ‘Treemendous’ School Makeovers initiative. The garden looks fantastic, and is another sign of the great work being done by the team at Pegasus Bay School.
Riverside Bowling Club Open Day Last weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at the Riverside Bowling Club in Kaiapoi during their Official Open Day for summer. Best of luck to all our local bowlers for the upcoming season.
St Patricks Kapa Haka group Here is the St Patricks Kapa Haka group getting ready to leave to perform at the Horncastle Arena. They look wonderful and are a great bunch, and we wish them well in the competition.
St Patricks Primary in Kaiapoi Jacob Ettwell, a pupil at St Patricks Primary in Kaiapoi teaching me how to do School patrol this morning, we had a lot of fun.
NZEI nationwide demonstration for a better education plan This morning I joined NZEI members and local teachers in their nationwide demonstration supporting a better education plan for our kids.
Deputy Leader David Parker visit to Waimakariri Electorate I had the privilege of visiting local business Sutherland Timber and ITM with the Deputy Leader David Parker today. We had a good chat with some of the hard working crew, and Murray Sutherland and his sons, Jonnie and Davey, showed David and I around the mill.
The Kaiapoi RSA’s Merchant Navy Day Today I was honoured to be a part of the Kaiapoi RSA’s Merchant Navy Day. Wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph in Raven Quay after a service of commemoration for the brave souls who served their country. After the service flowers were cast into the Kaiapoi River.
Media Statement: Rapid Transit to benefit Rangiora and Kaiapoi 1 September 2014 Waimakariri residents will be the big winners out of Labour’s plan for a $100 million modern commuter system for Canterbury, says Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove. “Labour’s commuter rail will open up Rangiora, Kaiapoi and Rolleston for residential and commercial development and new stations will encourage urban renewal in places like Hornby and Papanui. “Labour will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan that will unclog Canterbury’s roads and work with local councils to develop the plan. “Commuter rail remains the most cost-effective way to reduce congestion that has been severely impacted by the earthquakes. We will use the existing tracks and stations with a few upgrades. “This money will come out of currently unallocated funds within the National Land Transport Fund. It will not mean cutting any other planned projects,” says Clayton Cosgrove. Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, Parliament Buildings, Parliament
Rangiora High School Business Challenge Had a great time with students at Rangiora High School as one of the judges for the Business Challenge. There were so many fantastic ideas to choose from it was hard to select the best, however, there is no doubt that these young people will be the terrific business entrepreneurs of the future.
Collecting for the Cancer Society’s daffodil day in Kaiapoi I had a lovely time collecting for Cancer Society Daffodil Day in Kaiapoi today, meeting lots of generous people who understand how much their donations are needed in the fight against this disease. Check out The Cancer Society of New Zealand and the The Cancer Society of NZ Canterbury-West Coast‘s pages for more info.
BeachGrove visit with Phil Twyford Today, Labour’s Housing spokesperson, Phil Twyford, and I visited the new BeachGrove sub-division in Kaiapoi. We had the pleasure of meeting BeachGrove CEO, Shane Fairmaid, who showed us around the first stage of the sub-division which is nearly completed, and the second stage of the sub-division where construction is well underway. It is good to see that this developer at least is incorporating some affordable housing within the sub-division, however the problem is we need a lot more than this.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday the 25th of August), I had my final weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB before the Election in September. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: National’s recent housing policy announcement; whether the Government should fund Team NZ in the next America’s Cup; and Labour’s policy to cut secondary tax if elected. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Another kick in the guts to Canterbury from National associate 21 August 2014 John Key is failing to stand up for Cantabrians as another high-profile National associate kicks Cantabrians in the guts, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “John Ansell, the advertising man behind National’s controversial 2005 campaign, said this morning that: ‘God is obviously a member of the National Party where [sic] as he um flattened the people’s republic of Christchurch and that created the economic growth that the Nats are now boasting about.’ (http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20146529%20from%203:10) “That is absolutely disgraceful and hurtful to all those Cantabrians who have been toughing it out for the last four years. “This comes on top of Cameron Slater calling earthquake victims ‘scum’. What have Cantabrians done to deserve these attacks? “The challenge for the Prime Minister is to show leadership and condemn Mr Ansell’s comments and those of Mr Slater, however so far his silence is deafening. “Mr Key may claim Mr Ansell doesn’t have direct links to the National Party anymore, as he does with Mr Slater, but that’s not good enough. John Key must show leadership and condemn the comments. That’s what New Zealanders expect from a Prime Minister,” says Clayton Cosgrove. Authorised by Clayton Cosgrove, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
Waimakariri school visits with Chris Hipkins Today Chris Hipkins [Labour Spokesperson for Education] and I visited several schools in the Waimakariri Electorate, including Kaiapoi North Primary, Belfast Primary, Rangiora Borough Primary, and Kaiapoi High. We met with Principals from a number of schools in the area and were then shown around Kaiapoi High School by the Principal, Bruce Kearney, and had the chance to chat with staff and students. Many thanks for the hospitality.
Patience & Nicholson (NZ) Ltd visit with Grant Robertson I had the pleasure of taking Grant Robertson, Labour Spokesperson for Employment, Skills and Training, and Economic Development through one of Kaiapoi’s best known work places today, Patience & Nicholson (NZ) Ltd. Rick Smith, operations manager, showed us around the factory, giving us details of each operation in progress on the factory floor.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday the 18th of August), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: the relationship between the Government and Council; the Green’s result in the latest Ipsos poll; and Lianne Dalziel’s call to crack down on harmful boozing. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
CTV General Election debate Last week I appeared on CTV’s General Election debate to discuss some of the key issues affecting the Waimakariri Electorate in the lead up to the Election. You can check out the debate here.
Assembly at St Bede’s College Yesterday, Damien O’Connor and I had the pleasure of attending an assembly at St Bede’s College. We were both presented with a paper by the year 13s on child poverty. It is great to see the school focusing on the most vulnerable in our community.
Dedication of the white cross Dedication of the white cross to remember those who fought and died in World War I from Oxford. Congratulations to the Oxford RSA for a touching ceremony last week. It was an honour to attend.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday the 11th of August), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: the Labour Party campaign launch; Kim Dotcom’s recent comments on John Key; CERA spending $44,000 on yoga for its employees; and if the Convention Centre announcement is good news for our local economy. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Media Statement: Insurance industry trumpets success but has 8000 claims in limbo 4 July 2014 The Insurance Council of New Zealand has trumpeted the industry’s success in Canterbury through a press release today despite having over 8000 claims still to begin real work, Labour’s EQC and Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “The insurance industry is completely out of touch with the needs of Cantabrians. By the ICNZ’s own numbers there are 8205 claims still sitting in limbo. “These aren’t just numbers they are people who are unable to move on with their lives nearly four years on from the earthquakes. It is galling that the insurers are trumpeting a success. “This is not good enough. Cantabrians do not believe such hype and propaganda from the insurance industry. It sticks in the craw. “The industry’s release is even more infuriating coming after an article that showed thousands of Canterbury home-owners are still locked in insurance hell with up to 3000 EQC claims having to wait until next year. “Cantabrians deserve better than this. “A recent written question highlighted what Canterbury residents already knew – the situation is no better for EQC. It showed there are still 29,276 claims not yet resolved, half of which are just cash settlements so clearly there is dispute over the offers. “The industry also takes a swipe at ‘advocates hyping up customer expectations’. Who are these advocates? Customers have not been hyped up. They expect to get what they pay for and for the industry to live up to its obligations. For instance, total replacement means just that. Settling within a reasonable time, not four years. Working with their customers, not fighting them. “Labour recognises the pain Cantabrians are going through with insurers and EQC which is why we have a policy to set up a special Earthquake Court to cut through the huge backlog of insurance cases and ensure claimants have the ability to reach a binding arbitration and start to move on with their lives,” says Clayton Cosgrove.
Weekly Radio Interview Today (Monday the 4th of August), I had my weekly radio slot with Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB. We talked about a number of relevant local issues including: the potential sale of Council assets; if the Government should intervene with issues surrounding Civic Assurance; and the Christchurch Central Development Unit. Take a look at the link here and let me know what you think.
Presentation of the Gold Star award presented to Kevin Brown I had the honour of attending the presentation of the Gold Star award presented to Kevin Brown by the Returned Service Association in Kaiapoi on Sunday afternoon, Kevin is a past President of the Kaiapoi RSA, and even though he is unwell is still a dedicated member of the association and the community he selflessly serves. Congratulations Kevin, this honour is well deserved.
Canterbury BuildNZ 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? MEDIA STATEMENT Hon Clayton Cosgrove Phil Twyford 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. Lynda Goodrick Belfast 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 Rangiora “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 Ottey Rangiora “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 Kaiapoi “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.
CTV-”Fringe Zoners” 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.
CTV Tonight 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.