May Newsletter 2023

As the election looms I am ramping up the workload to get the message about National, and our policies, out to the electorate. We’ve already released policies on farming, nursing and mental health, and in recent weeks our FamilyBoost childcare tax rebates and our Housing Growth Plan, have been well received. National wants to restore fiscal discipline, end Labour’s wasteful spending and deliver clear reporting of public finances. 



Successful National Party Southern Regional Conference

Great to be involved in the recent National Party Southern Regional conference in Dunedin. It was excellent to hear from Party President Sylvia Wood and Party Leader Chris Luxon, and to reconnect with the hard-working members who are National’s backbone. 



Budget blowout shows Labour’s time is up

Budget 2023 shows why New Zealand needs a change of direction and a change of Government this year. While Finance Minister Grant Robertson promised a bread-and-butter Budget, he delivered a spending spree creating a massive increase in deficits and debt climbing for years to come. National knows we need to fix the economy to lift incomes and afford the public services Kiwis deserve – Labour’s only plan is to spend.


I was honoured attend a tree planting at Queens Park recently to mark the King’s coronation.


Labour’s flagship Early Childhood policy falls flat

New Zealand’s early childhood education sector has rejected Labour’s flagship Budget 2023 policy, saying it is ‘completely unworkable’ and will force them to hike their fees or close. As National’s Early Childhood spokesperson, I believe Labour’s policy will penalize ECH centres, while not benefitting families. National’s plan is to ensure that childcare is more affordable. Our FamilyBoost childcare rebate will give 130,000 low and middle-income families up to $75 more in their after-tax pay each week. Check it out here:


I was delighted to talk to students from Halfmoon Bay School, who recently visited Parliament as part of a Rural and Remote Kids Group, which also included Tapora, Ngamatapouri, Mulberry Grove, and Makuri Schools. 


Ram raids up 77 percent since Hipkins became PM

Shocking figures - with ram raids up by 77 percent since Chris Hipkins took over as Prime Minister and tried to proclaim that his Government was getting on top of the problem. Violent crime is up 33 percent, knife crime is up 20 percent, and gang membership has increased by 66 per cent. Labour’s soft-on-crime approach is devastating to New Zealand. A National Government would crack down on serious repeat youth offenders like ram-raiders to turn their lives around and to protect the public. Here are the details of our plans to combat youth offending:



National’s Maori Development and Associate Housing spokesperson Tama Potaka had an informative visit to Invercargill this month, meeting with Southern Institute of Technology Nga Puna Wai Construction programme building students, along with speaking with a range of community groups about the South’s social housing needs.


Going for Housing Growth Plan

National will fix NZ’s housing crisis by unlocking land for housing, build infrastructure and sharing the benefits of growth with communities. Labour has failed on housing. Rents are up $160 per week since 2017, the social housing waitlist has increased dramatically, 3500 families live in motels, and over 400 in cars. National's Going for Housing Growth Plan will unlock land for housing, reduce red tape and offer councils’ housing performance incentives. Look here for more information:


I was very sad to learn of the possible closure of Southland’s iconic department store H & J Smiths. My thoughts are with staff and management as they work through this difficult process, and with loyal customers who are also coming to terms with the announcement.



In the news:


Penny to the Minister for ECE


Labour needs to fix ECE Budget botch-up


Cost of Living crisis affects businesses


My Diary

5 June – King’s Birthday


7 June – Opening speech – Purebred Jersey Breed Conference Invercargill


14 June - Auckland/Hamilton visit


20-23 June - Parliament Sitting


27-29 June - Parliament Sitting


30 June - Night of the Arts


As always, I’m here to help. Please contact me at my Invercargill office on Ph- 03 218 5060, or email me at: [email protected] 


Thank you for your support

Penny Simmonds