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Congratulations on what’s been an astounding year.

When parties go into opposition they’re supposed to be bent, bowed and limping. We have emerged from the past year every bit as strong as we were in Election 2017 and every bit as determined to keep showing New Zealanders National has the right focus and the right ideas for the things that concern them most.

You’re a huge part of that strength.

We are a membership organisation and at the heart of our success are the shared values that our members hold and the determination that those values make New Zealand a better place — a place where all can get ahead and live the life, they want for themselves and their family.

Supporting Mary Potter Hospice at their Strawberry Festival with Nicola Willis

This year has been about connecting with people, listening to their concerns and ideas, showing them, we’re focused on what matters to them and that we’re prepared to listen, to change where needed, and to hold to our core values.

Your help has been instrumental whether through your continued membership and subscription, your involvement with policy development, supporting events, or helping with constituent outreach such as our mass-scale fridge-magnet deliveries.

Blood pressure checks with Rotary Kaukau

Unquestionably this year has thrown up its challenges — some we mightn’t ever want to experience again and many that are part and parcel of proving to New Zealanders that we remain the right choice for them.

We’ve ended this year with higher public support than at the last election. We couldn’t achieve that without you.

Khandallah Fair 2018 (Photo courtesy of Brian Sheppard Photography)

Thank you for your continued support and commitment. It makes an enormous difference to me and to our executive team.

I’m heading into Christmas absolutely confident in what we can achieve as a Party and what we will achieve in Ōhāriu in 2020. I trust you share that confidence. I’ll be working hard to ensure you, and the rest of Ōhāriu do.

An anonymous role in the Johnsonville Christmas Parade this year (photo courtesy of John Murphy) 

All the very best for the festive season. I and the executive team wish you all a happy, safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year with exactly the sort of summer we all want.

Brett Hudson
National List MP based in Ohariu


Christmas-New Year Hours

Brett’s Johnsonville office will close on December 21 and will reopen January 14.

His office contact details otherwise remain the same, you can find them here.


Ohariu Events

About 40 party members gathered at the Khandallah Town Hall in mid-November for an evening of fellowship and to be briefed by Brett about the general political landscape.

Members enjoyed the wine and food on offer and the opportunity to renew old acquaintances, make new friends and hear the views of Brett and questioners on current issues.

Brett also took the opportunity to thank his volunteers, and the Ohariu electorate executive committee for the work they do in keeping National’s flag flying in the second-most marginal seat in the country.

He said recent ructions were now in the past and attention was laser-like on the issues that worry voters:

  • Taxes
  • The cost of living, especially petrol prices
  • The Government’s poor spending priorities
  • The unsettled industrial landscape, especially affecting nurses and teachers, and
  • Law and order.

Questions from members covered the possible return of the Māori Party, whether New Zealand had a “Donald Trump problem”, the future of New Zealand First Post-2020, and the role of regional development champion Shane Jones.

The electorate committee hopes to hold another such evening sometime in 2019.

Other events: Annual General Meeting, 12 February 2019, 7.30pm, Khandallah Town Hall.


Meet your Committee

This regular newsletter will, over coming months, introduce Ohariu National Party members to their electorate executive committee. First, we hear from Grahame Woods.

Hi all, my name is Grahame and I have the privilege of being Ōhariu’s Young Nats Representative. My job is to act as a bridge between the Lower North Island Young Nats and the Ohariu electorate. Brett and the Ohariu team have always been huge supporters of the Young Nats and I’m enjoying working with them to get more young people engaged with the National Party. If anyone knows anybody interested in joining the Young Nats and getting involved, please send me an email at woods.grahame@gmail.com.


Ohariu’s Future

Newlands College dux Shine Wu will be Brett Hudson’s Youth MP for 2019.

With 2019 Youth MP Shine Wu (Head Boy and Dux of Newlands College)

The hard-working student has spent three years on Wellington City’s Youth Council and has now been selected by Brett to follow his interest in policy-making and the effects it has on the community at the national level.

He’s looking forward to working with the other 119 Youth MPs in next year’s Youth Parliament’s programme, which runs March 1-August 31, including two days in the House itself on July 16 and 17.

Shine says, “The main reason is that I’m fascinated in how policy works, in how it can act as a platform to create conditions for citizens to pursue their own goals and how Governments can set the environment for New Zealanders to flourish.”

The Youth Parliament will, he says, give him “a small idea, at least, of what policy looks like up close. After the [parliamentary] process, I’ll have a more concrete idea of how decisions are made and how citizens can influence those decisions.”

Brett received several quality applications for Youth MP. 

“Shine impressed me with his depth of understanding as to the importance of the economy to people's lives and particularly how a Government can empower people through a strong and growing economy. His breadth of knowledge and interests helped set him apart from other applications.”

Shine Wu mentored and tutored fellow Newlands College students, then joined the Youth Council where he helped draft a framework for Wellington City Council to better engage with the young people for whom Wellington is home.

Auckland City’s experience had been useful, and it culminated in several hui being held in all Wellington council wards to gain insights into how the Capital might also understand the diverse perspectives young Wellingtonians held.

Just 17, Shine has now finished Year 13 whence he graduated this year with NCEA3, with Excellence, and his first year of university study already under his belt. He also took 10 subjects for scholarship.

The first trimester of 2019 will be spent at Victoria University, but he hopes his application to do the rest of his under-graduate study in economics and mathematics in the United States is successful.

From there, he’d like to do public sector policy work, ideally at Treasury for some of his career.


Let’s hit the ground running ...

The ability to influence party policy is one reason many people join the National Party, especially in Wellington where so many government policy analysts live.

Now is a great time to be part of policy development because Policy Action Groups, as well as individual electorates, are using our time in Opposition to review and revise our policy platform and to devise new policy where that’s necessary because the economic environment has changed.

Should we win in 2020, we want to be ready to enact our policy platform — not have to set up myriad working groups to tell us what our policy should be.

As part of that policy process, Ohariu Party members recently considered a raft of policy proposals to put to the LNI policy team.

They included:

  • A more user-pays model for funding transport infrastructure
  • Changing the way ACC is funded
  • Adopting overseas models for keeping teens out of trouble
  • A new way to toughen sentences for serious offenders
  • Imposing new obligations on people on welfare, including solo parents and job-seekers

We’re interested in your policy ideas. Email us at ohariu@national.org.nz


We need you

Recently, some Ohariu volunteers joined forces to hear electorate executive member Wayne Kelman discuss ways to help support the electorate and, ultimately, the community. One point he made was the need for information.

Simply, we need to know more about what’s happening in the community and people’s concerns, and how the electorate might better help its communities and businesses.

We need to know, too, about interesting events where the electorate can get involved or comment publicly about the issues at stake.

Many of you will read or see something — or have an idea — and we’d benefit from that information and building a picture, prioritising where we can provide the greatest good. Gathering community information is made easier with many people providing the odd suggestion, instead of our relying on a few trying to provide everything.

If you'd like to contribute regular observations, we want to hear them. You mightn’t be an electorate volunteer at present, but this is the sort of work that can greatly help and influence our goals.

Please email us at ohariu@national.org.nz The number of ideas or suggestions you can contribute is limitless but, ideally, we’d like to hear from our contributors once a week. Better we hear about an issue many times than not at all.

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