I'm delighted to announce that Henry Yao of Glenview has been selected as Hamilton West's representative at the triennial Youth Parliament to be held next year in Wellington.
The quality of this year's applicants was outstanding and I wish I could have nominated all of the candidates who were shortlisted for the interviews. I was grateful to Hamilton West's excellent representative from the last Youth Parliament, Kiri Crossland, for assisting our panel with this year's interviews. We may be very proud of the vast majority of our young people in Hamilton.
Currently in Year 12 at Hamilton Boys' High School, Henry is a very well-informed, principled and articulate young man. I'm confident he will relish this great opportunity and represent the young people of our community with enthusiasm and integrity.
■Government won't rule out further petrol tax increase
Last week, in my capacity as National's ACC spokesman, I asked questions in Parliament about ACC's proposal to increase their Motor Vehicle Levy, which would see another 1.9c per litre added to the price of petrol.
The minister gave an "exploding road toll" as justification for the increase (and blamed that on the previous National Government, yet the average road toll under National was considerably lower than it had been under the previous Labour Government).
National's careful management brought ACC back into a very strong financial position, and there is no justification for yet another petrol tax increase at a time when motorists are feeling considerable pain at the pump.
I will continue to pressure the government to rule out this additional tax increase and instead to focus on eliminating some of their wasteful expenditure in other areas. For example, we recently heard that they paid over $20,000 of taxpayers' funds putting up and taking down three registration tables at the Justice Summit in August. To date they have given no explanation for that ludicrous expense.
■All welcome at final forums for 2018
My regular forums at Cafe Agora in Frankton continue to grow in popularity and attract large audiences. A total of 300 people attended the End of Life Choice Bill debate featuring Simon O'Connor MP, David Seymour MP and two local health professionals last month.
I warmly invite readers to the last two for 2018. On Wednesday 14 November my guest will be Todd Muller, MP for Bay of Plenty, who is our very capable Climate Change spokesperson. Todd will discuss options and challenges that we face in seeking a sustainable, bipartisan approach to this important issue.
Scott Simpson, MP for Coromandel, will be my guest on Friday, 30 November. Scott will discuss a range of other environmental challenges such as waste minimisation and water quality. Both MPs and I will also be happy to answer your questions on issues of the day and we look forward to seeing you, at 10.15 for a 10.30am start on both occasions.
These are public meetings and everyone is welcome regardless of political affiliation.
If you would like to receive email notifications of future meetings, please contact the Hamilton West Electorate Office, ph 850 6262, or macindoe.office@parliament. govt.nz