This year National has released a number of detailed discussion documents outlining work we have been doing in Opposition to refresh our policies for the 2020 General Election, and inviting public feedback on a number of proposals.
Recently our Education and Justice documents have been published and everyone is invited to respond to our ideas, regardless of your political leanings.
We're testing all our ideas to ensure that final policy commitments that we put forward next year are sound, well-costed and evidence-based.
National is proposing to block gang members from receiving a benefit if they can't prove they don't have illegal income or assets, and to provide compulsory education, training or employment for prisoners who are serving sentences of two years or more.
I'm very pleased that a Justice proposal I have worked on this year is included, to provide an incentive to murderers to spare victims' families additional anguish. I have lodged my Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill in Parliament's Private Members' Bills ballot this week.
My Bill provides that offenders who refuse to disclose the location of a victim's body may be denied parole. I will describe the Bill in greater detail in an early column next year.
Our Health document will be released next week and is also full of exciting, constructive proposals.
Along with my fellow National MPs in our region I have continued to advocate strongly for the reconsideration of the Waikato Medical School proposal, which we have supported since it was first mooted several years ago but which was dropped by the current parties in government when they took office in 2017.
With a growing shortage of doctors in provincial towns I believe the case for such a school is stronger than ever, and it is based on an internationally-proven model.
We're doing the work in Opposition to ensure we're ready to hit the ground running in 2020 should we earn the privilege of forming the next government.
You may access all of the documents on line from the home page of the National Party's website.
At this hectic time of year it is common to feel stressed so please reach out for help if you or someone you know isn't coping.
Thank you for all that you, your colleagues and community have contributed to the welfare and vibrancy of our city this year. Anne and I wish you and all who are dear to you a happy and blessed Christmas, and a lovely break over the summer.
Special thanks to those in essential services and other roles who work through the holiday season for the benefit of others.
Best wishes for 2020 — and I look forward to seeing many of you at Hamilton's Christmas Parade on Sunday!