Taking action where it's needed is both a personal priority and a clear feature of our Government.
The Climate Change Commission report has been released, and it shows the Government is taking action in all the right areas to reduce emissions. However, we have not finished the job and the commission is recommending we build on what we have achieved.
One way the Government is taking action in line with the advice of the Climate Change Commission is to increase the uptake of low emission vehicles. New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start on July 1.
As a member of the Environment Select Committee, it is heartening to see this recent announcement. Our transport emissions are the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand, and cutting emissions from transport is vital to addressing the climate crisis.
Last week, I attended the Fieldays at Mystery Creek in Hamilton, a fantastic event sponsored by Massey University. Our country's success in fighting Covid-19, protecting lives and livelihoods, took a team of 5 million – but the primary sector is also at the forefront of our economic recovery. Attending the event is also a great opportunity to support those involved in projects with innovative links to Palmy.
Another area of action this month is the first free period products are being rolled out to all schools and kura. This initiative is part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children's wellbeing.
Reducing barriers to education for all students and their whānau is also the impetus behind Ka Ora, Ka Ako, the healthy free school lunches programme. In Palmerston North, we now have 11 schools that are part of the programme, with more in the pipeline.
This is a great programme that is helping many students and their whānau. Access to nutritious food has a demonstrated positive impact on educational development by helping our children concentrate and learn.
The Government has announced it will apologise to our Pasifika communities for the 1970s Dawn Raids. This is particularly significant for many as the raids were a shameful part of our country's history. I will be attending the apology ceremony in Auckland later this week, which will be an extremely poignant occasion.
I am running my usual events in the electorate. Excitingly my guest speaker for the next Coffee and Politics is Dr Ayesha Verrall (July 15, Café Royale, 6.30–8pm). Ayesha is the minister for food safety and for seniors. This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear about the latest policy developments and what they mean for Palmerston North.
• Tangi Utikere is the MP for Palmerston North.