Whiua ki te ao

Whiua ki te rangi

Whiua ki ngā iwi katoa

Tihei Mauri Ora!

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From September 15-19 2019 we celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori right across the motu. This year's theme for Māori language week is "Kia Kaha Te Reo Māori" to reflect the desire to strengthen the language.

We recently hosted the Te Reo ki Tua Language Revitalisation Symposium, which showcased Ngāti Kahungunu's and the nation's leading Te Reo Māori experts.

I want to mihi to all our Kahungunu champions whom presented their experience in Te Reo Māori.

On 5 September 2019 the Minister for the Environment - David Parker alongside the Minister of Agriculture - Damien O'Connor, launched the Government's action plan for healthy waterways to stop further degradation so we can clean up our rivers and lakes within a generation.

This new Action Plan for Healthy Waterways sets out the proposed new requirements to improve freshwater, which include:

· Raising the bar on ecosystem health, including protecting wetlands and streams (through a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management)

· Set higher standards for swimming in the places New Zealanders swim in summer

· Interim controls on land intensification, until councils have plans in place (2025) through a new National Environmental Standard (Freshwater NES)

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· An accelerated planning process that will enable better, faster and more consistent freshwater management plans by regional councils (through the RMA amendment bill)

· Support for the delivery of safe drinking water and improved management of stormwater and wastewater through an amended Drinking Water National Environment Standard and proposed Wastewater NES.

· Improving risky farm practices where needed including ensuring farmers and growers understand and manage environmental risks through farm plans (Freshwater NES)

This Government is investing a $229 million package that was included in the Wellbeing Budget 2019, to encourage sustainable land use which acknowledges our agriculture sector.

There is more work that needs to be done, and the experience and knowledge of exemplar farmers needs to be shared right across our rural communities.

So I encourage all our Hawke's Bay farmers to continue with the awesome work you are all doing to support this action plan.

The Governments KiwiBuild reset was announced by the Minister of Housing, Megan Woods on 4 September 2019. The reset focuses on helping more New Zealanders into owning their own homes.

The reset announced by Minister Megan Woods included:

· New ways for people to become home owners, such as shared-ownership schemes. $400 million has been set aside from the KiwiBuild appropriation for this initiative to progress.

· Boosting supply by building more homes where evidence shows they are needed

· Letting friends and family join their $10,000 deposit assistance together

· Reducing to 5 per cent the deposit required for a government-backed mortgage

· Reducing the amount developers receive for triggering the government underwrite rather than selling to KiwiBuild buyers

In April 2019 the Prime Minister Rt Hon. Jacinda Ardern visited Hawke's Bay, speaking at Waipatu Marae addressing our housing crisis.

The KiwiBuild reset looks to address the housing issues we not only face as a country, but as an electorate or region as well.

An opportunity has been presented to us and my priority is to ensure, we focus on getting more of our locals into homes, and home ownership.

Meka Whaitiri is MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti