Barbara's Beat No. 25


My grandchildren might like the fact that I’m about to quote singer-songwriter and global pop star Billie Eilish — “We have to vote like our lives and the world, depend on it, because they do. The only way to be certain of the future is to make it ourselves.”
As the 53rd Parliament comes to an end on August 31, all MPs and candidates will be in full campaign mode as we head toward October 14.

Like us all, you will have issues that are vitally important to you, and I’d love to talk you about them. Just use the contact email at the bottom of this newsletter.
The cost of living, meat, eggs, vegetables, milk, fuel prices, the interest on your mortgage, rising crime, ram raids and your business/farm drowning in regulations, are just some of the key issues I am constantly hearing about.
For the past six years, we’ve seen the economy, infrastructure, biggest export earners, education and health systems, rural communities, law and order, among others fall victim to the ideology of our current government.
We’ve become a nation divided over governance, language and resources, of haves versus have nots, of failing systems and lawlessness. A country where people can walk out of a store without paying for what they have taken without consequence.
Labour is the only political party, since MMP was introduced in 1993, to enjoy the luxury of governing without the need of political partners in their second term.
In the final weeks of this term, they have used this majority to pass Three Waters, two of their three RMA replacement bills, announced a policy to take GST off fresh fruit and vegetables but will add staggered 12c fuel tax if they win the election.
This is why I’m encouraging everyone to look closely at the policies on offer not the personalities.
Because the window to reverse the monumental damage done since Labour took office in 2017 is closing rapidly.
National has announced many of its policies— — and countered those put forward by others.
We are builders and our previous terms in government attest to that.
Post-October 14, I hope we will have a healthy majority to continue that record.
Because I believe the New Zealand we know, and love, is depending on it.
A personal thank you to my team who, despite the rain and freezing temperatures, have been busy putting our election hoardings up.


I finally managed to take a seat on Te Kūiti’s new ‘Me Eke Mai’ bench recently.
Given to the King Country Rugby Union, the bench which now sits alongside the Sir Colin Meads Statue in the town’s main street, was officially presented by All Black lock Josh Lord on July 23.
It is one of 26 gifted by the ABs to provincial rugby unions across the country before they head off to the Rugby World Cup in France.
The project is a symbolic thank you by the team to the unions and local communities for their continued support. For more on the project, go here  —
Te Awamutu Rugby Sports and Recreation Club was also a recipient receiving the bench gifted to the Waikato Rugby Union.

Lord, AB coach and former TA club member Ian Foster, along with All Blacks Samipeni Finau, Luke Jacobson and Cam Roigard made the presentation.
Daffodil Day - August 31

I spent time helping pick daffodils for the Cancer Society in Cambridge on August 21.
All of us have had loved ones touched by cancer, so it was great to help support the work organisations like the society do for sufferers and their families.
Collection boxes are everywhere, so grab a daffodil and make your donation to help this very worthy cause.
Conservationists win King Charles III grant

Former hunters Miranda Wells, husband Daryl Egarr and her brother Bjorn Doherty bought their 888-acre (359ha) Tututawa property, east of Stratford, 10 years ago.
Their intention was to use it as a weekend hunting getaway place.
But the discovery of wild Kiwi there turned the hunters into conservators.

Fast forward a decade and the property is slowly returning to bush and now spans 3700 acres.
Miranda (above) and her team won a grant of 7000 trees as part of the King Charles III Coronation Plantings.
It was a thrill to hear and see the work they are doing on this remote block and help plant some of the first trees they have received.
Growing young minds

It’s always so inspiring to meet some of the amazing young people we have in this country.

I visited Green School at Oakura on August 18. From primary level, through middle to high school learning, Green School aims to prepare children for real life in a natural environment. Among their studies and hands-on learning experiences, they are growing healthy foods for themselves, their families and for sale.
As their motto says … Thrive with a Purpose. It is an interesting approach to education and to growing green leaders of the future.
Green School innovative approach to learning also includes its campus its buildings like the one above have won architectural awards.
Enviro leaders

Talking with the young enviro leaders at Toko School are always invigorating.
When I visited recently  they were distilling pine to make cleaners and Christmas fragrances.
I also got to meet Star the lamb and see the new outdoor chess board.


Senior New Zealanders have some stark choices about the political direction of the country and how different parties will impact their lives on October 14.
National has always had its senior citizens welfare at the heart of its policies because the economy is the key to ensuring the welfare of retired people is affordable and ongoing.
When people are relying on a fixed income, any cost-of-living increases are harmful, and the meteoric rise of these under the current government has seen many people struggling regardless of age.
You may have heard that National intends raising the age of superannuation entitlement. That’s correct.
Kiwis are living and working longer and our population is aging. If we don’t make the change, the cost of super will be unsustainable in the future.
So the age of eligibility for superannuation will rise from 65 to 67 with adjustments beginning in 2044. If you were born before 1979, it won’t affect you and the change will be brought in over time to give people the means to plan for it.
Under National, super payments will continue to rise each year in line with average wage rises.
For those with rental properties, interest deductibility will be restored and the Bright-line Test will reduce back to two years.
We also pledge to retain the winter energy payment and the benefits of the Gold Card.
National will release its full Seniors’ policy closer to the election.

But it is important to remember that the ability to look after New Zealanders who do not have paid employment relies on a strong economy.
If we are in government once the votes have been counted after October 14, we’ll be able to get on with the job of restoring that.