February Newsletter 2021

As the sun shines while I pen this newsletter, I look back on the month which has been full of ups and downs. With an array of wonderful events held throughout the electorate from A & P Shows to Waitangi celebrations, we’ve also had a timely reminder Covid-19 remains an ongoing battle in our country. The impacts of closed borders continue to be felt in Te Anau and Queenstown and will be felt for many months, if not years, to come.


We need to support these communities right now and help them get through the tough times. The reality is that if something is not done very soon to assist our small, family-run businesses which are reliant on the tourism sector, there won’t be any businesses around when international tourists do finally return. I’m advocating hard for these businesses in Wellington. If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to visit Te Anau or Queenstown for a holiday close to home this year and support these communities.



Caucus retreat which was scheduled to be held in Northland was shifted to Wellington following cases of Covid-19 out of managed isolation. It was a great two days at the Basin Reserve. We even managed a game of backyard cricket and while I was there I discovered the name of my grandfather, F.L.H Mooney on a list of Wellington Cricket Association members who had represented New Zealand.


As National’s Spokesperson for Treaty Negotiations, it was good to attend Waitangi celebrations at both Waitangi and Bluff. Both the Treaty of Waitangi Parliamentary Powhiri and the Ngai Tahu Treaty Festival were wonderful events, commemorating a significant event in our country’s proud history.



Gore put on a fantastic day for the annual A & P Show with great support from the community. It was great to see many of you there. Thanks to the wonderful National Party volunteers for manning the stall for the day.


It was great to be back in Wellington for the first sitting day of the year. I’ll be doing all I can to be a strong voice for Southland in Parliament.


Attending the Groundswell meeting at Waimumu there was a strong turnout of farmers with more than 500 there. The Freshwater rules in the current state are unworkable in some cases. We need to support legislation that will allow our farmers to continue their good work, like the recommendations put forward by the Southland Winter Grazing Advisory Group. These recommendations about re-sowing dates, pugging, slope and farm plans are both practical for farmers and better for the environment. Farmers are the backbone of our economy and we need to support them.


I was lucky enough to judge some of the pets at the Mt Benger A & P Show at the weekend. The sun was shining and the Teviot Valley community was out in force to support their local show.


What a view of Gore and the surrounds you can get from the air. Pilot Ben Morrison took me for a flight in a tiger moth at the annual Mandeville Fly-In over the weekend. The event marks the first cross country flight in New Zealand, between Invercargill and Gore on February 20, 1914. Thanks for the awesome flight Ben!


I made my first speech in the house this week on the Moriori Claims Settlement Bill after my maiden speech was postponed last week. The new date for my maiden speech Wednesday, March 24 at 5pm, so make sure to tune in!

I’m hosting constituent clinics in Lumsden and Winton next week on Tuesday. Email [email protected] or phone 03 203 3000 to book an appointment.


I’ve been having discussions with Westpac re its bank closure in Winton. I’m collating feedback on the issue, so if you’d like to share your thoughts, feel free to email me by clicking here.