Maiden speeches presented
Rangitata’s two local MPs have focussed on their own journeys to politics, and the issues facing the electorate, in their first speeches in Parliament.
Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon delivered his maiden speech in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, nearly a week after Labour list MP Jo Luxton presented hers.
Luxton told the House the Rangitata electorate - ‘‘the agricultural hub of the South Island, if not New Zealand ‘‘- faced several challenges which she called ‘‘some very different to other parts of the country, some not so different’’.
‘‘One of the big challenges is the difficulty finding people to fill the numerous jobs available there,’’ Luxton said.
That was echoed in Falloon’s speech, with the new MP saying ‘‘we simply don’t have enough people to do the jobs that are available’’.
However, Falloon said he was ‘‘incredibly nervous’’ about talk of cutting migrant numbers, saying it would stall growth in the regions.
Falloon also spoke about New Zealand’s suicide rate.
‘‘When 600 of our fellow Kiwis are dying at their own hands we have to say this is unacceptable,’’ he said.
He finished his speech by thanking his wife Rose, his family, and his colleagues, as well as his fellow Rangitata candidates for a ‘‘good natured campaign’’.