Louise Up­ston: An ad­vo­cate at the top


Louise Up­ston says that if re­elected, she’ll con­tinue to ad­vo­cate for Taupo¯ at the high­est lev­els of gov­ern­ment.

The Na­tional Party MP is cur­rently Min­is­ter of Cor­rec­tions and As­so­ciate Min­is­ter in three port­fo­lios: Ed­u­ca­tion; Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Em­ploy­ment; and Pri­mary In­dus­tries.

Up­ston lives with her three teenage chil­dren on a life­style block near Cam­bridge when not at Par­lia­ment.

She said she takes the role of MP for the Taupo¯ elec­torate very se­ri­ously.

‘‘I work hard to en­sure peo­ple have the op­por­tu­nity to meet me face to face and tell me their views,’’ she said.

The pro­posal of a carp farm near Taupo¯ in 2016 was a prime ex­am­ple, she said.

‘‘I wanted to make sure that the op­por­tu­nity was con­sid­ered,

‘‘And then when the views of the com­mu­nity were clear, I took those to both min­is­ters who had a de­ci­sion-mak­ing role – the Min­istry of Con­ser­va­tion and the Min­is­ter of Pri­mary In­dus­tries, and I took the views from this com­mu­nity to say: ‘There is a grave level of con­cern: they’re not happy with it and there is not sup­port for this ini­tia­tive in our com­mu­nity’,’’ she said.

‘‘That’s what the job of a lo­cal MP is.’’

Im­prove­ments to Taupo¯ Air­port are an­other area of ad­vo­cacy, Up­ston said.

‘‘The ter­mi­nal is not up to scratch,’’ she said.

‘‘The Crown owns half of Taupo¯ Air­port and I’m work­ing re­ally hard to see if we can in­vest in im­prov­ing the ter­mi­nal,’’ she said.

‘‘So I cre­ated the op­por­tu­nity for the Mayor to meet the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance, when he was here, and the Min­is­ter of Trans­port, to make sure those doors are open and then I ad­vo­cate re­ally hard, on be­half of this com­mu­nity, to get fund­ing in whether it’s in­fra­struc­ture or projects like the ter­mi­nal,: she said.

‘‘I’m feel­ing qui­etly con­fi­dent about that.’’

One of Na­tional’s poli­cies is to start ‘‘dig­i­tal acad­e­mies’’ that will give 1000 sec­ondary school stu­dents a spring­board into the IT sec­tor.

Up­ston said she was ad­vo­cat­ing for the Taupo¯ elec­torate to have ac­cess to a dig­i­tal academy.

‘‘It’ll be an op­por­tu­nity for Year 12 and 13 stu­dents to get a jump­start on their fur­ther stud­ies,’’ she said.

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