It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks. Having my Monday-ising Bill drawn on the first regular day of Parliament was a rush. It is a great opportunity to champion a cause that will fix an anomaly in our law and give hard-working kiwi families the holidays they deserve.
Labour MPs have been supportive of the Bill from the start. NZ First, the Greens and United Future have come out in favour of it now too. And of course most members of the public agree it makes sense. The Tourism Industry Association has pointed out that it will give a boost to ailing domestic tourism figures.
The Dominion Post explained succinctly why it makes sense. The Bill addresses an issue that only arises in those years when Waitangi and ANZAC fall on a weekend. The days of celebration will still be 6 February and 25 April respectively but there will also be a Public Holiday on the Monday that follows. We do this already for Christmas and other Public Holidays. Using the Christmas example: it doesn’t make the Christmas celebration itself any different – but you know you can plan for a long weekend and some time off with the family.
In the first couple of weeks, I’ve also had my first media stand-up, my maiden speech, a funeral, a wedding, another Parliamentary speech, several radio interviews and my first appearance on TV show Back Benches. Because the causes I’ve been fronting have been constructive, and media coverage has been positive, it has been a great experience.
But I’ve not been able to respond to every message of support. I know other new MPs have had a similar experience. So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those who’ve helped get me here, and those who’ve offered assistance or support. I appreciate it.