What a year it’s been!

Ōtaki MP Terisa Ngobi reflects on 2021

As I come to the end of my first full year as the Member of Parliament for Ōtaki, I have been reflecting on our achievements in the electorate.

We’ve established Electorate and Community Offices in both Paraparaumu and Levin (employing seven local people), confirmed the O2NL Expressway project, ensured Lake Horowhenua will get the clean-up it needs, welcomed Māori wards to the lower north of our region, and, perhaps most importantly, we’ve protected each other from COVID-19 and moved smoothly into the new traffic light system.

Nothing, not even 16 years in the public service, can prepare you for the role of an MP. All at once you must learn to manage your team, navigate Parliament, work up bills, communicate the needs of your electorate, and perform your duties in Wellington. It has been a massive learning curve! But when I look at all the Government has achieved this year – including an increase in the minimum wage, the Dawn Raids apology, a significant boost for main benefits, free lunches in schools reaching 200,000 students, the continued Winter Energy Payment, free trades training and apprenticeships upskilling more than 175,000 people, a new Ministry for Disabled people, housing and papakāinga investments, and much more – it makes the time away from my home, babies, and hubby worth it!

In my maiden speech, I said that I came to Parliament to make a difference for our people – to help with accessing health care, improving public transport, doing better in the environmental space for our rohe, and ensuring equality for everyone. I am proud to have advocated for, and secured steps towards achieving, these goals for the people of the Ōtaki electorate. I look forward to continuing to serve you all in 2022 and seeing more of our goals come to fruition.