Monday’s virtual meeting was well attended, and we took the opportunity to hear from our local MP and club member, Simeon Brown. Simeon talked about three main topics: his new roles in National, the Eastern Busway and Covid 19.
Simeon is now Deputy Shadow Leader of the House. This is much more of a parliamentary role where mastering the Standing Orders becomes important. Those “orders” are the rules under which Parliament operates.  For most part the Shadow Leaders work with the Leader of the House to ensure the debating chamber runs smoothly but can use the rules, [taking up time, putting up amendments etc to slow the process down when they are adamantly opposed to something the Government is wanting to advance through the House. 
He is also Nationals spokesperson for Corrections, Law and Order and the Serious Fraud Office. He did note his support for rehabilitation of prisoners and the fact that the S.F.O is a very small office with an annual budget of just $13 million. 
The Eastern Busway looks like being finished by November, but Simeon expressed his concern over the delay in moving to the next stage of the project, the Pakuranga to Botany link, which now won’t be finished [all going well] until 2028.
There is still hope for progress on the Reeves Road Flyover. That development is an important factor in the delay in the major developments planned for the Pakuranga Plaza site. The Singapore owners have plans for up to 1000 apartments, a hotel and retail. 
With Covid 19 Simeon believes that we were slow in rolling out vaccinations but did note how dramatically vaccination rates have increased recently. He believes we should set a vaccination target, recognising that there will be 10 -15% of the eligible population who may not or will not be vaccinated. The National Party’s position is that once 70-75% of the legible population is vaccinated there should be no need for further lockdowns and at 80% plus we could start opening up. There are, he pointed out tricky conversations to be had in terms of opening up our country and opening up our borders. 
In response to the question about solutions, Simeon saw the need for a purpose built MIQ facility, near Auckland and the opportunity for fully vaccinated travellers with a negative test to be able to self-isolate on their return