July 1 initiatives deliver for Kiwis

On the July 1, a number of initiatives came into effect which will benefit the Botany community.

These are initiatives that deliver for New Zealanders in many ways, from cheaper registration fees for motorists, more immunisation for our kids, right through to extra police starting at Police College.

The $2 billion-a-year pay equity settlement benefits some of our health sector’s lowest paid workers who will receive pay rises of between 15 and 50 per cent over the next five years.
On July 1 around 20,000 of this predominately female workforce, who were on the minimum wage of $15.75 an hour, moved to at least $19 an hour.

For a fulltime worker, this means they’re now taking home around an extra $100 a week, which is over $5000 a year.

In the wider Howick area, this means many workers in places like the Howick Baptist Home and Hospital, Summerset by the Park and Bruce McLaren Retirement Village will be eligible for a pay increase and the recognition deserved for their hard work.

In health we also see new funding for the drug-buyer Pharmac means wider access to new medicines that will benefit more than 33,000 people. The latest drugs to be funded include a new insomnia medicine for children or teenagers who suffer from neuro-developmental disorders. There are also new treatments for people with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and lung disease.

The Government also introduced free chickenpox vaccinations for 15 month olds, as well as for any child turning 11 who still hasn’t had the vaccine.

This month, the first of the extra 880 frontline Police will start Police College, with the first graduates on the beat by October.

Botany is to benefit from this initiative, with Counties Manukau to receive 91 extra Police officers. This follows the announcement of the Government’s $503 million Safer Communities package earlier this year.

For eligible employees and self-employed parents, the maximum weekly rate of Paid Parental Leave will increase to $538 gross a week, reflecting a 2.1 per cent rise in average weekly earnings over the past year.

These changes show how a growing and diversified economy is delivering real benefits to hard working New Zealanders and their families. With these changes, Botany will continue to be a safer and greater place to live in.

  • Jami-Lee Ross
    Member of Parliament for Botany