The News North Canterbury - A day in the life of an MP

Columns
Thursday, December 11, 2014

I was recently asked to describe a day in the life of an MP.

It is a difficult question to answer, given that no one day is ever the same.

In general terms, there are two kinds of week - when the House of Representatives ("the House") is sitting, and recess. The House usually sits for three weeks, followed by two weeks' recess.

During sitting weeks I usually spend Monday and Friday in the electorate, where I endeavour to split my time between meetings in the office and getting out and about to meet with constituents, industry representatives and other special interest groups.

Up until the last week or so, meeting space in the electorate office at 22 Scott St has been limited, due to the renovations being done to ensure the safety of constituents and staff.

Given this, I have taken the opportunity, as reported in my last column, to travel through the electorate, building networks and meeting constituents.

I visited the Kate Valley landfill near Waipara last week. When the landfill was first mooted, it caused a lot of consternation in the community, so it was with some trepidation that I accepted the invitation to visit.

However, I was very impressed with what I saw. It is a world-leading facility that is not only dealing with waste from all over Canterbury but also generating electricity from methane..

On the days when I go to the south of the electorate, I generally fly to Christchurch on an early flight, pick up a car and travel by road northwards. The reason I do this is twofold - it allows me to make the most efficient use of the time and resources available to me as I travel north, and it also ensures my own safety, given the hours I spend behind the wheel.

I now share office space, for administrative purposes, with Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey. This is working very well, as I am more accessible and able to represent all constituents regardless of where they live in the electorate.