Bala (Venu) Beeram
The 81st Annual Conference of the National Party held in Wellington last weekend (June 23-24, 2017) was one of the most important events in my life and career. Although I have attended many conferences over the past 10 years as a member and worker, the just-concluded conference brought me close to ministers, the National Caucus and Board of Directors.
Among the highlights of the two-day conference was the opportunity that I had of meeting former Prime Minister Jim Bolger, who gave me invaluable advice on how to conduct my campaign in Kelston.
The main address by National Party Leader and Prime Minister Bill English gave us confidence and renewed hope. He spoke about ‘National’s New Zealand,’ and how the government is working hard to improve the lot of New Zealanders.
“We will work for a New Zealand where innovation and hard work is recognised and rewarded, a New Zealand that looks after the most vulnerable, and helps them change their lives. Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First, on the other hand, would shut down growth because they are not up for tackling the challenges success brings,” he said.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce briefed me on the steps being taken to maintain and improve economic growth. He explained the salient features of the first Budget that he presented in Parliament on May 25, 2017 and said that it would have positive impact on small and medium businesses, such as those operating in my electorate.
I also had an opportunity to speak to Transport Minister Simon Bridges who apprised me of the efforts of our Government to find solutions to the growing traffic congestion in Auckland and the residents of the Kelston area. He said that the Waterview Tunnel, set to open shortly, is of the most significant and the largest infrastructure project of its kind ever undertaken in recent years. He said that the extension to the Northwestern Cycleway will provide safety and convenience to cyclists.
Education Minister Nikki Kaye told me of the work being done by her Ministry to the children in Kelston. She said that some of the schools in the electorate will derive benefits from Budget 2017 including the Pacific Education Plan, Digital Learning and new buildings.
It was a proud moment for me when Prime Minister Bill English honoured with two certificates, one each for securing ‘Most Memberships’ and for ‘Improved Memberships’ at the Conference.
Like my fellow members at National, I returned home on Sunday with a resolve to intensify my efforts in Kelston and campaign harder and reach out to all my people.
National Party Leader Bill English presenting two Certificates to Bala (Venu) Beeram at the Party’s Conference held in Wellington on June 23-24, 2017.