Conference takes priority

April 29, 2012

Co-chairing the National Party’s Mainland conference is taking priority over blogging this weekend.

We’re in Dunedin and in recognition of the importance of education in the city that was the theme yesterday morning.

Former speaker and Clutha MP Sir Robin Gray opened proceedings with his usual warmth, wit and wisdom.

Ministers Hekia Parata and Steven Joyce and director of CORE Education, Derek Wenmouth spoke.

After report back from break-out groups nine members had two minutes to pitch a policy.

It’s a really good way to allow members to contribute and it can lead to action. In 2008 the policy I pitched  (on funding maternity service to enable mothers to stay in maternity centres until breast feeding was established) became party policy and was funded in the first Budget after National became government.

Finance Minister and deputy PM Bill English opened the afternoon then took part in the Mainland Minister’s forum with Kate Wilkinson, Jo Goodhew, Amy Adams and honorary Mainlander for the day, Hekia Parata. (And yes the gender imbalance was noted and approved!).

Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner spoke on winning the unwinnable before Canterbury/Westland and Southern split for our regional AGMs.

Last night Prime Minister John Key and party president Peter Goodfellow joined us for cocktails at Dunedin City Hotel and dinner at Etrusco.

One striking feature of this conference is the number of Young Nats – the best muster for many years and a very good sign of the party’s strength.


Wotif works well

October 5, 2008

We were in Dunedin last night for a 21st birthday party and hadn’t got round to booking anywhere to stay until Friday so used wotif.

That found us a room at the four star Dunedin City Hotel for $129.

It’s the fourth time we’ve got a Wotif deal there and each time we’ve been impressed. The rooms are spacious and clean, beds comfortable, the shower has a rose on a flexible hose, they have Les Floralies Earths Organics toiletries and the windows open.

We tend to make most of our decisions to travel at the last minute so use Wotif often. The only time we’ve had a problem was due to the manner of the receptionist and not Wotif.

Every other time we’ve had the same service we’d expect if we booked directly with the hotel, but at a much lower price.

That includes a Wotif Secret Deal  which doesn’t reveal the name of the hotel until you’ve paid. We’ve done that three times and got five star accommodation in the centre of Auckland twice and four star in Wellington once, for a fraction of the normal rate.

You know the general area you’ll be in so if it doesn’t matter too much exactly where you stay it’s worth the gamble.


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