I've just returned from a trip to America funded by the US Department of State and I'm excited to be back in Parliament this week working for Northcote.
Onewa Road Update
Auckland Transport recently told me they are taking steps to implement a permanent clearway down Onewa Road. Consultation with locals will begin following elections in October, wrapping up early 2020. This comes following the submission of our 4,000+ strong petition to AT in July.
AT will further consider our suggestion of reducing T3 lane hours but only once they've gathered 'sufficient data' on their recent bus timetable changes. Unfortunately, AT will not consider the trialling of dynamic lanes or T2 lane.
This is a win on an important issue for our community. Locals are fed up with the lack of action from AT. Their announced plans, if followed through, are welcomed and I'll keep you posted on any developments.
NZTA Shared Path Update
Submissions to NZTA on the proposed Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path have officially closed. NZTA is now going through the feedback and forming their business case. It’s expected be completed by the end of September to then be considered by NZTA's Board.
I received feedback about comments last month regarding parking at Stafford Park. To clarify, I have never, and will never, advocate for turning Stafford Park into car parking. Proper provision for car parking needs to be allowed for the project and that needs to be as far from Northcote Pt as possible.
I’m enthusiastic about this project and continue to ensure that local concerns are heard. Issues over provision of parking, access, hours of operation, links with SeaPath, and disruption to residents continue to be raised. I’m making sure these issues and more are taken into account by NZTA as part of the design and execution of the project.
Local Body Elections
Council elections are being held on 12 October and no doubt you’ve seen fences and street corners plastered with signage. Most issues raised with me by local constituents are related to congestion and public transport, realms of Auckland Transport which is a Council Organisation (CCO).
AT has consistently underperformed, earning it the worst reputation out of any public organisation in New Zealand!
In my view, there are only two ways to improve AT: change its governing legislation, which I’m working to make sure National commits to do at the next election, and ensure we elect Council representatives that will hold AT accountable.
This election we have a clear choice between status quo incumbents or candidates offering an alternative. I encourage you all to read their respective platforms and vote for people who will hold CCOs accountable. You can find out more about who’s running here: https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/elections/information-for-voters/Pages/who-you-can-vote-for.aspx
Screening of Downton Abbey
I warmly invite you to join us at an upcoming special screening of Downton Abbey this Sunday 22 Sept. We have had a great response so far but we do have seats left! All proceeds will go to help us retain Northcote and lift the National Party vote at the next election.
When: Sunday 22 Sept, 6:00pm
Where: Bridgeway Theatre, Queen St, Northcote Pt
Tickets: $30pp or $25pp for ages 60+. Price includes beverage, cheese and crackers on entry.
RSVP: email firstname.lastname@example.org Please pay by internet banking: 02-0112-0064199-00 - your name as ref#
Recent Trip to America
Last week I visited the US as part of the American Council of Young Political Leaders. Funded by the US, 6 young Kiwi MPs went to the US to learn more about America’s political system and current issues.
We started in Washington DC before flying to Colorado to gain a greater understanding of State and City level politics.
Three key themes stood out for me. The first is how divided America is at the moment.
The second is how worried American’s are of China. The Trade Wars between the US and China are actually not about trade, but a growing concern about China’s integration into the world economy and their lack of respect for the current world rules.
And finally, there’s going to be even more uncertainty as the 2020 Presidential Election nears. While Trump is not overly popular, it would be foolish to think he doesn’t stand a good chance of re-election with the economy still performing well and with record low unemployment.
Coupling this, Democrats are shifting further left to appeal to their base supporters. Joe Biden stands a good chance of taking on Trump, but many Democrats are looking for someone to excite their base, with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders forming a ‘top 3’ in the race with Biden.
Whoever the Democrats choose, what’s clear is that voter turnout and the state of the economy will be big factors in determining who wins the presidential election. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride on world affairs over the next 16 months!
I'm always available to discuss any issue with you - feel free to phone me on 419 8021 or email me at email@example.com
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