Poet Henry Thoreau once wrote ‘it’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see’. This is befitting of the times we are living in with coronavirus and reminds us that reality and perspective are very different things.
Reports of panic buying in supermarkets and other reactions of apocalyptic proportions are not helpful and don’t match reality. Currently, epidemiologists put the death rate for the coronavirus in the range of 0.5%-1%, a little above the rate for the seasonal flu.
There are now confirmed cases of coronavirus on the North Shore. Rather than panic buying, keep you and your family by doing the basics well: wash your hands often and with soap, cough into your arm, put tissues in the bin, don’t touch your nose and face, and avoid close contact with those who may be sick.
For more info, I urge you to follow the Ministry of Health’s guidelines HERE.
Making Progress on Transport and Congestion
Onewa Road will soon undergo a trial of a permanent clearway, removing parking and freeing up outside lanes. This will happen after a short consultation with the public about the proposed trial later this month.
This was the direct result of our petition seeking AT to address Onewa Rd congestion. It’s a small change, but a win for our community in the larger fight against AT inaction over congestion.
Northcote Pt Ferry is to be repaired and according to AT should be open again by mid-2020. The 2-year delay in this project was ridiculous. I’ve been hounding AT since June 2018 to ensure they took action, and there is finally light at the end of this tunnel.
Harbour Bridge Shared Path construction is to begin in 2021 and will be a great asset for our area. I’m concerned that costs may blow out to $500m+, far higher than initial projections. I don’t trust Minister Twyford to deliver this project so I’m on the case to ensure locals are heard and that it is done right the first time.
Despite these wins, we still have much to do. Our buses and ferries have huge potential to reduce congestion, but that doesn’t work for everyone. We need to continue to lift investment in roads, widen the onramps to State Highway 1, and finally build a second Harbour crossing! These are my priorities as your local MP.
Tackling Housing Affordability
The Northcote Development is well underway with the aim to build 1500 new homes. The initiative was launched by National in 2016. This development will see 500 new state houses, 500 new market houses, and 500 new income related houses all built by 2022.
Construction of 111 state houses is underway in Beach Haven and Birkdale after National’s 2017 announcement. I’ve heard community concerns around these developments and will be advocating on your behalf for more infrastructure investment and better communication from Kainga Ora – the state housing provider.
These projects are a good start, but we must focus on easing restrictions around land development. Our top priority must be finally reforming the Resource Management Act as it stifles growth and development in our major cities.
Recently I hosted National Deputy Leader and Campaign Manager Hon Paula Bennett to speak to a packed room of locals. Paula summarised National’s aspirations for New Zealand and our strategy for the next election.
The election will be close. This government has failed to deliver for New Zealanders across a wide range of areas: Kiwibuild, regional development, government spending, the economy, cost of living, and more.
National has spent the past 2 years in policy development mode. We have already announced the scrapping of the fuel tax and red tape, the bringing forward of infrastructure projects, and that we won’t govern with Winston Peters – ensuring stability is brought back to government. We want Kiwis to have more money in their back pockets and we will deliver for you!
Economic Impact of Coronavirus
The impacts on our economy from the coronavirus are likely to be significant. BNZ has predicted our economy will fall into recession for the first half of 2020.
Trade and tourism with China has come to a halt, affecting supply chains, and business and consumer confidence. Our economic growth was already tracking downwards before the outbreak, and the economic effects of Coronavirus will further push us to the verge of recession.
National has now called on the government to halt its planned increase to the minimum wage on April 1. We further called on the government to beef up wage support for those most affected during these tough times. We must best protect Kiwi businesses in this downturn.
Highbury is hosting the 2020 Latin Fiesta on Saturday 14 March from 12-5pm. There’ll be Latin food coupled with live music!
Beach Haven Fun Run is on Sunday 15 March from 10.30am at Shepherds Park. Come along and run for fun amongst our community! See you there!
Fiafia Fanau Diversity Event is on Friday 27 March 2020 at Northcote Town Centre from 4.30-6.30pm. This is a great annual event with entertainment, performances, and ethnic cuisine on sale! Bring along the family and celebrate our community.
My team and I are here to serve you! Please reach out on 419 8021, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
MP for Northcote