Public Meeting on Crime and Safety
One of my highlights this winter was journeying around the electorate and sharing on crime prevention with Auckland City District Area Prevention Manager Inspector Joe Tipene, Community Constable Don Allan, and reps from crime prevention groups including Community Patrols, Neighbourhood Support, and the Crime Prevention Group. Through discussions and constituent queries, it appeared that residents felt crime was increasing in their area and many expressed concerns regarding their safety. My meetings were in response to this and provided an opportunity for a greater level of engagement on crime in our area.
One thing we definitely learnt is that police cannot achieve crime reduction alone. It takes a network of people and a partnership of communities to stand up and reduce victimisations. Supporting our neighbours to increase vigilance and security is vital. Following my last public meeting, I excitingly launched Mt Wellington Community Patrols. If you know of anyone in the Mt Wellington area who would like to join this initiative, please pass my office details onto them. It’s organisations like these that are a great opportunity for residents to partner with Police and have power and influence over their own safety.
Update on Onehunga Wharf
Onehunga was in the spotlight the past month as we heard about Auckland Council’s purchase of the Onehunga Wharf. I have called for the development of the Wharf for a number of years now, particularly during my time as Councillor, so this acquirement is a welcomed move for the revitalization of the area. It's definitely time for the Wharf to be a focal point and to unlock the potential of the Manukau Harbour.
Two key uncertainties remain, however: light-rail to the airport and the East West Link. After many discussions with locals, I am well aware that the last thing wanted is a light rail route that goes in the wrong place, or congested local streets because the East West Link is not given the funding or prominence it needs. Accordingly, these projects need to fit within the overall Onehunga transformation story.
I attended a Penrose Business Association meeting in March and heard from the Transport Minister about traffic congestion in our area. He confirmed that concerned business owners, freight carrier representatives, residents and community stakeholders will in May receive an update on the new Government’s East-West Link plan. It is now August and we are still waiting!
I look forward to maintaining my active role in this development and ensuring that your concerns are heard and addressed.
Out and About
Private Members Bill
I have been quite fortunate as a new MP, beginners luck as some might say, with the drawing and introducing of my first private members’ bill on pay equity, which ensured female-dominated jobs were paid fairly. Sadly, the Government voted against it. They’ve been in charge for just under a year and we still haven’t seen any hard plans from them on this issue.
A further Bill I have in the ballot addresses transparency issues with local authorities. It enables elected members to perform their duties more effectively by providing them greater access to official information. Recent events, particularly with the waterfront stadium in Auckland, have made this a high-profile issue!
National Party Annual Conference
We recently held our Annual National Party Conference and as a caucus, we are actively listening to our communities about the issues they care about. We want to hear what you’d like to see the National Party focus on as we work towards 2020. We’ve got a multi-year process to run the ruler over our existing policies, and propose new ones for the next election. Crime, transport, housing, the environment, health, education, and of course the economy are all often raised with me. Please do get in touch as I would love to hear your feedback on how we can create more opportunities for you to lead the best life you can. My office has an open door policy and my staff are more than happy to help!
I also hold monthly drop-ins in Onehunga, Panmure, and Mt Wellington- no appointment necessary. These provide us with the chance to meet and gives you the opportunity to share your thoughts about our community, electorate, or any policy issue important to you. I’m all ears!
I hope this newsletter has updated you on what I have been busying myself with over the last few months, and please feel free to share it with your friends and family. I look forward to continuing to work hard for the mighty seat of Maungakiekie and the great people in it!