A BIG WIN FOR TAMAKI!
Great news to begin this latest update. I have been lobbying hard on your behalf to have a change of direction from National around the housing intensification rules, and a few days ago, we have seen the Party withdraw its support of the medium density (MDRS) rules.
As you know, this could mean a three story home could be built right by your boundary without any consent or consultation required. From day one, Tamaki locals have expressed to me their concerns, and I in turn have been strongly representing that view to colleagues and parliament. It is great therefore to see this positive result. You ask, I lobby, we get results!
The full housing announcement made in recent days is worth reading. Around the medium density rules (sometimes known as 3X3 or PC78), councils will now have the ability to opt out rather than mandated, as is the current arrangement. Very importantly, National is going to be insisting that councils free up enough land to cover the housing needs for the next 30 years. This means, that from ‘now’ enough land is zoned to ensure housing not just for today’s needs but what is anticipated in 30 years time. We are stressing to councils that greenfields developments should be part of this mix. Put simply, it is as much about going ‘out’ as it is ‘up’. As locals, we already know the infrastructure pressures in our area - be that water, drainage, schools, transport, and so on.
THE BLOWOUT BUDGET
The recent Labour government Budget should be sounding alarm bells. It is another significant spending spree which, of course, will mean that more taxes will be needed to fund or debt created. While very easy for media and others to focus on the new spends (e.g. ECE, transport etc) the real focus needs to be on the eye watering numbers that are overall government spending.
Did you know that six years ago, government spending was just over $60 billion a year. Now it is closer to $140 billion a year. For what you may ask? Spending has more than doubled, but if your family is like mine, we don’t see any improvement. In fact, we see things getting worse. Our health system is under enormous pressure, with worrying wait times. Nearly 50% of our kids are not regularly attending school and results are dropping. The number of homeless and those needing social housing continues to increase, and let’s not even mention child poverty! For all this extra spending, there is very little to show.
Instead, we have higher and increasing inflation; higher mortgage rates; a cost of living crisis; and never ending expenses. Around all of this is New Zealand’s debt now burgeoning. It is an expected to be just short of a staggering $100 billion dollars in 2026. This is something that our children and grandchildren will be paying off!
LOCAL FLOODING AND VISITS
I left Parliament and returned to the electorate after the recent flooding across our electorate two weeks back. It was a chance to head out with the Eastern Bays Community Patrol on the second night of the storm to see the damage first hand. The following days were visits to local businesses and homes flooded. From business owners who can no longer get insurance, to home owners who had life treasures such as photos ruined - it was heartbreaking to see and hear.
I have been collecting all this information and writing to the Council advocating for greater mitigations in our area. For example, the clearing of our streams; larger drains and culverts; and ensuring various pumps are working.
Sadly, crime continues to be an issue in our electorate. I was in the St Heliers Village last week as a store theft was happening, and my thanks to local shop owners who chased the thief and retrieved the stolen goods. My thanks to the police as well who deployed quickly, including right outside my office where some of the events were taking place.
There were also three shops on Melanesia Road hit, including the bakery for a second time. As always, I went to visit all the affected shop owners and will continue to do so. I should add, while I focus on businesses in this newsletter, I am also very conscious of the many residential thefts - be these break ins; car thefts; or courier parcels stolen (among other things).
I was pleased therefore to hold a public meeting recently with Paul Goldsmith, our MP in Epsom and Justice spokesperson. We had a full house and lots of great questions and feedback from residents around the electorate. If you are interested in some of our policies around youth crime and gangs, for example, you can see our policies here and here.
In recent weeks, I have been encouraging locals to support our Eastern Bays Community Patrol by donating a tank of gas. It is something I have done myself, and delighted the likes of Bayley’s Real Estate; one of our local karate Dojos (Kawa); and new business, Siri Thai Spa, have donated so generously.
Speaking of generous, a huge thanks to all those who supported Mike King’s I AM HOPE charity by being part of the Turua Gallery and Babylon Store art fundraiser a few nights back. Tens of thousands of dollars were raised and it was a wonderful night with the local community.
I was also pleased to join our local police, truancy offers, support teams, as well as Steve and the Breakfast Club team to help with what we call Op Attend. My wife and I joined everyone in Glen Innes to pack hampers for local families in need and then deliver. It is an opportunity to not only help with immediate needs, but also see what else is needed - particularly to help their kids get to school and stay at school.
I am holding another public meeting on Wednesday 14 June, 7pm, at the Orakei Community Centre. This is an opportunity to introduce you to some of National’s new candidates in and around our electorate. Come along to meet them and ask questions about theirs and National’s views on issues important to you.
We are also looking for more campaign volunteers to join our awesome team. We remain one of the strongest teams in the country, but I am always keen to meet and work with new volunteers. If you have a little time over the coming months, get in touch with me and the team - from delivering flyers to putting up hoardings, and everything in between - on [email protected]
Speaking of volunteering, we are doing some flyer deliveries over King’s Birthday weekend. Again, if keen to help, email us at [email protected]
Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns; I am always happy to hear from locals and continue to represent your views strongly into Parliament.
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