It's so nice to see the light in the sky when you wake up, signalling the end of winter and the arrival of spring. I find spring exciting (apart from the pine pollen) because it feels like it’s the new year; even more so for me than 1 January in some ways.
I wonder what the next seasonal year will bring. I for one hope a change of Government because, despite their dollops of well-meaning, it is clear to me they just don’t know how to govern. It’s difficult actually, a challenging mixture of strategy and tactics fused with myriad daily judgements that demand experience.
In my opinion, this government lacks the experience for what it takes to manage our country at scale. Take our local infrastructure: the TNL has been postponed for years while the Auckland CBD to Airport rail project (using money and resources that could have seen our local projects underway by now) is struggling in design with diggers that just sit waiting in Auckland. We deserve better.
As for the underpass at the Bayfair to Baypark link, it beggars belief that NZTA say it’s now a $33 million job, so can’t be done – what on earth is going on? It speaks to lots of process people but few, particularly at ministerial level, with the ability to make stuff happen.
I sense by the time we get to spring next year, it really will be new beginnings.
MP for Bay of Plenty
University of Waikato
This month I had a personal tour of the new University of Waikato Tauranga campus building by Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor, Alister Jones. This campus will grow to service up to 5,000 students a year offering a full range of degree and postgraduate programs and will be home to its own science and engineering labs. The campus also offers places for public events and has its own marae space. A very impressive and progressive education hub for our community.
Recently I caught up with Jay Banner and the team from EmployNZ Tauranga and heard their exciting future plans for our community. This PTE provides a range of programmes including Literacy and Numeracy, IT, Computing, Construction, Automotive, Hospitality and Cookery, Sport & Fitness, ECE, Business management and so much more. The programmes are targeted to all ages from 15 and up and offer Certificates to Diplomas with many of these qualifications also having NCEA credits embedded in them. EmployNZ also do Employment placement programmes for those of you looking for a new career.
There was a huge crowd at the Bayfair underpass protest. NZTA are totally absent from our community. $33 million for an underpass (now cancelled) - just outrageous! Congratulations to Heidi and Philip for the protest - and to the many others who are working behind the scenes. As your local representative I have written to the Minister and spoken directly to NZTA about our community’s expectation that a sensible solution is to be found. And another thing - can we please build it once and right, not half baked!!! .
The crisis of confidence undermining our primary industries is untenable
Click here to see my recent article on the importance of supporting our rural communities.
Click the video to listen to my speech in Parliament about how important primary industries are to New Zealand.