From Penk’s Pen

As I write this column, my calendar still reads “November” so it feels pretty early to be reflecting on 2019. That’s all the more so given how quickly the year has gone – at least for me – but in any case Christmas will soon be upon us!
The last twelve months have been busy for me, as your local MP, with plenty of local issues to handle, along with the hustle and bustle of Parliamentary politics most weeks of course.
The great majority of local issues that my office and I have been handling could be described as infrastructure-related. The story of West and Northwest Auckland in recent decades has been one of growth and, if we are honest, growing pains. The chapter marked “2019” in that story will be no exception.
I’ve made a point of reaching out to all schools in the Helensville electorate (of which there are nearly 30) and noted the need for ongoing investment in classrooms and, in some areas, whole new schools to match population growth. I’ve advocated transport solutions – public and private alike – in countless meetings with decision makers. I’ve continued to ask for communications and energy networks to provide for our rural and other remote communities much better than they currently do.
I’m sure that everyone reading this will have had a busy year as well and I’d like to acknowledge with gratitude all the wonderful work that’s done for our community by so many of you. Volunteers have kept our collective wheels turning, in particular, so please allow me to thank you on behalf of the community (as is my unique privilege, as your elected representative) for another 12 months of selfless service.
Please take care over the upcoming Christmas-New Year period, whether you’re earning or learning, caring or volunteering. Let’s give our amazing emergency services much less worrying work to do on the roads and in the surf this summer.

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