From Penk’s Pen

Happy New Year! I hope that 2021 has begun really well for you all.
No doubt over the Christmas-New Year period you will have been reflecting on a crazy past 12 months, as I certainly have been. Hopefully we’re in for a bit less rough a ride!
Among all the significant political and real world events of last year was a declaration of a “climate change emergency” by the government. No one disputes the importance of our natural environment so it was fair enough as far as it went. There was a healthy degree of scepticism, however, about the value of merely stating the existence of a problem where such statements are not accompanied by much meaningful action to solve the problem.
While it’s right to be cynical about the value of emergency declarations made merely for the sake of appearance, therefore, I am thinking about issuing a declaration of “traffic emergency” for our area.
Simply put, the situation on our roads has become intolerable. There are major implications for quality of life, where parents spend hours travelling that they could be spending raising their kids and so on. There is a huge effect on our productivity too, given how much time we spend driving that we could better spend making or doing things. And, of course, the most important implication is the danger to life and limb that we encounter daily, just getting from A to B.
For all these reasons, I intend to announce early in 2021 that a state of emergency exists in Auckland’s west, northwest and rural north where traffic is concerned. I will be proposing a number of specific measures to address this issue – bearing in mind my own injunction against vague virtue-signalling – and hoping that the central and local government decision makers get on board.
The powers that be need to know what’s needed (although they’ve been told many times before, it should be noted) and I’ll keep doing my job of letting them know all about it. Please join me in demanding better out here. After all, it’s an emergency.
Chris Penk MP

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