From Penk’s Pen | What the future holds

What the future holds

In the period following the election, I’ve tried to use my time productively in the electorate.

I’m particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of getting key infrastructure projects across the line for northwest and north Auckland.

All the problems I’ve been talking about for the past 6 years – including in the recent election campaign – I remain very keen to help solve with a sympathetic government onboard.

Throughout it all, I’m determined to take a problem-solving approach.  That might sound obvious but consider how often in the past political parties have started with clear preferences on detail, rather than focusing on providing what’s needed.

A classic example is transport.  Part of the issue is that if our area had more work, leisure and education opportunities locally, the amount of traffic currently on our roads could reduce.  Obviously there will always be people who choose to live in this part of the world but work elsewhere, send their children to school elsewhere etc, which is fine.

But if we provide as many opportunities as possible locally – and thereby reduce the necessary number of movements needed to and from the area – that will help somewhat.

This ties into our longstanding need for an additional high school in this part of the world.  I’m committed to make that happen.

And then in the domain of transport itself, our starting-point should not be a particular mode of transport that doesn’t stack up (a new light rail project from scratch, anyone?) but instead to take easy wins where they can be found.

We also should be open-minded about whether a road gets built or an existing rail corridor utilized (etc) using solely government funds or whether a public-private partnership might deliver the same value much more quickly.

And the same goes for filling in those gaps in internet and mobile connectivity.  I’m keen that the government help to provide solutions for those still somewhat in the dark.  These could involve the extension of existing types of supply (eg upgrading copper, laying fibre, building antennae) but equally could be using new technology such as satellites.

As you can probably tell, I’m pretty excited at what might be possible for this electorate if we focus on the needs of the people.  And I’m grateful for the chance to continue pushing for exactly that.  Thank you.

Cheers, Chris

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