Advocacy a key part of busy year ahead
I had a great time over the Christmas and New Year period with my family, visiting our favourite beaches and recharging my batteries ahead of what will no doubt be a very busy year. I hope you all had a good break and managed to make the most of the summer weather when it did appear.
I was humbled to retain the portfolios of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Youth and Associate Transport, and I’m very much looking forward to advocating for residents of Waimakariri throughout the coming year.
Many of you will be aware of my latest efforts to hold Te Whatu Ora (CDHB) to account for the delays in the provision of after-hours health care and I plan to continue to push for answers and action until Waimakariri has the after-hours services it was promised at my public meeting in 2019.
After having to lodge written parliamentary questions with the Health Minister to get some answers which had not been forthcoming from anywhere else, I was staggered to discover there are no conditions in the contract in terms of construction and completion dates. This is totally unacceptable and means the community could be waiting indefinitely. We already know construction is unlikely to start until the end of this year, and with no opening date confirmed it’s anyone’s guess when we will be able to make use of the facility.
If you have not done so already, please sign my online petition at https://www.change.org/p/fast-track-waimakariri-s-after-hours-health-care-facility.
It will come as no surprise that I also intend to keep fighting for residents of Woodend to secure the long-awaited bypass this year. Woodend residents and business owners are understandably frustrated, and when you look at the safety measures put in place, and the Government announcement of yet more median barriers and roundabouts – to the tune of $41 million – it beggars belief that the bypass has not been prioritised.
Since Labour cancelled the bypass six years ago, Waka Kotahi (NZTA) has undertaken three safety consultations with the community and each time recommendations are made, nothing ever comes of it. Traffic volumes are only ever going to increase, further dissecting the township and posing real safety issues for locals and commuters alike.
I’m looking forward to a busy year in the electorate, starting with hosting National Leader Christopher Luxon who will join me at the Rangiora Town Hall for a public meeting on February 7. All welcome to come and hear him speak and ask the questions that matter to you.
I also welcome you to contact my Rangiora or Kaiapoi office if you have an issue you’d like help with, a topic you’d like to discuss, or to offer feedback. As always I’m happy to help wherever I can.
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