In Touch with Matt Doocey MP

Columns
Monday, June 1, 2015

I sometimes hear from constituents that another bridge over the Waimakarri is needed to solve traffic congestion.

The reality is that choices have to be made around projects for best use of funds. In this case, the choice would have been the bridge alone or the parcel of major roading projects that are going ahead. Recently I attended with Transport Minister Simon Bridges the sod turning of the Western Belfast Bypass, which will re-route about half the traffic driving through Belfast. According to the Minister, it is expected that the bypass will clear congestion all the way to Tram Rd.

The Northern Arterial project, including the widening of the Waimakariri Bridge to three lanes heading north through to Tram Road, will also reduce travel time.

I also  had a really positive meeting around public transport recently to look at issues facing our local residents and will continue working on this important issue.

It’s been a busy time in the electorate. Besides Minister Bridges, I hosted Associate Trade Minister Todd McClay, who was briefed on issues local retailers and business owners are facing with attracting skilled and semi-skilled workers, and Housing and Building Minister Nick Smith for the KiwiSaver HomeStart Roadshow. Around 900 people have been identified in Waimakariri as being eligible over the next five years for help to get them into their own homes.  

Property owners and developers also had their chance to vent their frustrations around property rules and regulations recently at the Rules Reduction Taskforce meeting.

There’s no doubt Waimakariri is growing fast – it’s overtaken Invercargil as the third largest district by population on South Island behind Christchurch and Dunedin.    Managing the demands and issues arising from that growth will continue to be my focus.