In Touch with Matt Doocey

Columns
Saturday, August 1, 2015

It was great catching up with Mike and Nicky Rutherford for a tour of the new Oxford Fresh Choice supermarket.

This $6 million investment in Oxford will bring more jobs, as well as a bank-linked ATM service, to the community. Creating more local jobs boosts our local economies and reduces congestion on our roads.

The news that the Christchurch City Council decided not to support the Cranford Street extension in its Long Term Plan caused concern for some commuters. Decisions made around one part of Canterbury have the potential to impact on others – and this decision would impact not only Christchurch commuters but commuters from Oxford with its potential effect on the dispersal of traffic on the city end of the Northern Arterial.

 I urgently met with Transport Minister, Hon Simon Bridges, and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister, Hon Gerry Brownlee, and contacted both mayors and the Transport Agency to urge everyone to get around the table to work on a solution to give North Canterbury commuters reliable travel times.

 On another note, I was glad to link up with Christchurch psychologist Julie Burgess-Manning and teacher Sarina Dickson, who have launched a unique resource that is going out free to Year 1 to 4 children, including in Waimakariri. The two-book resource is aimed at reducing anxiety in children, who often can’t describe their worries in language adults can understand. Through conversations with some of our schools, and with my background in mental health, I know some of our children are suffering from anxiety and I was pleased to see that the books come with a tool kit of exercises schools and parents can use to start conversations around worries.

It’s another reminder that we are all connected and that working together is our best way forward.