Thank You North Shore!
I’m so humbled to have been chosen to represent you as your MP for North Shore, and I’d like to thank those people who put their faith in me, I’ll be working hard every day to earn the trust you’ve placed in me. I’m hitting the ground running, over the past few weeks I’ve been in Wellington learning the ropes and here in the community meeting as many of you as I can.
This election we didn’t get the result we hoped for, National wasn’t able to change the Government and will be in Opposition for the next three years, but I’m looking forward to being a robust and constructive Opposition holding this Government to account.
I would also like to take this opportunity to let you know that my staff and I are available to help with a range of issues should you need support. Likewise, I’m passionate about my role as your representative in Parliament and I am always keen to hear your feedback about the North Shore and what we could be doing to make our great community even better.
If I can be of any assistance, please contact my office: North Shore: 15 Anzac Street, Takapuna Phone: 09 486 0005 Email: [email protected]
Hurstmere Road transformation delay will cost millions
Auckland Council has announced that the Hurstmere Road transformation project will be put on hold in December, due to the debt to borrow ratio of the Council being exceeded. The development has already been delayed due to the COVID19 lockdown, causing the beginning of construction to be pushed into May, more delays are simply unacceptable.
Many other projects in other areas of Auckland are going ahead, but sadly as is so often the case, the North Shore is seen as a soft target and misses out, like with the cutting of the Stanley Bay Ferry.
The delay will cost the community millions in lost revenue and will mean workers will essentially put down their shovels only to pick them up again months later when the Council can spare the money, $3.5 million, a tiny percentage of the budget for such projects across the Supercity.
The cuts to the project resulting in its delay are entirely self-imposed by the Council and will cost our community. Council needs to prioritise projects like the Hurstmere Road transformation that are disruptive to local businesses and the community while they are being completed and not leave them in limbo, with an abandoned construction site in the place of what should be a vibrant hub for the community.
Takapuna deserves better, and I’ll be working over the coming months to do what I can to see this project continue without these self-imposed delays. Stay tuned for more updates.
Getting to work in Wellington as your MP
Last week National reshuffled portfolios for the new Parliament, and appointed Dr Shane Reti as our Deputy Leader. I’ll be taking on the role of spokesperson for ACC and an associate portfolio in Health, and will be holding the Government to account on these issues. With my background in health, both at a management level and on the ground as a volunteer ambulance officer, I’m looking forward to getting to work in these key areas of policy, making sure our systems are fit for purpose and serve all New Zealanders.
Save the Stanley Bay Ferry Services
Auckland Transport has announced the Stanley Bay Ferry services will be gone by Christmas. This is a huge loss for our local community — at a time when we should be making travel easier, not harder.
I’ve been in communication with Council and Auckland Transport, and they’ve confirmed that the cancellation is intended to be temporary, which is good news, but their timeline for re-instatement of 2-3 years just isn’t practical. We need these services back, and I’ll be focussing on getting the funding put in Council’s next budget to have these services returned as soon as possible.
Thanks to the nearly 1,000 people who have already signed my petition, if you haven’t already, please consider signing, and if you’d like a physical form for you and others to sign, reach out and I’ll get one to you, every signature counts Click here to sign
Hope for North Shore courses cut from America's Cup
Over the last few weeks many of you have expressed to me your disappointment over the planned cut of two North Shore courses from the America’s Cup, and I couldn’t agree more. Having access to Cup events is not just a matter of entertainment but also economics.
Thankfully, Ports of Auckland has announced that it will facilitate the use of the courses for all racing for the America’s Cup event. I'll be using my voice to back our businesses and our residents, and will keep you updated on any further developments.
Simon with wife, Shannon Watts
This month I attended my first AIMES Awards (Arts; Innovation; Music; Education; Sport; Service to the community). The North Harbour Club has raised and distributed grants worth more than $2.4 million to talented North Shore youth over the past 20 years, and I’m looking forward to playing an active role alongside them in coming years. It’s great to see the depth of talent in our community, particularly among our excellent young people. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.
Every fortnight I’ll be sending out an email update like this one about what I’m doing at Parliament and here on the Shore. If you want even more ways of keeping up to date, follow my Facebook or Instagram @SimonWattsMP or visit my website simonwatts.national.org.nz. I’m always interested to hear your views and feedback. If you’d like to stop receiving my email updates, there’s a link at the bottom of this email.
I hope I’ll have the opportunity to meet you in person in the coming weeks and months. If I can be of any assistance, please do let me know.
MP for North Shore
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