Capacity for 2000 homes unlocked
With Ōtaki MP Terisa Ngobi and Mana MP Barbara Edmonds
We’re into our three-week recess and we’ve hit the ground running! We have enjoyed post-Budget breakfasts, celebrating our young people and small business at local awards nights, spending time with our Pacific caucus wha¯ nau and watching some grass-roots rugby too. Here’s how the first week of recess looked for both of us . . . On the Tuesday, two announcements were made in Porirua. Minister of Housing Megan Woods visited the Mana electorate to announce that Porirua are the first recipients of the new Housing Acceleration Fund. With $136 million being invested in eastern Porirua, this will unlock capacity for an extra 2000 homes, address the need to replace water infrastructure to service existing and future homes and also address long-term degradation of the harbour, Te Awarua O Porirua. This investment is expected to create up to 250 local jobs. At Takapu¯ wa¯ hia, Associate Minister for Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced the Government’s commitment to strengthen Well Child Tamariki Ora. A comprehensive review of the Well Child Tamariki Ora programme has been carried out in the last several years, with recommendations for short-term improvements and longer-term changes across six areas. We know that a tamariki’s first five years are extremely important for their overall development. This is why we are promising significant change to this programme which supports the health, development and wellbeing of all tamariki from birth until 5. These changes will centre a wha¯ nau led model of care similar to nurse-family partnerships that supports parents and their wha¯ nau. Each wha¯ nau will have a kaitiaki (key worker), who may be a nurse of kaia¯ whina, backed by a multidisciplinary team. They can help with support for mental health, health care, accessing social services or education or learning about parenting and child development. Now shifting focus to the beautiful Otaki ¯ electorate, we have had the details of the KiwiRail’s inaugural Rail Network Investment Programme released. This looks like an investment of $1.3 billion to lift our national rail network to a resilient and reliable standard. One of the issues in O¯ taki, which Terisa campaigned on and has continued to advocate really strongly for is a train service from Waikanae to Levin and beyond. Having announced our commitment to get rail back on track, it shows our Government is listening to the advocacy of our electorate as a business case for further network improvements to support more commuter services across the region which align with the Greater Wellington Regional Council. We are fast-tracking looking at potentially extending electrification north of Waikanae to Levin and beyond. We will replace signals at Ohau and Manakau and fully replace bridges 30A and 30B (both north of Waikanae). We know we must treat climate change as the emergency that we have declared it to be so I am so proud of these announcements for our electorate in the rail space. As we look ahead to the next two weeks, we both look forward to meeting more of you in our electorates and spending quality time with our whanau. Enjoy the rest of the school holidays!