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SHORE MATTERS with Maggie Barry

Thank you North Shore for keeping the faith

 This was a hard fought, volatile and sometimes nasty election and National campaigned on the strength of our economic record and on our vision for the future. Thankfully the message has been received and understood by our North Shore supporters and I'm very grateful for that faith and trust and assure you we will deliver on our promises and not let you down. Our result on the night reflected the unwavering and unstinting work of the dedicated local team including the indefatigable Joan Finlayson, Gary and Leslie Monk and ably led by Campaign Manager Grant Kerr.

With an historic mandate from New Zealand voters, we are now able to forge ahead with our plan to build on the steady annual economic growth of 3.8%, which has resulted in 5.6% unemployment and 84,000 new jobs in the past year. Business confidence is at a 20 year high and as a Government we will continue to invest where it matters most to Kiwi families, in all levels of education and a record $15.4 billion into health including significant spending on North Shore health facilities.  Our rates contribute more than 220 million dollars to the Supercity and I'll continue to be a strong advocate to ensure we get our fair share on this side of the Harbour Bridge.

 I’m ambitious for the North Shore and keen to make progress on several important projects that seem to have been put on the back burner by the Council such as the long overdue upgrade of the heavily congested Lake Road and the NOWSC. Our sailors continue to excel internationally and one of the most effective ways to support them in their quest for podium finishes is to provide them with world-class facilities. I urge the Local Board to stop procrastinating and chart a course to go full speed ahead to finalise the best site and we can get on with building a National Ocean Water Sports Centre we can all be proud of.

With a rapidly growing population north of the bridge it’s important to future-proof ease of access across the harbour and I intend to encourage tangible developments on planning for a tunnel. Housing affordability remains an issue for us and the Housing Accord between the Auckland Council and the Government will ensure land supply continues to be freed up, and combined with our new assistance initiatives will enable first home buyers to realise the dream of owning their own home. 

Thanks to your support we'll be able to forge ahead with our RMA and Local Government reforms while continuing to safeguard the environment. I’ve had positive feedback around plans to redefine the inner Hauraki Gulf as a recreational fishing park. In a first for New Zealand, we’ll create a new concept under a revised Marine Protected Areas Act, which means the inner gulf will be reserved predominantly for recreational fishing. We've done this in response to concerns about fish stocks and the need to protect what we have.  The proposed Hauraki Gulf Park would exclude all commercial activity and we’ve committed to providing fair compensation for commercial fishers. The oceans are the new frontier for conservation and with 10 new Marine Reserves gazetted this year we’re determined to be a world leader in the responsible use, management and conservation of our ocean environment. 

Thank you again for your support because we wouldn't have made it across the line without the strong turnout of party faithful and supporters in the "Blue" seats north of the Harbour Bridge. For me, personally, it will be my privilege to serve the people of the North Shore for another term and I'm very grateful for your faith in John Key’s Government and in me as your local MP. As the PM said on election night, there's never been a better time to be a Kiwi - and he doesn't even have the good fortune to live on the North Shore.

Maggie’s website: www.maggiebarry.co.nz;  Facebook/maggiebarrynz;
Twitter: @maggiebarrynz 

by Maggie Barry

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