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National Party leader Simon Bridges is visiting the Shore soon and I’m inviting you to come and meet him over a cuppa.

In the past few months, Simon has been travelling the length of the country connecting with communities as part of his commitment to being a leader for all New Zealanders. This will be a relaxed opportunity to get to know Simon better over a morning tea and talk to him about any issues that matter to you.

The public meeting is open to all on Thursday 19 July at the Pupuke Golf Club, from 10:30am. For catering purposes, please RSVP before Monday 16 July by contacting my office on 09 486 5000 or northshore@parliament.govt.nz.

A welcome and well-deserved result in the Northcote by-election last month, with National’s Dan Bidois keeping the seat blue. Despite turnout being half the level of last year’s general election, the National vote held up – Dan received 51 percent of the vote compared to Jonathan Coleman’s 51.5 percent.

In his own words, Dan’s been a fighter all his life: from high school dropout and butcher’s apprentice, his life changed in his late teens when he fought and survived bone cancer. He returned to study and eventually graduated from Harvard University with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, working around the world as an OECD economist.

“ …together with Paula, Mark, Erica and Dan, we have a strong and united voice to stand up for the people of the Shore.”

Dan was an outstanding and hardworking candidate with a plan for Northcote that will serve his constituents well and I’m looking forward to working closely with him as an MP. National holds all of the electorates north of the Harbour Bridge, and together with Paula, Mark, Erica and Dan, we have a strong and united voice to stand up for the people of the Shore.

Transport was a big issue in the Northcote by-election, with Labour’s unwanted regional fuel tax motivating voters to send the coalition a clear message that their latest fuel tax is not welcome. It’s going to impact on hardworking families and the way we do business on the Shore and my constituents are telling me they’re worried about how they will cope with paying an extra 11.5 cents a litre on fuel.

In other transport news, the Auckland Council has released its 10-year plan and funding has finally been tentatively allocated to sort out the congestion on Lake Road. As a resident of the peninsula, I know all too well the frustration that comes from sitting in gridlock traffic and although I’m hopeful that a solution will be implemented quickly, after years of councillors being all talk and no action I’m cautious. Residents will remember that $53 million to fix Lake Road was budgeted many years ago, but that was ‘reprioritised’ by Mayor Len Brown to spend on the City Rail Link.

I’m also concerned that the money allotted to the project – $47 million – is at the low end of the investment options identified by Auckland Transport in the business case it released last year. With more than 2000 new homes planned on the peninsula in the coming years, AT needs to make sure that any investment provides a long-term solution.

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