The people have spoken. When they were asked to choose between the status quo and a new Takapuna town square, it’s now clear
for all to see that the majority have voted YES for change and in favour of revitalizing the Anzac Street carpark.
It was encouraging to see more than 5380 people exercising their right to be heard through the Council-run community consultation, with 55% in favour of progress and growth. The Colmar Brunton survey of 563 was even more conclusively pro-change with nearly 70% wanting this under-utilised site to be developed into something more useful for our growing population.
As a near neighbour, with my office across the road, I’ll be taking a keen interest over the next year as the designs take shape, including laneways linking Anzac, Lake and Hurstmere Roads. I like the idea of mixed use buildings with shops, businesses and homes, which would give a vibrancy to the area. Hurstmere Green is a well-used and loved open space and I’d like to see Potter's Park and the magnificent row of totara trees being the backdrop designed to accommodate ANZAC public events as effortlessly as a quiet picnic lunch by the playground.
Work on the old Gasometer site in Huron Street, with space for 420 car parks, begins next month, so the pace of change is picking
up and I certainly hope the stormwater upgrade and improvements can be started as soon as possible so we won’t have to face another summer of dirty water and beach closures.
The youth hub Shore Junction is gathering momentum and there was strong support for the project at a very successful fundraising
lunch organised by the indefatigable Sue Stanaway at Regatta, which was a lot of fun.
Would that the rest of the country was as buoyant and progressive. Domestic business confidence continues its downward slide
and that’s reflected in our global OECD position, which has now plummeted from second top to second bottom on their business
confidence index. There have been more strikes in the last nine months than in the past nine years and, regrettably, that’s just a
taste of what’s to come with this Government’s back to the future industrial laws. Their extravagant election campaign promises raised expectations through the roof, and the adverse impact of the strikes reminds some of us of the bad old days in the 1970s when snap strikes were suddenly called, aimed at causing maximum disruption and grief.
Along with my north of the Harbour Bridge National Parliamentary colleagues, East Coast Bays' Erica Stanford and Dan Bidois in Northcote, I hosted a wide-ranging discussion over a complimentary breakfast on the industrial law changes about to roll out. National’s spokesperson Scott Simpson spelled out the chilling reality of Union access to workplaces, anywhere any time, collective bargaining and agreements, removing flexibility around working hours and meal breaks, and getting rid of the 90-day trial. Retailers and the hospitality trade are worried these sort of changes will have a bad effect on the way we do business here on the North Shore.
The feedback from many business owners is that it’ll be harder to employ young job seekers with Labour's proposal to abolish starting out wages, while promising to bring in the poorly defined ‘living wage’ and lifting the minimum wage to $20 an hour, which is more than some business owners pay themselves.
Calling on any 16-18-year-olds who are interested in serving their community through public office. An excellent opportunity to get a taste of political life is available now by applying to be my North Shore Youth MP for 2019. For more information please contact my office.