As the MP for North Shore and as the Minister for Seniors, I’m very supportive of having more aged care facilities so that the elderly can stay in the community they have enjoyed being part of and want to continue to live in. Typically, people like to retire within 5-10km from where they live and as many of you know, Devonport has a shortage of suitable accommodation. For that reason, I’d like to see the Ryman facility go ahead, but it needs to meet the appropriate design standards and very importantly has to be a complex that is accepted by the wider community. I’ve met with representatives of both Ryman and the Devonport Peninsular Precincts Association who are concerned about the development and I‘m hopeful there is room for compromise without imposing unnecessary costs on the community. If the outcome of the appeals is not satisfactory to all parties, I intend to try and bring together the concerned members of the community and Ryman Healthcare to come up with a solution that means we can have a much needed, high quality aged care residence that we can all be proud to have in our community.

Predator Free Devonport is gaining momentum with Ngāti Whātua Orakei and DOC supporting the Devonport Environmental Network’s ‘Dirty Rat’ Campaign. 1,500 rat traps will be distributed through DOC to residents and community groups along with help with an overarching strategy to achieve a predator free peninsular and ultimately a Predator Free NZ by 2050. The Maunga Authority has also joined the cause to make sure our mountain tops are free of predators. Semi-controlled access to summits, which has worked very successfully at North Head allows for protection from degradation and stops the growing rat population from moving around easily. Predator Free’s wider impacts support Tourism and with a rodent free environment we can attract more people to Devonport to support local businesses and community services.

Heritage Rescue has just reopened Devonport Museum after 7 days of renovation and filming. As part of their TV series, Top Shelf productions has filmed Museum President Alastair Fletcher and his team of dedicated volunteers making changes to the museum. This is our local part of a wider series which will air on Choice TV in August with presenter Brigid Gallagher following the restoration of small community heritage spots. I really enjoyed the opening of the newly restored museum which is even more worthy of a visit and you can check out their website see the opening hours and plan a visit.

Takapuna Grammar’s Emilly Fan has taken out the ‘Working hard for Youth’ category at the New Zealand Youth Awards, for her advocacy for youth policy. Beyond the school gate she founded and is involved with Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects, and she is the co-founder of the New Zealand Musical Volunteering Students Association. Her recognition and that of my long-time friend Jaden Movold, who received the Youth with Disability award, are amongst the best examples of what a determined young person can achieve.

After a small accident while I was out biking, I inadvertently became the first patient treated at North Shore Hospital’s new Kahui Manaaki Outpatient Clinic. When I attended the clinic’s opening a short time after parting ways with my electric bike I was indeed treated to a ‘cluster of kindness’ by staff who tended to the cuts and scrapes on my palms and bandaged them up. They have healed nicely thanks to the care and attention from the staff. The $9.9 million clinic, opened by Northcote MP and Health Minister DR Jonathan Coleman, makes the hospital ready for future population growth on the North Shore, and ensures it has all the resources.

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