Column - Channel Magazine December 2016/January 2017

Friday, December 2, 2016

No time is a bad time to be in the North Shore but we find summer is particularly special. With Parliament in recess for the summer holidays, I’m looking forward to spending some time at home with Joe and Grant, enjoying the finest beaches in the country, paddle boaridng, bike rides along the coast and a long summer day’s work for pleasure to smarten up the garden.

Both Takapuna and Devonport are busy with traditional events like the Takapuna Beach Summer Days music festivals, triathlons, the Harcourts Beach series, the Santa Claus show at the Pumphouse, community carol evenings and Shakespeare in the Park to look forward to later in January.

Summer is also a chance to get active and enjoy some of the special natural and historic sites in our back yard. Several sites for DOC’s Kiwi Guardians programme are within easy reach of the North Shore and I’d encourage everyone to take their young and not so young friends and visitors on a few outings.

Toyota Kiwi Guardians gives children the chance to earn special medals by having fun and exploring places like Tiritirimatangi, Goat Island and North Head reserve. Have a look at the DOC website for more information. www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/toyota-kiwi-guardians/

Another great place to get active is the new all-ages playground on Takapuna Beach. It really does look fantastic and local businesses have already started to notice the influx of people it has brought to the area.

As a community, we’ve had a lot to celebrate this year, something brought home by the 2016 AIMES Awards hosted by the North Harbour Club. Eliza McCartney captured the whole country’s heart with her superb pole vault performance at the Rio Olympics, and thoroughly deserved to win the Supreme AIMES Award to go with her bronze Olympic medal.

I was also pleased to see former local board chair Joe Bergin recognised for his service to the community. We have an outstanding pool of young, talented people representing the best of the North Shore in many different fields, and I’m sure 2017 will see even more successes.

Since taking office our John key-led Government has shown its support for our young people with a series of significant investments in our North Shore schools.

With more than a third of New Zealanders living in Auckland, and the Shore’s population expanding it’s essential we make sure our local schools are ready for population and roll growth.

On behalf of Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye I recently announced the latest investment at Belmont Primary – it is an impressive and deservedly popular school and we have committed $1.14 million to be spent on three new classrooms, which will add much needed capacity to the Shore’s school network. Work on the $26m redevelopment of Takapuna Grammar’s main building is also well underway. When completed the modernised main block will contain 20 revamped learning spaces while safeguarding what is one of the Shore’s iconic historic buildings.

Thank you for your support over this past year, and I wish you and your family, and friends a very happy and safe festive season, and summer break. 

My electorate office will be closed over Christmas and New Year but email messages will be cleared regularly and we will make every effort to assist where we can. Please phone 09 486 0005 or email Northshore@parliament.govt.nz