The first half of this year has been incredibly busy and worthwhile, and the next six months are shaping up to be the same.
A recent highlight was Budget 2016 which was a pragmatic one that balances significant new investment, especially in health and education, with debt repayment. Like any household budget, responsible fiscal management means achieving the best results with current spending, targeted new spending and paying down debt.
A personal highlight is the $299.2 million in additional funding for Police and $355.6 million funding boost for Corrections. This will help the Police to focus on issues such as burglary and the methamphetamine trade by gangs. Corrections will use the additional funding to help manage the prison muster as well as the continuation of rehabilitation services such as Out of Gate. One thing to remember with the growing prison muster is that a large proportion is in the remand population. This is because more offenders charged with domestic and family violence offences are being denied bail.
In Papakura, the widening of the Southern Motorway is going ahead during the daytime. The Southern Initiative team are making excellent progress with asphalt surfaces being laid and work underway on the widening of the bridge at Spartan Road. Motorway widening is just one of the indicators of the growth Papakura is experiencing. Pressure on Mill Road will likely reduce in the short term once the Southern Corridor work on State Highway One is complete. This will be further helped once increased capacity from State Highway 20 is completed in 2018.
I am also pleased with the ongoing investment into educational infrastructure that Papakura has enjoyed as part of the Government’s commitment to investment in education in Auckland. The latest round of additional funding will see a new school at Hingaia South with an expected roll capacity of 700 students. This is on top of the construction of Kauri Flats School in Takanini, the $10 million redevelopment of Redhill Primary and $14.4 million redevlopment of Clayton Park School.
As the local Member of Parliament, I am always excited to see the tangible benefits our community is seeing as a result of this government’s commitment to deliver better public services through targeted investment.
Judith Collins | MP for Papakura