Collins' Comments: 20 June 2017
Queen’s Birthday Honours
My congratulations go to all the people who have been recognised by their communities for the work they do and who received awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours recently.
In Papakura they are Staff Sergeant Tina Grant at the Papakura Army Camp who received a DSD for services to the New Zealand Defence Force. She does exemplary work with the Families of the Fallen who have lost a serving family member; and
Mereford Michael Meredith who was recently in Papakura as part of the alumni at the renaming of Papakura Intermediate and has received a MNZM for services as a restauranteur and to philanthropy; and
Mrs Keita Rangimari Dawson of Takanini who received a QSM for services to Maori and seniors.
These people are local heroes who put themselves out to help others in the community and in return receive well-deserved recognition of their selfless efforts.
Thank you to those receiving the awards for your work and to those who nominated them.
Anyone can nominate a person they think is worthy of a New Zealand Royal Honour. Honours lists are published at New Year and on the occasion of the Queen’s Birthday.
To nominate someone for an honour go to www.dpmc.govt.nz for guidelines and nomination forms.
Protecting our primary sector industries
The primary sector is the backbone of our economy. That’s why the National-led Government has, through Budget 2017, made significant investments in making sure it’s protected and sustainable.
We’re delivering $26.7 million of additional grant funding over three years, along with a capital boost of $63 million, for irrigation investments which will provide economic and environmental benefits to the regions.
More than $30 million over four years will be allocated to upgrading and modernising the fisheries management system, including the roll-out of cameras, monitoring, and electronic reporting on all commercial vessels.
The increased trade volumes that come as part of our growing economy mean biosecurity at our borders is increasingly important. So improving biosecurity has also received an $18.4 million boost over four years.
- Budget 2017: Irrigation investment to better manage fresh water
- $30.5m boost to fisheries management
- Funding boost to strengthen biosecurity
Building a more efficient transport system
I am so pleased that the $1.4 billion Waterview Tunnel in Auckland is on track to open to traffic in July. The new 2.4 kilometre tunnels will connect Point Chevalier and Mt Roskill and relieve congestion on a number of current north-south-west roads.
There has been an open day at the tunnel for the public already. It saw 42,000 free tickets taken in 24 hours so three more open days are being held on 23, 26 and 27 June 2017. For more information and free tickets go to www.nzta.govt.nz/waterview
The Budget for 2017 shows the National-led Government is investing $9.17 billion in new state highways over the next four years, and will open more than 540 new lane kilometres of highways.
New funding in the Budget includes $548 million to maintain and upgrade New Zealand’s rail network, supporting freight movement, exporters, tourism, and public transport. There is $436 million for Auckland’s City Rail Link too.
Budget 2017 also provides $812 million for the reinstatement of damaged sections of State Highway 1 between Picton and Christchurch following the Kaikōura earthquakes. The work is progressing very well on the road and Kiwi Rail has been able to reinstate some rail lines.
Earlier this month a Kiwi Rail work train reached Kaikoura from the south. It was able to bring in rails and sleepers that will make the rebuild of both the northern and middle rail lines easier. Rail will also be used to transport materials to make rebuilding State highway 1 quicker and easier too.National’s investment in transport underpins our commitment to building a more efficient transport system for a more competitive and productive economy. Click here for more information.
There are many exciting projects coming on stream in New Zealand at the moment. These projects, like the Waterview Tunnel, will have positive effects on the lives of New Zealanders into the future. These projects are the result of the decisions our National-led Government has made and it remains committed to developing and protecting what our country has. I am proud to be part of the Government that is delivering a better future for all New Zealanders.