Electing 1 Regional Councillor
No issues on file for Alan Jefferies.
No issues on file for Rex Kirton.
- I will establish regular communication with residents and the Upper Hutt City Council.
I will bring a fresh energetic approach to the role and will not “sit on the fence”, I undertake to hold regular public meetings at both public Libraries so that ratepayers can hear what the Regional Council is doing and to listen to ratepayers’ concerns, ideas – communication is a two-way process. How often have you had that opportunity in the last 6 years ?
- I will ensure effective Upper Hutt input into future regional transport planning and performance reporting on current services.
Transport, and transport planning, are major issues for commuters. We all hope services will improve with the arrival of the new units, but communication with commuters needs to be improved now by providing timely information on delays; any problems with services to both rail and bus.
Upper Hutt Railway Station is a public transport hub but it has been neglected – it needs a major revamp with decent signage; toilets; information for users; and extended shelters for commuters who have to wait on the platform.
I believe the addition of double tracking should be considered from Trentham to Upper Hutt. Transport takes ¾ of the regional rate spend and we need to get value for our money.
- I undertake to work closely with Upper Hutt City Council on the review of the Wellington Regional Strategy so that Upper Hutt can take advantage of any economy recovery and play a major role in the region.
Upper Hutt is strategically placed to take advantage of economic recovery by positioning itself as a regional transport freight depot – it is close to major road and rail access points, and the Port of Wellington; any development of this should result in more jobs for our city and economic benefits.
The upcoming review of the Wellington Regional Strategy should be used to secure long term benefits for Upper Hutt. We must participate in the region’s development, not stand in isolation but make our mark as a serious contributor to sensible progress.
- As a region we need to conserve our natural resources – water, soil, plants; matched with sensible pest control.
Conservation of natural resources continues to be a high priority, particularly water use which should be owned by ratepayers. I do not believe in water meters, but strongly advocate educating people about water use. I also believe that every new home should have a water tank installed as part of the new building – if only for watering the garden and washing the car. A water tank is also great investment for any civil defence emergency.
- Regional Parks and Forests are a large part of the land mass in Upper Hutt and service local residents and many visitors – these should continued to be funded for summer programmes, but prudent expenditure is the aim.
I am not in favour of providing funding for Enviroschools as a regional requirement – that is a Central Government role and should be funded by Central government.
- GREATER DEMOCRACY: It is important that Upper Hutt has a high profile in the Wellington region, given that many in central Wellington think that the region stops at the Ngauranga interchange. We have a lot to offer the region and we need to promote our issues vigorously. I will work with organisations and groups like the Upper Hutt City Council, Chamber of Commerce and NGO’s so that local issues are able to voiced regionally. I will report regularly to the Upper Hutt community on important regional matters and seek feedback on the issues of the day.
- TRANSPORT: As a former Minister of Transport, I was responsible for road and public transport funding and planning across the country, and I would like to use my experience to help improve transport in the region, which includes road, public transport and walking and cycling.
It is important to maintain the balance between improving the road network and public transport. There are a large number of people travelling around the region by road, and it is critical that bottlenecks are fixed and safety is improved. At the same time, we have to encourage more people to use public transport, which takes the pressure off our roads and is better for the environment.
Upper Hutt commuters are already seeing the benefits of road improvements on SH2 with the completion of the Dowse (Maungaraki) to Petone project. The next priorities for Upper Hutt commuters should include improving the Melling Kennedy-Good and Haywards intersections, completing safety projects on SH58 and River Road .
At the same time, fixing the decaying rail network so that the service is reliable, safe, affordable and comfortable is critical for Upper Hutt and the region. Already work is underway to upgrade the infrastructure and the first of the new trains should be in service by the end of the year.
Platform and station upgrades, double tracking from Trentham to Upper Hutt to avoid delays and improving safety at “park and ride” areas need to be promoted.
I appreciate it has been difficult to upgrade the network while still providing a full train service. However, the train operator needs to explain to Upper Hutt commuters how it will improve communication about train delays, particularly those stranded on stations, and the plans it has in place to get services running again following a major breakdown.
- WATER/NATURAL RESOURCES: Access to water is a big issue for this century. Over the next three years the regional council must plan for increased water storage. I support voluntary water conservation measures including better use of rain water for garden-watering and car-cleaning. I do not support introducing water meters (a local council decision) for residential housing, due to installation costs and the impact on tight family budgets.
It is important that we get the right balance between growing our economy and looking after our environment. The Regional Council is responsible for managing the region’s natural resources so that they can be enjoyed by future generations. I am keen to be involved in these important decisions.
- ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: As a Board member of Grow Wellington, the region’s economic development agency, I am acutely aware of the need to grow the regions economy so that we can expand existing businesses, grow new ones and create jobs. Our region is competing with the rest of New Zealand, and the rest of the world, so we have to outsmart our competitors. Grow Wellington’s plan for this region to be the centre for clean technology in New Zealand is a good example of what needs to be done
- : FLOOD PROTECTION: Protecting Upper Hutt from the big flood comes at a price, but it is worth every cent. The Wellington Regional Council plans to spend around 5% of its budget this year on flood protection and safety measures.
Flood protection is one of those things that we often don’t think about until there is an emergency. We know enough about flooding disasters overseas to appreciate that spending money now and planning ahead is the way to go.