Nikki Kaye confirmed for National in Auckland Central

By | Auckland Central, Great Barrier Island, Press Releases, release, Waiheke | No Comments

New Zealand National Party

Media Release

23 December 2016

Hon Nikki Kaye MP has been confirmed as National’s candidate for the Auckland Central electorate for the 2017 General Election.

Ms Kaye first entered Parliament at the 2008 election, winning Auckland Central for the National Party for the first time in New Zealand’s history. She subsequently won the seat again in 2011 and 2014.

Along with her role as local MP, she currently serves as Minister of Youth and Associate Minister of Education in Bill English’s National-led Government.

“I am delighted to be confirmed as the National Party candidate for Auckland central for 2017. I love this electorate, its communities and businesses, and am as committed as ever to representing it and getting results,” Ms Kaye says.

“Having been diagnosed with breast cancer, the last few months have been tough and I am so grateful for the support of my family, friends and the National Party.

“I have also been completely overwhelmed with the support I have received from Auckland Central constituents during this time. I decided to stand again as I believe there is still so much more that I can do to improve the lives of the people of Auckland Central.”

Auckland Central electorate is one of the youngest and most diverse electorates in NZ.  It is also one of the most diverse to serve from a geographical perspective, including the rural areas on Great Barrier, to high density living with thousands of apartments in central Auckland, to the villas and shops of Ponsonby and Herne Bay.

“Since I was elected in 2008 I have campaigned each term on progressing a range of local and national projects for Auckland Central. I am very proud of the progress we have made,” Ms Kaye says.

“Over the last two years some of the initiatives progressed for Auckland Central include:

  • The Government announcing a significant funding commitment to the City Rail Link and the beginning of construction. This is a project I have supported and advocated for since 2009.
  • Progress on reform of the Unit Titles Act; affecting many people in the electorate living in apartments. I advocated strongly with a group of property professionals for changes to the law.
  • $40 million property investment for Waiheke Schools (Waiheke High School and Te Huruhi School).
  • The opening of the Aotea Conservation Park and re-opening of the Aotea Track on Great Barrier Island.
  • Redevelopments at Bayfield School ($12 million) and Freemans Bay School ($19 million) as well as the $79 million redevelopment at Western Springs College (while not in the electorate it is an important secondary school for Auckland Central residents).
  • $88 million package of cycleways benefiting Auckland and Auckland Central.
  • Rollout of ultra-fast broadband on Waiheke Island recently completed. This is hugely important for social and economic progress for residents and businesses on the island.
  • Improved cell reception for Great Barrier Island with a new cell site going live this year in the north of the island.

“This year my office and I have dealt with more than 10,000 constituency queries or issues by people and organisations. These issues are diverse as they can cover people living in apartments to people living in more isolated parts of Great Barrier Island.

“Through these queries, my constituency clinics and the thousands of doors I have knocked on, constituents have raised issues with me that have led to me advocating and delivering policies or projects. One of the beautiful things about our country is the ability for so many people to access Members of Parliament to personally advocate on issues.

“I am proud of the projects progressed in Auckland Central, such as significant investment in transport and education infrastructure, there is still so much more to do. Areas like central Auckland and Waiheke island are home to huge numbers of residents but are also popular tourist destinations. We need to continue to invest in world class infrastructure and services.

“Over the coming year I will be continuing to work on a range of projects including improving ferry infrastructure and services for Waiheke Island and access to better services for central Auckland residents.

“It is a privilege to be the MP for Auckland Central. I look forward to continuing to work hard and deliver for the people of Auckland Central, and for all New Zealanders in Bill English’s strong, stable National-led Government.”

Further details of some of Nikki and National’s local and ministerial achievements can be found at www.nikkikaye.co.nz.

Media Contact: Clark Hennessy 0274 811 711

Authorised by Greg Hamilton, 41 Pipitea Street, Thorndon

Glenfern Sanctuary secured as conservation gateway to Great Barrier Island

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island | No Comments

Hon Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, this morning attended the formal announcement of the purchase of Glenfern Sanctuary on Great Barrier Island, on behalf of Minister of Conservation, Hon Maggie Barry.

“After a lot of hard work it is fantastic that the purchase of Glenfern Sanctuary is now finalised, and it will therefore continue to be a critical part of the movement to achieve a pest-free Hauraki Gulf,” says Ms Kaye.

“As the local MP for Great Barrier Island, I am delighted that the Government has contributed $ 975,000 to the successful purchase.”

The purchase of Glenfern from the Bouzaid family is a combination of contributions from the Department of Conservation (DOC) through the Nature Heritage Fund, the Auckland Council and Great Barrier Local Boards and Foundation North.

“I want to specifically recognise the hard work and leadership of Councillor Christine Fletcher, for helping bring together the different agencies and organisations that made this possible,” says Ms Kaye.

The 83-hectare Glenfern Sanctuary was founded by the late Tony Bouzaid, who created the sanctuary to protect endangered native birds on the Island.

“I would like to acknowledge the Bouzaid family for making the property available for purchase and to Tony, who was tireless in his determination to have the sanctuary established.

“Glenfern is a significant gateway for the Island, providing both tourism and educational opportunities, making its acquisition into public ownership invaluable.

“Last week I was on the Island to open the redeveloped Aotea Track, and this sanctuary provides an additional conservation experience. I hope that many schools and families will be able to visit the sanctuary and walk the track in the future.

“The team at Glenfern is incredibly passionate about managing and protecting the local flora and fauna, with the help of local volunteers, and this announcement ensures this will continue.”

Glenfern will be placed under the ownership of Auckland Council and form part of their parks network.

 

BUDGET 2016: $51 Million increase in funding for Auckland DHB

By | Auckland Central, Health | No Comments

Hon Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, has highlighted the significant $51 million increase in funding received by the Auckland District Health Board in Budget 2016.

This amount is additional to the DHB’s total funding of $1.3 billion for 2016/17. This is the biggest increase in 7 years.

“Investment in health services in Auckland is vital to provide high quality healthcare to meet cost pressures and population growth, says Ms Kaye.

“Currently, a record number of doctors and nurses are employed by the Auckland DHB, and this funding will assist them in delivering better and faster treatment to patients.”

This year’s Budget signals an overall record investment in health throughout the country totalling $16.1 billion over four years.

“This funding for DHB’s complements the $124 million package for Pharmac to provide more medicines, and a $96 million investment to increase the number of elective surgeries.

“Providing better health services will continue to be this Government’s number one funding priority. This Budget has targeted specific areas of health so that New Zealand families will continue to have access to timely, quality healthcare.”

 

Opening of Redeveloped Aotea Track on Great Barrier Island

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island, Local Projects | No Comments

Hon Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, on behalf of the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry, will this afternoon re-open the Kaiaraara Track (part of the Aotea Track), on Great Barrier Island.

The track suffered major damage during a storm in June 2014. Large sections of the DOC track were washed out and bridges and huts were extensively damaged. Since then, DOC has invested $353,000 in the redevelopment project.

“As the local MP for Great Barrier Island, it is fantastic to see the track re-opened today. In conjunction with the Aotea Conservation Park, the Aotea Track is a vital tourist attraction and economic asset to the Island, says Ms Kaye.

“I would like to recognise the hard work of DOC staff who worked tirelessly alongside the local community and Board members to repair the track during the last two years. Their commitment to the track redevelopment has ensured that New Zealanders and tourists alike can experience the beauty of the 25 kilometre track.

“I would also like to specifically acknowledge Ngāti Rehua, who has been working closely alongside DOC, and who have offered on-going support to the success of this project.

“Now that the Aotea Track redevelopment is complete, I am going to ask that consideration be given for the track to get greater recognition. I expect to seek advice from local and central Government over the coming months about how we can do this. “I would love to see more New Zealanders visit and experience Great Barrier Island. The Island is a special part of New Zealand and the Government’s investment in the track is an important boost for tourism on the Island.”
 

Better investment in strategy for cameras and lighting needed for Central Auckland

By | Auckland Central, Community, Education | No Comments

Following several recent incidents in Central Auckland, Hon Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central, facilitated a meeting today with representatives from the Local Board, New Zealand Police, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council staff, Auckland University Students Association and the New Zealand Chinese Students Association.

“This meeting was to discuss ways that we can make Central Auckland safer, says Ms Kaye.

“There was a good discussion between everyone who attended, and we have agreed on a way forward.

“Since the incidents, some people have made comments regarding police numbers. I understand there has been an increase in police numbers and general police resourcing in both the wider Auckland City and Central areas, and this was confirmed today.

“From our discussions, it was agreed that a report will be commissioned by the Local Board, focusing on additional investment in other solutions, including cameras and lighting in Albert Park.

“The Board will work with the Police, Auckland Transport and the Student Associations. They will then present a report to Council for consideration.

“The engagement of students in this issue has been positive, and I congratulate them for taking the initiative to secure better safety resources for students and others in Auckland.

“I have committed to ongoing work with the Student Associations, especially on the safety information provided to international students, and other support available to them. We will also work with Auckland Transport to ensure that transport connections in the central city are a safety focus.

“I am aware that there will be an event tonight in Albert Park. It will be positive that this update can then be given to students. At the meeting we did have an update from the Local Board and Council where they confirmed that investment in Albert Park has happened over the last few years.

“I’m pleased that we’re making progress, and I look forward to working with all groups involved on this issue.”

Government’s commitment to fast-track City Rail Link great for Auckland

By | Auckland Central, Local Projects, Transport | No Comments

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says the Government’s decision to work with Auckland Council to bring forward the start date of the City Rail Link (CRL) is great news for Auckland.

“I’d like to acknowledge the Prime Minister and Ministers Joyce and Bridges for the decision announced today by the Prime Minister, which means construction could start in 2018, at least two years sooner than currently envisaged,” says Ms Kaye.

“This is great news for commuters, and it also provides a huge boost for potential new jobs and growth in Auckland.

“The CRL is a vital artery in Auckland’s rail network. The new, 3.4km underground link will double the capacity of the network, and significantly reduce commuter times.

“The construction project itself will create lots of jobs in the city, and it will also unlock other growth and development, by giving certainty to building work planned in Auckland. There’s billions of dollars of proposed investment in new buildings in Auckland’s CBD over the next few years.

“While this project is about better rail connections, with Auckland growing by a predicted 700,000 people over the next 30 years, we need to ensure that our public transport system, whether it be rail, buses, ferries, walkways or cycleways, are able to accommodate that growth.

“I have supported the CRL since 2009, and as the local MP over several years I have worked alongside constituents, the Council, other agencies and the Government to commit to the project, and undertake both designation and other preparatory work.

“Auckland Central is home to much infrastructure of national significance. Under our Government, we have delivered the $340 million Victoria Park Tunnel project, committed to an investment package of $88 million in cycling in Auckland, and completed the $1.7 billion electrification of rail. The CRL is estimated to cost around $2.5 billion and I look forward to working with other Ministers as local MP on issues such as funding and ownership.

“The scale and complexity of the construction project will require a level of organisation like never before. It’s important for all agencies and stakeholders to understand the sequencing of work and potential disruption to the CBD, and as the local MP I will be doing all I can to ensure the project is a success.

“Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister is important because it’s about creating jobs and giving certainty to Auckland business. This is great news for the future of Auckland.”

Changes to marine protection good for Hauraki Gulf

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island, Waiheke | No Comments

The Hauraki Gulf will benefit from the new proposals put forward for protecting marine areas says Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye.

The Government has released a consultation document on the new Marine Protected Areas Act.

It puts forward four different options for looking after marine environments, and includes the draft proposal for the Hauraki Gulf Recreational Fishing Park.

“This is a really positive step for Auckland. The Hauraki Gulf is a fishing hotspot, and the initial announcement of a fishing park was widely welcomed by many recreational fishers.

“It’s proposed most commercial fishing is prohibited (dependant on the outcome of consultation, particularly around species in the draft boundaries of the park), which will enable better management of recreational fishing stocks. 

“I think the proposed Park is aimed to strike the right balance between protecting and managing this valuable area, while ensuring the Hauraki Gulf remains a fisherman’s playground.

The consultation document also gives four options for protecting marine environments, and includes: Marine Reserves, Species-specific sanctuaries, Seabed Reserves and Recreational Fishing Parks says Nikki Kaye.

“Great Barrier Island falls outside of the proposed fishing park. It is important that residents of the Gulf, including Great Barrier Island, have their say on the proposed plan and I encourage submissions from the public. I have been working with groups on Barrier who would like to see greater protection of their marine area, and it is my desire as the local MP, to ensure that this is achieved either through this process or a process in the future. Greater marine protection on the Island will also complement the Aotea Conservation Park.

“These new categories make available more options for preserving this unique part of the Hauraki Gulf.  I have raised this issue with Ministers, particularly the need to begin a collaborative process so we can discuss how this can be best achieved. I have seen first-hand through previous proposals on Waiheke and Great Barrier Island, that more focus and better tools for marine protection are needed.

“Auckland is a growing city, and it is very important that we have tools like the Recreational Fishing Park to ensure that the city has an environment that will be sustainable for Aucklanders in the future.

“I encourage all interested people and groups to give their feedback on the proposed changes, so we all have a hand in preserving and shaping the Hauraki Gulf”.

 

Proposed fine increase for littering needed in Auckland Central

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Local Projects | No Comments

Increasing the maximum fine for littering from $400 to $1000 would be a positive step to reducing the amount of waste on Auckland’s streets, says Auckland Central MP Hon Nikki Kaye.

 

The Litter (Increased Infringement Fee) Amendment Bill has been put in the Private Members’ Bill Ballot by MP Jono Naylor, and proposes the increase as a deterrent for littering.

 

‘I have long been concerned about the amount of waste in the CBD, and litter on our streets.  I spent a morning working as a rubbish collector a few years ago, and in just three hours I collected over three tonnes of rubbish from the CBD’ says Ms Kaye.

 

‘If the Bill is passed into law I would advocate for Auckland Council to impose the maximum fine possible for littering.  We are a world-class city, the first stop for many international tourists and our city streets should reflect this.

 

‘We don’t have to look far to see the effect litter has on our environment – all too often rubbish ends up in our harbour and on the sea floor.  Coxs Bay and the Pt Erin Coastline are home to litter, and all too often volunteers are left to clean it up.

 

‘I have always believed that our environment is the greatest gift we have as a nation.  While we live in an urban area, we all have to take greater care of how we dispose of our rubbish. 

 

‘This is why I’m so supportive of the Litter (Increased Infringement Fee) Amendment Bill, and if passed, the potential it has for deterring would be litterers.

 

‘The message is simple – put your litter in the bin or take it home.  Treat our city like you would treat your home or backyard.  We all want a city we can be proud of – one that is clean and free of litter’.

 

Gulf Islands tourism venture receiving funding boost

By | Auckland Central, Tourism | No Comments

A tourism venture on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands is receiving $124,000 in funding from the Government’s Tourism Growth Partnership.

 

Te Haerenga – A Journey Through Sacred Islands has been created by the Ngāi Tai Ki Tāmaki Tribal Trust.  It offers guided journeys for visitors on both islands.

 

“Ngāi Tai Iwi offer a unique experience for visitors through Te Haerenga, enabling Māori traditions to be experienced in a modern context,” says Ms Kaye.

 

“Iwi can share the traditional and contemporary stories linked with the islands, while visitors take part in a range of traditional activities like harvesting and weaving, or learn about the medicinal properties of island plants.  

 

“Not only are Ngāi Tai developing a unique cultural experience for visitors close to downtown Auckland, they are also working to train young Māori, and staff, involved with the venture, giving them invaluable skills they can take out into the wider workplace.

 

“Both Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands are close to the city, which means visitors have a variety of different ways to experience the islands, and Ngāi Tai has the opportunity to offer a number of different of tourism options.

 

“The Hauraki Gulf Islands are known for their unique beauty, and attract both local and international visitors to the Auckland region.  It’s fantastic that the Government is investing in this innovative local venture’, says Ms Kaye.

 

Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands to receive more funding to fight pests

By | Auckland Central, Environment, Great Barrier Island, Waiheke | No Comments

Three local conservation groups will receive more than $195,000 in funding from the Community Conservation Partnerships Fund to fight pests on Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands.

“These islands are the jewels in Auckland’s crown, and dangerous pests like rats, stoats, possums and other unwanted visitors are real threats to the natural environment,” Ms Kaye says.

“Waiheke and Great Barrier are home to native birds like kaka and kereru that are practically defenceless against these pests.

“Conservation-focused groups like the Windy Hill Rosalie Bay Catchment Trust and the Kotuku Peninsula Sanctuary team (Great Barrier), and the Hauraki Gulf Conservation Trust (Waiheke), are key to the future of conservation in the Gulf, and it’s wonderful this funding will help them fight back against pests.

“The Aotea Conservation Park was opened earlier this year on Great Barrier Island, and will be a significant tourism asset for the island.  It’s crucial we work to keep native birds, and the natural environment, safe.

“Nationwide, pests cost our economy more than $3 billion a year. This local funding will have a positive impact on Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands, “says Ms Kaye.