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.”
 

New Cell Site confirmed for Okiwi, Great Barrier Island

By | Great Barrier Island, Local Projects | No Comments

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye has today welcomed Vodafone’s announcement that a new cell site at Okiwi on Great Barrier Island will go live at the end of May.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the Great Barrier Local Board, Vodafone, the Department of Conservation (DOC) and Auckland Council in ensuring that this cell site come to fruition,” says Ms Kaye

“Over the last year I have had numerous discussions and advocated for this project as it is important step for the Okiwi community.

“I want to congratulate these parties that have worked hard, and collaborated to deliver an asset that will assist with conservation, community education and business services.

“It has been a long road that has taken several years, but it has been worthwhile to be able to provide improved coverage for Okiwi Village, which includes Okiwi Primary School and a new DOC headquarters.

“This announcement follows on from the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative, which saw a $1 million investment in a wireless broadband tower to support services at Claris, opened in 2013 on the Island.

“This Government is actively seeking ways to improve telecommunications across more remote areas of the country.

“People should never underestimate the difference that communications can make to an isolated Island like Great Barrier. I will be working hard with the local board and the community to ensure that we continue to expand coverage and communication services for Great Barrier Island.”

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.”

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’.

 

Waiheke Tourism Initiative needed

By | Economy, Local Projects, Press Releases, Waiheke | No Comments

Attracting tourists to Waiheke Island during winter has been identified by tourism operators as a priority in boosting the local economy says Nikki Kaye, MP for Auckland Central.

 “We know that the majority of visitors head to Waiheke over summer, but we need to keep that momentum going over the cooler months.  The island still has a lot to offer as a destination, and local businesses are keen to welcome visitors when the temperatures drop.

“I was really pleased to show the Associate Minister of Tourism, Hon Todd McClay, around Waiheke over the weekend, meet with local tourism operators and see what they have on offer” says Nikki Kaye.

“I think a number of operators will support a Waiheke Tourism Initiative that could apply for funding as a group to help boost tourist numbers in the off-season.

“The Government’s Tourism Growth Partnership has made available over four years $32 million to support innovative projects, create new opportunities and overcome barriers to growth in the tourism sector.

“It is a co-investment programme – for each project approved for investment, the Government will provide up to 50 per cent of the required funding.

“As the local MP for Auckland Central I am very happy to support a Waiheke Tourism Initiative, and will be hosting a meeting on 14 June, 2.30 pm at the Ostend Hall to discuss next steps with local tourism operators.

“We also need to consider current infrastructure and transport arrangements in the off-season, and what would need to be put in place to meet demand.

“I look forward to working with local tourism operators to showcase to visitors the best of Waiheke over winter. 

“If you would like to attend the meeting, please contact my office on 378 2088 or mp.aucklandcentral@parliament.govt.nz.”