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

Local Government Commission decision to assess Waiheke Unitary Council application

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Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye has this afternoon commented on the Local Government Commission decision to assess an application by “Our Waiheke” for a Unitary Council for Waiheke.

“I do think it is important for people to understand the process and that the Commission has only agreed at this point to assess the application and there are several more steps. Further steps include determining the area affected by the application and assessing whether there is evidence of community support, says Ms Kaye.

“Only if it passed these steps would there be public notification of the application, including a call for alternative applications.

“From my perspective it is important to acknowledge that Waiheke has had a long history of moves by some members of the community to shift away from Auckland. Following a petition to separate from Auckland City Council a referendum was held in 1991. This vote failed and Waiheke remained part of Auckland City.

“Additionally, in 2008 the Royal Commission received a number of submissions opposing Waiheke being part of the proposed Auckland Council. This did not occur but the separate 5-member Local Board was established.

“I am a bit worried that this is going to be a polarising issue for Islanders. I know there is some support but there are also a number of people opposed.

“My concern is that potentially some people’s dissatisfaction with the existing council and rates is driving some of this petition. I think it will be important to separate electoral and governance issues to the management of the council.

“At this point I do have real concerns about the ability of another entity to fund Waiheke’s infrastructure requirements, given the number of residents now living on Waiheke and the huge number of tourists visiting the island. I will be listening and seeking the community’s views on the application over the coming months.”

 

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”.

 

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.

Good news for Waiheke Super Gold Card users

By | Auckland Central, Transport, Waiheke | No Comments

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says the outcome of the government’s review of the SuperGold Card scheme, announced by Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss, is good news for cardholders who use Waiheke Island ferry services.

“The review has confirmed that entitlement for Waiheke Island ferry services should continue, with increased funding to account for inflation,” says Ms Kaye.

“It was also announced that the moratorium on new services entering the scheme will be lifted from 1 September, and a tender will be set up for the Waiheke Island (Matiatia Wharf) service.

“I presented a petition to Parliament which asked the Government to give the Explore Group ferry service to Waiheke access to the SuperGold Card subsidy.

“The government has listened and as a result, Explore Group Limited will get a more even playing field.

“I intend to work with local ferry operators, Auckland Transport and the public to confirm the exact process for tendering.

“In the meantime, the key thing is that SuperGold Card holders can be confident they’ll continue to have access to the scheme in a fairer way, now and into the future.

 

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.”