Happy new year everyone, hard to believe we are already half way through January. The first thing I want to do is give an update on the issue I spoke about in my December article regarding the width of Victoria Street West in Pukekohe.
One of the first calls I received on a Council related issue this year, was from Auckland Transport reassuring me that they are in the process of preparing plans for work to sort out the problem. Having always had a very good relationship with the person who called, I accept it on face value but won’t let up.
So hopefully a positive note to start a new year.
Whilst on transport, I have poked my nose into the work site at the Pukekohe railway station. The project manager, who is a Franklin resident and regular train commuter, advises things are going really well. However, we need to be aware that there will be some significant disruptions at the Station Rd area which will be well signposted and advertised, so if you use that small drop off and parking bay area, access will soon be restricted.
Since I last wrote, we have seen a few changes round the place namely a new Prime Minister, a bit of a reshuffle of ministers and some pending retirements from Parliament announced. Most will have an opinion on John Key’s decision. Mine is one derived from personal experience whereby my grandfather, Alf Allen, was a long serving MP for this area and was Speaker of the House for some time.
I was a youngster when he was in Parliament and I experienced firsthand the commitment required and the way in which that impacted on our family life. Granddad was rarely around and when we went anywhere he was always at the mercy of those in the community who would approach and start the conversation with…"I know you are trying to have some time with your family and I shouldn’t ask you this now…BUT…"
Even I get that in my local political role, my kids laugh about how many people I know or who come up to ask me stuff when we are out. What I am saying is that dedicated politicians can never switch off, as elected representatives they are always or should be, able to be approached, rung, emailed or now days – tagged.
The public scrutiny and media attention where, as was alluded to recently, it appears being first is more important than being factual, does have a significant impact on your family life. So, without wearing any political hat, I applaud John Key’s decision and his desire to give his family a bit more attention.
The summer so far has seen some real tragedies be it on roads, on the water, lighting fires or doing things we do every day without incident. How many were preventable I ask—probably most. It seems we like to take things related to safety far too casually, so enjoy the better weather coming and please be safe.