Eco­nomic growth goals for Waikato

Hamilton News - - NEWS - Jamie Strange Labour List MP

I am pas­sion­ate about the

Waikato re­gion. I have five cur­rent goals to en­sure it con­tin­ues to grow and thrive.

1. Pas­sen­ger rail All lo­cal coun­cils are sup­port­ive of a pas­sen­ger rail ser­vice be­tween Hamil­ton and Auck­land. It will be a mod­ern trans­port net­work that un­locks growth in our re­gion.

NZTA has in­cluded fund­ing in their Na­tional Land Trans­port Plan. I an­tic­i­pate a fur­ther an­nounce­ment af­ter their Board Meet­ing on Oc­to­ber 5.

I ex­pect half a mil­lion peo­ple will set­tle in the Hamil­ton-to-auck­land cor­ri­dor within 30 years, as Gov­ern­ment, de­vel­op­ers, and tourism op­er­a­tors turn their at­ten­tion to this re­gion.

2. Af­ford­able hous­ing

Many Hamil­to­ni­ans (42 per cent rent) would like to own a home, but due to ris­ing house prices are un­able to. This Gov­ern­ment is work­ing to en­cour­age home own­er­ship through Ki­wibuild, var­i­ous grants, and po­ten­tial shared-equity schemes.

Spe­cial Hous­ing Ac­cords (SHAS) are a tool to bring hous­ing to the mar­ket through an ac­cel­er­ated re­source con­sent process. A por­tion of these houses must be un­der $500k. Hamil­ton-based SHAS have re­cently passed around 3000 houses; these are cur­rently be­ing con­sid­ered by Gov­ern­ment.

3. Com­mu­nity polic­ing

Our po­lice of­fi­cers do a fan­tas­tic job in our com­mu­nity, of­ten at the hard edge of so­ci­ety. This coali­tion Gov­ern­ment will fund an ex­tra 127 po­lice of­fi­cers in the Waikato re­gion over the next five years. I sup­port a com­mu­nity polic­ing model. In­creas­ing po­lice re­sourc­ing will en­able our po­lice force to do more in our com­mu­ni­ties, pre­vent­ing crime through build­ing re­la­tion­ships with lo­cal fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

4. Ma¯ ori tourism

One of goals of the Waikato Tourism Agency is around the Kin­gi­tanga and New Zealand Wars. The Kin­gi­tanga taonga (trea­sures) are cur­rently val­ued at $300 mil­lion. This Ma¯ ori tourism op­por­tu­nity is the largest un­tapped po­ten­tial in our re­gion. The Waikato River is our great­est nat­u­ral as­set. I ap­pre­ci­ate the work that has taken place by de­vel­op­ers to turn Hamil­ton to face the river, open­ing this area up, as we work to im­prove its wa­ter qual­ity.

5. Spe­cial projects

As a Gov­ern­ment MP, I bring key stake­hold­ers to­gether around col­lab­o­ra­tive op­por­tu­ni­ties.

I am ac­tively sup­port­ing the fol­low­ing lo­cal projects; Tainui In­land Port, Pa­cific Hub, Te Awa Lakes, Te Waka (REDA), North­ern Dis­tricts Cricket train­ing fa­cil­ity, Waikato Univer­sity Sports Hub, Re­gional Theatre, Sheep milk dryer at In­no­va­tion Park, Ru­ral Med­i­cal School, re­turn­ing All Black tests to Hamil­ton, Ro­to­tuna Hub, and a num­ber of health, ed­u­ca­tion and tech projects. Such is the pos­i­tiv­ity and growth in our re­gion, new ex­cit­ing projects are emerg­ing all the time.

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