Vi­sion vi­tal to boost econ­omy

North Waikato News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - NANAIA MAHUTA

Early this month, fur­ther job losses were ex­pe­ri­enced in the small town of Huntly.

Ap­prox­i­mately eight sub­con­tracted jobs from the Huntly Power Sta­tion and 35 po­si­tions from a lo­cal health provider were dis­es­tab­lished.

This will add to the lo­cal job loss toll re­sult­ing from cuts at the Huntly East mine.

The stresses will be felt in many ways, but I be­lieve Huntly and much of the North Waikato dis­trict needs elected lo­cal body rep­re­sen­ta­tives who have a vi­sion for the re­gion.

We can­not rely on big projects and should think about how we at­tract small busi­nesses to the re­gion and con­trib­ute to a tourism ex­pe­ri­ence.

We need a dif­fer­ent set of so­lu­tions to pro­mote lo­cal busi­ness and re­gional growth.

The Labour Party hosted the Fu­ture of Work Con­fer­ence ear­lier this year and we be­lieve that cre­at­ing jobs that build the lo­cal econ­omy and re­spond to the chal­lenges ahead will be cen­tral to the next Labour Gov­ern­ment.

Bet­ter cen­tral, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, iwi and small busi­ness part­ner­ing for lo­cal ser­vices such as hous­ing and in­fra­struc­ture is worth con­sid­er­ing.

In our dis­trict it doesn’t make sense turn­ing rich fer­tile soils in Pukekohe for food pro­duc­tion into more hous­ing for Auck­land.

There is real op­por­tu­nity for other parts of our dis­trict to be utilised for hous­ing along the main rail trunk line.

Lo­cal lead­er­ship and vi­sion will be re­quired to make that hap­pen.

Huntly in par­tic­u­lar should have some sig­na­ture busi­ness ven­tures that at­tract peo­ple to our town.

One top pick in my book is a tuna or eel aqua­cul­ture farm busi­ness.

The pro­tein is a sta­ple for Asian di­ets and the prod­uct has ex­port po­ten­tial.

Im­por­tantly Huntly or Rahui Pokeka as it was for­merly known - was known for its abun­dant eel pro­duc­tion in pre-Euro­pean times.

I grew up in Huntly, in my early years peo­ple re­lied on the heavy in­dus­try Labour mar­ket for work to feed their whanau.

Sadly that is no longer the case and we need to look for other al­ter­na­tives.

We have the Waikato River, we have po­ten­tial space for smart devel­op­ment, we have a suc­cess­ful iwi and we need ac­tive coun­cil­lors who rep­re­sent the fu­ture not the past of our dis­trict

To­gether with vi­sion our re­gion has the ca­pac­ity to do bet­ter.

Nanaia Mahuta is the MP­for MPHau­raki-Waikato, spokesper­son Con­ser­va­tio, Treaty of Wai­tangi ne­go­ti­a­tions, Whanau Ora

About time too. Can any cat owner ex­plain why my dog has to be reg­is­tered and mi­crochipped and un­der con­trol at all times, yet cats don’t have any rules ap­ply­ing to them. Pe­ter Lo­gan, on Face­book, post­ing to stuff.co.nz story on Let­ters should not ex­ceed 250 words and must have full name, res­i­den­tial ad­dress and phone num­ber. The editor re­serves the right to abridge or with­hold any cor­re­spon­dence. Let­ter may be edited for sense, pa­per’s style, brevity or good taste. Let­ters may be re­ferred to others for right of re­ply. Write to Let­ters to the Editor, North Waikato News, PO Box 14, Pukekohe or email julie.kaio@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz.

Nanaia Mahuta

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