Collins on sixth cam­paign trail

Papakura Courier - - FRONT PAGE - NIGEL MOFFIET

Ju­dith Collins says there is plenty more in the tank af­ter 15 years rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple of Pa­pakura.

‘‘You’ve got to have a lot of drive and en­ergy to do this job and I’ve got a lot of drive and en­ergy,’’ she says.

‘‘I am a bat­tler al­right, I love a fight, I love a good ar­gu­ment and I love a chal­lenge.’’

Collins has been elected five times since win­ning the for­mer Cleve­don seat in 2002. She is busy on the cam­paign trail once again in the hope of win­ning Pa­pakura for her sixth election.

Keep­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects tick­ing along is a big pri­or­ity, she says.

With the $268 mil­lion Auck­land South­ern Cor­ri­dor Im­prove­ments project un­der­way from Hill Rd to Pa­pakura the fo­cus is now on the Mill Road cor­ri­dor up­grade.

Ad­vo­cat­ing for the NZ Trans­port Agency to take on the project, rather than Auck­land Trans­port, is im­por­tant to ‘‘get the gov­ern­ment money com­ing in’’, she says.

‘‘So that’s cur­rently in the mix right now.’’

Collins is also proud of Na­tional’s com­mit­ment to spend $130m to elec­trify the track be­tween Pa­pakura and Pukekohe. This will re­duce the num­ber of com­muters us­ing Pa­pakura as a park and ride des­ti­na­tion, she says.

Law and or­der is an­other is­sue Collins is pas­sion­ate about, hav­ing twice been Min­is­ter of Po­lice. Last year she over­saw plans which will see an ex­tra 880 sworn and 245 non-sworn po­lice staff over the next four years.

She also sup­ports mea­sures to send youth of­fend­ers to a Wai- ouru boot camp and have them in ‘‘the lov­ing care of the NZ army for a while’’.

‘‘And if that doesn’t sort them out then they’ll go to jail.’’

Mean­while, the is­sue of poverty is be­ing tack­led by cre­at­ing more jobs, Collins says.

She points to Drury which will be de­vel­oped ‘‘like a whole new city’’ over the next few years, sup­port­ing thou­sands of new jobs along the way.

But she be­lieves poverty in her elec­torate has im­proved.

‘‘It’s cer­tainly noth­ing as a pro­por­tion to what it used to be when we didn’t have a grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.’’

As for a housing cri­sis, Collins ‘‘wouldn’t use that lan­guage’’.

‘‘I would say we need to build more houses which is what we’re do­ing,’’ she says.

NIGEL MOFFIET/STUFF

Pa­pakura Na­tional Party can­di­date Ju­dith Collins first won the for­mer Cleve­don seat in 2002.

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