Don’t for­get about grow­ing the re­gions

South Waikato News - - Out & About - MIKE BAIN

For­mer gov­ern­ment min­is­ter Louise Up­ston hopes the new Labour-led coali­tion won’t dump plans to ex­tend the Waikato Ex­press­way south of Cam­bridge.

There was a per­cep­tion plans for the up­grade, from Cam­bridge to Piarere, and long-term plans to ex­tend the ex­press­way to Tau­ranga, were un­der threat.

Up­ston said she hoped the new gov­ern­ment pays at­ten­tion to the Waikato as it’s a grow­ing re­gion.

That in­cluded con­tin­u­ing with road­ing in­fra­struc­ture projects.

‘‘We have to en­sure the op­por­tu­ni­ties which come with growth don’t be­come a headache for us.

‘‘If there is one ques­tion I have been asked, it’s will they con­tinue with the plans for the Cam­bridge to Piarere ex­ten­sion of Waikato Ex­press­way?

‘‘And now it’s a ques­tion I am un­able to an­swer, it’s a bit of an un­known at this stage.’’

Prior to the coali­tion de­ci­sion, Up­ston was the Corrections Min­is­ter and was dis­ap­pointed not to be able to carry on.

‘‘One of the op­por­tu­ni­ties you have as a min­is­ter is be­ing able to work with some in­cred­i­ble groups of pub­lic ser­vants.

‘‘I have ap­pre­ci­ated the op­por­tu­nity of a life­time to have been able to work as a min­is­ter in cabi­net and the op­por­tu­nity to make a dif­fer­ence to the lives of New Zealan­ders.’’

Up­ston said it was ‘‘too early’’ to talk about whether she would sup­port a change of lead­er­ship for the Na­tional Party.

‘‘I’m hop­ing he [Bill English] doesn’t make any rash de­ci­sions as he has been a huge part of New Zealands suc­cess.’’

She now finds her­self in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory on the op­po­si­tion bench and has vowed to con­tinue to work just as hard for the elec­torate.

‘‘As the MP for Taupo I want to as­sure you that I will con­tinue to work hard and ad­vo­cate strongly on your be­half.

Cam­bridge Cham­ber of Com­merce Chief ex­ec­u­tive Tania Withe­ford was pleased a coali­tion agree­ment had been made, end­ing the post-elec­tion un­cer­tainty.

‘‘The sooner we un­der­stand de­tails of vi­tal poli­cies, min­is­te­rial po­si­tions and fi­nal gov­ern­ment ar­range­ments the bet­ter, as it will give the con­fi­dence and cer­tainty our mem­bers re­quire.’’

She said there was a need for a strong fo­cus on re­gional de­vel­op­ment and did not want to see any ‘knee-jerk’’ changes from the new Gov­ern­ment..

Taupo MP Louise Up­ston.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.