The Northland Age

We are working to fix things


There are plenty of challenges that threaten our whā nau and our people having a better future. To me, the purpose of being in politics is to make a difference, not just in the here and now, but for the future. After all, as the latest

Air NZ safety video tells us, we have not inherited this world, we have borrowed it from our mokopuna.

The Mangamuka Gorge is closed due to a once in a 100-year weather event. The fact that it came just two years after the last once in a 100-year weather event is easily overlooked.

Calling something a once in a 100-year weather event has become meaningles­s. These events are now happening every year.

The extreme weather patterns causing the roads to washout are not isolated events. They are now an establishe­d pattern, caused by climate change.

With the next fastest route taking over half an hour longer, the cost has increased for households and businesses. The closed gorge affects us all.

There are about 19 slips in a 13km stretch of the Gorge road, and these slips are the result of more extreme weather events caused by climate change.

Patching up slips is not going to patch up the climate. So we need to think long-term.

We cannot only fix the easy stuff and leave our children’s children to inherit the mess.

We collaborat­e with affected sectors on solutions only to have them in turn criticise those very solutions they helped determine.

Regardless, we must continue doing what is right.

This Government is making a difference for our future, working through challenges with long-term focused decision-making.

Because fixing symptoms won’t fix the long-term problem.

This Government has been working to improve a health system that had a decade of underfundi­ng, working to get on top of a housing crisis, working to lift our tamariki out of child poverty.

These are huge generation­al challenges, and this Government is making progress by investing in people.

Just last week, Peeni Henare announced further investment in partnering with Te Pouahi o Te Tai Tokerau to build another 100 houses in the North, more than 215,000 people have taken up free apprentice­ships and targeted trades training, we have invested $3.6 billion in schools and $1.5b in capital investment in health, we’ve invested in wages and lifted 66,000 children out of poverty.

If we have only borrowed the world from our children’s children, we need to make sure we return it better than we received it.

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