About Auckland Central
The Auckland Central electorate is a very diverse community. Within the Western Bays there are many different communities from Ponsonby to Grey Lynn to Westmere. The suburbs of Auckland Central include Arch Hill, the Central City, Freemans Bay, Grey Lynn, Herne Bay, Mechanics Bay, Newton, Ponsonby, St Marys Bay, Western Springs and Westmere. Auckland Central also includes a number of islands in the Hauraki Gulf including Great Barrier Island and Waiheke Island.
Central Auckland has changed dramatically over several decades. There used to be only a couple of thousand people living the central city and now there are over 20,000 people living primarily in apartments. About half of the people living in the city are permanent residents and the others are visitors to our city. Central Auckland is also home to thousands of students, businesses and community organisations. Each day about 80,000 people will come to work in the city and over 60,000 students will study at the many tertiary institutions. Our central city is home to many places of national significance including Auckland’s waterfront.
Our waterfront could be the best in the world and I am proud to have helped deliver the Auckland Governance reform and the Council Controlled Organisation Waterfront Auckland. Waterfront Auckland has been working hard to unlock the potential of our waterfront so that more Aucklanders can have access to it.
The development of Wynyard Quarter and Jellicoe Street represent significant progress for our city. Unlike other parts of the electorate it is hard for me to personally knock on doors to meet residents. I have personally written to residents several times since I have been elected including a personal invitation to all residents, inviting them to meet me at public meetings held in the central city. Central Auckland is home to many superb areas with stunning restaurants and bars including the Viaduct Basin and Britomart. I am passionate about public transport and have been working to help to deliver the Central City Rail link and a tram loop linking central Auckland with the Western bays.
Central Auckland is home to many superb areas with stunning restaurants and bars including the Viaduct Basin and Britomart. I am passionate about public transport and have been working to help to deliver the Central City Rail link and a tram loop linking central Auckland with the Western bays.
Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island is a stunning island 90km north-east of Auckland. The island is home to a small community of about 700 permanent residents. In terms of community services, there are three schools on the island and a health centre. For a small community there are also many organisations and groups that contribute massively to the island like the Rural Woman Awana Branch and the Great Barrier Island Community Health Trust. The island is home to a massive part of the Department of Conservations estate for Auckland.
Great Barrier is becoming a tourist destination with over 40,000 tourists visiting per year. Each year the island holds a number of events including the annual Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf event which attracts a number of visitors. I have run in the Wharf to Wharf and I believe it is one of the toughest but most beautiful marathons in New Zealand.
Over the summer months the Island’s population swells with Aucklanders and other New Zealanders travelling to stay in the many baches on the island. You can travel to the Barrier by plane and by ferry.
I enjoy holding constituency clinics on the island, I try to visit the community 4 times a year which is about right for the number of people living there. I am always amazed at the locals resilience, friendliness and their ability to deliver local projects and community initiatives at a light speed pace.
Waiheke Island is home to about 8000 people of which about half are permanent residents. The island has a very diverse community with 4 schools on the island. There are many small businesses, environmental and community groups located on the island. Each year there are many events including the annual Onetangi Beach races, the Waiheke Jazz fest and the Waiheke Wharf to Wharf. You can travel to the island by ferry from downtown and east Auckland. Waiheke has become a major tourism destination with over 750,000 tourists visiting each year.
There are several vineyards and many other tourist attractions. The islands wine is world class with an international reputation. I try to visit the island on average twice a month. I am also very proud to represent a community that really pitches in for its most disadvantaged. As the local MP I have seen many locals rally around families or individuals who have had a tough time. The locals have a proud history of being vocal and being active in local politics. I am proud to represent an island with such a strong voice.
The Western Bays include the suburbs of Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Freemans Bay, St Marys Bay, Herne Bay, Westmere, Arch Hill, Grafton and Newton. Each suburb is different with its own special character.
I am passionate about trams and I would love to see a tram loop delivered in the Western bays. I have asked the Mayor and NZTA to conduct a feasibility study into extending Auckland’s Tram system.
The Western Bays has grown significantly over the last couple of decades. There are more and more young families living in areas like Westmere and Ponsonby. This has caused significant pressure on schools. I have been working with the Minister of Education to redress this with an Auckland Central demographic study. We have already increased the roll of St Marys school from 800 – 1000 to ensure there is greater secondary school access for people living in the Western Bays.