In my last two editorials for BHB Beacon, I discussed cases where my office had helped constituents with housing and immigration. These are the most common concerns that we assist with, but as a local MP I am involved in a wide variety of issues.
Traffic congestion around Blockhouse Bay and Lynfield is one issue I’m currently researching. In some instances, getting from A to B appears to take equal amounts of time by bus as it does on foot. This inconvenience means there isn’t much incentive to choose public transport over the comfort of a car, despite the delays caused by high levels of congestion. I’ve received a lot of feedback on this issue, with suggestions including: improving the location of the pedestrian crossing near Lynfield College, the need for safer cycle ways, encouraging car-pooling by making the bus lane a combined bus/T3 lane, and reinstating bus services like the 191. I’m in the process of collating these ideas for discussion with the Whau Local Board and Auckland Transport.
The first round of Winter Energy Payments has also been a hot topic. Hopefully those receiving it will find the extra assistance helpful. One constituent did alert us to the fact that the amount they received went into one partner’s bank account, rather than being split equally between them. They were advised to email the Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni, and they promptly received a phone call from MSD, who explained that the technology enabling split supplementary payments was still being developed. The situation is not ideal, but MSD advise that they are working hard to fix this in the future.
Deborah Russell, MP for New Lynn