Blindsided by Eastern Busway delay

It was extremely disappointing to learn about Auckland Transport’s surprise two-year delay to the delivery of the Eastern Busway a few weeks ago.

I’m shocked our community was blindsided over this major delay to a vital piece of infrastructure for east Auckland. After a decade of neglect, the Eastern Busway represents a significant step towards resolving the congestion that is plaguing our community.

However, I’m also saddened by the misinformation being spread. The suggestion that Eastern Busway funding has been diverted to fund the New Northern Pathway is simply untrue.

I’m proud of the Government’s commitment to funding transport infrastructure for east Auckland. We filled the previous Government’s $6.2 billion funding hole and have used the Regional Fuel Tax to fund projects like the Eastern Busway. These are solutions, rather than scaremongering.

Elsewhere, recent events across Australia and in Wellington have been a good reminder that we are not out of the woods yet with Covid. Our vaccine roll-out remains on track, with well over a million doses now administered and almost 450,000 people fully vaccinated.

Last week I was also pleased to see another suite of changes has taken effect that will make a real difference in our community.

We’re putting more money into the pockets of Kiwi families with main benefits going up by $20 per week. This will help people put food on the table and afford essentials like warm clothing.

We’re making sure everyone has a warm, dry place to call home. From July 1, all private rental properties must meet our Healthy Homes Standards within a few months of any new tenancy to ensure they’re safe and dry for tenants and families.

We’re supporting people into study and jobs with changes to the Training Incentive Allowance that kick in this week. We’ve expanded the programme to help around 16,000 sole parents, carers and people with disabilities on eligible benefits into higher-level study so these people can start to build new careers.

We’re also celebrating a year since we launched free apprenticeships and targeted trades training which more than 135,000 people have now benefited from.

These are just some of the changes that come in this month and they’re only part of our ongoing work to secure our recovery.

  • Naisi Chen, Labour list MP based in Botany