National MP Andrew Bayly says ensuring the Hunua electorate gets its fair share of infrastructure and resources is top of his priorities list.
Bayly, who has been the MP for Hunua since 2014, is particularly determined to push for improvements in high-growth areas such as Beachlands, Maraetai and Clevedon.
While Bayly is pleased with the improvements already seen in the electorate since he was elected, including plans for a new 4-lane expressway between Pukekohe and Drury underway and funding for a new electrified railway between Pukekohe and Papakura, he says there is so much more he wants to do.
He says often people underestimate how much communities along the Pohutakawa Coast are set to grow and the significant demand for good public transport, schools and watercare upgrades there is.
“Auckland council has priorities across the whole of Auckland City and it’s my job to be out there advocating more strongly for prioritisation of areas like Beachlands and Clevedon.”
However, Bayly is confident in his ability to advocate for the community and his approach is simple.
“Show instead of tell.”
Just two months ago, Bayly invited Auckland Transport representatives out to Beachlands and Whitford to discuss necessary road safety improvements.
“I made them drive the gorge so they could see what it’s like. I want the people making the decisions to witness it, experience what it’s like to travel on a road like that,” he says.
He says there is no more powerful argument than letting people experience the issues for themselves.
“You can show people a map and talk about numbers all you want, but until you’ve taken them out, driven them round so that they can actually see where the problems are, you won’t get anywhere as fast as you need to get there,” he says.
Bayly says one of his biggest priorities if re-elected is to get the Ministry of Education to buy land to future-proof the building of a secondary school in Beachlands.
“I’m in an ongoing discussion with the Ministry of Education, because if they don’t buy one of three sections available now, they will lose the chance to buy a suitable site out here.”
The father of three says the greatest asset as the Hunua MP so far has been the connections he has formed with the members of his electorate.
“I have door knocked around 5000 houses this time round, and I plan to knock on thousands more before the 23rd.”
When asked why he thinks door knocking is so important he responds, “I don’t want anybody in my electorate to say that they haven’t seen me or had a chance to share their concerns.
“I don’t want anyone to be able to say that I’m not working hard for them.”