Minister Michael Woodhouse is quick off the mark when it comes to leading overseas trips but...
Monday, 25 February 2013
I have lived, worked and studied in Palmerston North since 1998 and am proud to have been its MP since 2008. My working life has been focussed on being an advocate for many different groups of people seeking to create positive change in New Zealand. I have enjoyed the opportunity to extend that experience into my role as an electorate MP, achieving success for both individuals and groups and supporting Palmerston North people to access Parliament and the political system.
Palmerston North has many strengths and, with the right support from central Government, we can do much more to play to those strengths, build our economy and strengthen our community. I believe there are three priority areas we need to work on:
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Between Massey University, our Crown Research Institutes, the Bio Commerce Centre and Fonterra we have the highest concentration of research scientists per capita in the Southern Hemisphere. Palmerston North generates some amazing ideas but where we struggle is turning those ideas into viable businesses that create good jobs and earn export dollars.
Better funding for tertiary education, a capital gains tax to encourage investment in the productive sector and research and development tax credits are vital if we are to create opportunities for innovative businesses to thrive in the Manawatu.
A Transport and Distribution Hub
Our central location gives us a natural competitive advantage as a distribution hub for both goods and passengers. Businesses such as EziBuy, the supermarket chains and numerous trucking firms have already taken advantage of this. But we can do much more. To be able to achieve this, we need a Government that can see beyond the major centres in its transport policy, so that our region gets a fair go. We need a commitment to upgrade our rail network. We need a safe, efficient and reliable link to the Port of Napier. And we need to restore Palmerston North Airport’s international status.
Manawatu Defence Hub
Manawatu already plays a significant role in ensuring we have a modern, efficient and effective military force. Enhancing that role is not only a good idea for the Manawatu, it is good for our Defence Force by creating a critical mass of defence infrastructure and personnel. Linton Army Camp should remain. Ohakea should be expanded by moving components of other bases onto that site. A Defence College should be established at the current Teachers’ College in Hokowhitu.
Military families are a vital part of Palmerston North’s community and economy. We need a Government that will grow that connection.
We also need to make sure our river is cleaned up, that cycling as a transport as well as recreation option is made more viable and that the vibrancy of our CBD is restored. I am excited about the opportunity to continue working on these and other projects both as the MP for Palmerston North and as a member of the Labour team in Parliament.
Email: email@example.com | Phone: 04 817 9192 | Fax: 04 817 6490
Address: Freepost PO Box 18 888, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6160
Phone: 04 817 6967
Address: 46 Princess Street, PO Box 1430, Palmerston North 4440
Phone: 06 356 5958