Denton Park in Hornby is looking pretty spruce after the efforts of Helping Hands volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Saturday.
On the 15th of February over 200 pairs of hands were out cleaning up graffiti across Christchurch in a collaboration between the City Council, Helping Hands and myself.
It was an awesome effort by everyone involved, who deserve thanks for making important spaces in our city much nicer places to be.
The City Council provided the paint and equipment for our volunteers who were divided into two groups. The youth, 17 and under, worked in teams of four with an adult driver. They were assigned a specific communit...
Last year was the inaugural presentation of the Jim Anderton Trophy at three high schools in the electorate - Hornby, Riccarton and Hilmorton. Each school used the cup to reward slightly different things.
Hilmorton awarded for commitment to sustainability, conservation and making progress towards change. Hornby awarded theirs as the proxime to the dux and Riccarton awarded theirs to a student who was working to better the school and community.
At the end of last year, the three winners came into the office for a morning tea with Jim and I. It was great to meet these three exceptional young people. We were both so impressed with their commitment to making their...
Upon returning to Parliament this year I asked the Minister for Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee whether the implementation plan for the central city transport chapter, due at the end of last year, had been completed.
The plan has been subject to constant delays since it was originally announced in 2012, so when the Minister responded last week that there would be further delays and it wouldn't be ready for another five months, I was understandably frustrated.
Good transport infrastructure is critical for encouraging people back to the centre of the city, so getting the plan underway should be a top priority for the Minister and the Christchurch...
After an incredibly difficult time for the Hornby & Hoon Hay Communities, the new year 7-13 High Schools of Hornby and Hilmorton officially opened at the end of January. I was pleased to be there with both communities as their new chapters unfolded.
The good news is that Hornby will finally get new permanent buildings within the next couple of years - the original temporary prefabs from 40 years ago will finally be replaced. Likewise, Hilmorton will have some great new facilities.
I want to thank all the students, parents and staff at Manning & Branston Intermediates for remaining so committed to making 2013 the best it could be even though they knew t...
The election year began with David Cunliffe announcing Labour's commitment to ensuring all New Zealand children have the best start possible.
The Best Start package David announced offers parents earning under $150,000 a $60 weekly payment for the first year of their child's life. We've also committed to extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks, in line with Sue Moroney's Member's bill, as well as a number of other measures that together will make a difference at a crucial time in every child's life.
The Best Start package is an important step towards making sure every child in New Zealand is born into an environment of opportunity. Our children deserve nothing...
The transport plan for the central city was finally released by Gerry Brownlee in October. While the plan itself has some good stuff in it, it's taken far too long and the Minister needs to give us some assurances that he will hold his officials to the next set of deadlines they've been set.
If you're interested in reading more about the transport plan, The Press article can be found here. I had the opportunity to discuss the plan on NewstalkZB with Chris Lynch, which you can listen to here.
Last month Hekia Parata was given a court-determined fail grade after the High Court ruled that the closure of Phillipstown school was unlawful.
This is the second time this year that the Minister's decision making has been brought before the courts and succesfully challenged and shows that our children and communities deserve, and should expect, more from the Minister of Education.
I'm thrilled for Phillipstown. This is a community that has stood up and told the Minister it was not prepared to take her shoddy treatment. Those involved are an inspiration and deserve our congratulations. Special mention to Principal Tony Simpson, who's thrown everything behind...
One major local issue I've been dealing with throughout 2013 has been congestion and parking issues in and around the Addington area.
After distributing a survey to local residents in March, I brought together a grouping of Christchurch City Council , ECan Transport, VBase, Addington Raceway, the local community (through Manuka Cottage) and local business representatives. Not a usual group to get together, but a hugely productive group that really wanted to sort out the traffic chaos that Addington is experiencing.
The Christchurch City Council has now completed their consultation on parking restrictions on the residential side-streets. This should mean Addingto...
David Cunliffe was welcomed as Labour's new leader last month and has been working hard to shift our focus from being an opposition party to a government-in-waiting. We've seen a big boost of momentum coming out of the leadership hustings and we're in good fighting shape for next year's election.
Labour's annual conference was held at the start of November where David announced that Labour will establish a State-Owned Insurer called 'KiwiAssure', to provide a local alternative in an industry dominated by foreign-owned businesses.
KiwiAssure will operate as a sister company to KiwiBank and will offer home, contents, and vehicle insurance, along with cover for s...
Almost a thousand Labour delegates converged in Wigram during October for three days of serious politics; scrutinising hundreds of pages of policy, listening to some inspiring words from community leaders and even participating in the campaign for Poto Williams.
I was asked to be MC for the weekend and by Sunday it was clear that Labour is now geared up with some serious momentum for next year's election campaign.
The policy platform puts us on a firm footing to offer people a real alternative to National. The party also elected a great bunch of representatives in key roles across the party. On top of the core work carried out by delegates at the conference, D...