Tracey Martin describes her years working as a credit controller, helping clients to create and implement plans to free them from debt, as some of her most rewarding work and this gave her the passion to seek to remove student debt. Tracey is the author of NZ First’s Up Front Investment Tertiary Policy, which shifts students from a financial debt to a skill debt. She was elected as a NZ First list MP based in Warkworth in 2011. For two Parliaments, Tracey has been a member of the Education and Science Select Committee, as well as working on bills at the Social Services Select Committee and the Justice and Electoral Select Committee. Tracey had her member’s bill – the Social Services (Orphans and Unsupported Children’s Clothing Allowance) Amendment Bill – drawn from the ballot in 2013. The bill passed with unanimous support at all stages and is now law. Passionate about youth employment, Tracey worked with local businesses and schools to create the Business Linked Internship Scheme. Her Warkworth parliamentary office has also initiated a ‘free’ book store for children and the “Days for Girls” projects in this area.
What is the biggest issue affecting Rodney?
For North Rodney, it is the Supercity: lower service levels, lack of public transport, rising house and rental prices, access to social and government services. Lack of post-secondary education opportunities for local young people. Roading, both rural maintenance and improvements and semi-urban issues, such as the Hill Street intersection and Penlink. Lack of 24-hour medical care, single crewing of ambulances and the need to travel to north or west Auckland to gain day surgery. Many of these concerns are under local government control, but have been created by central government. Rodney needs a brave MP. A local MP who understands that their job is to advocate, not climb through the parliamentary ranks.
As a list MP based in Rodney, I have advocated to ensure that NZ First has policies that will address many of the issues outlined. NZ First will ensure North Rodney has a localised, binding referendum on staying in or removing itself from the Supercity.
How will you and your party address local housing issues?
NZ First’s housing policy will be released in full in the next few weeks, but part of it will be the creation of Kiwi Build, which will sell residential sections on the basis of long-term agreements (up to 25 years) to first home buyers on a cost recovery basis, with low interest rates and other terms and conditions to make home ownership financially possible for the widest possible range of income groups.
Is Rodney being well served by the health system as the district expands?
Rodney is not well served. In the north, we lack 24-hour medical attention, we have single crewing of ambulances often and long trips for day surgery.
Where do you stand on immigration?
NZ First will drastically cut our level of immigration until we are able to house, educate, employ and care for the current New Zealand population
What are the biggest environmental challenges?
Access to quality drinking water in some areas, with well diggers telling us that they are having to drill deeper and deeper for non-contaminated water. The Mahurangi River is under extreme pressure, and the Sanderson bore is yet to fully come on line. Inundation from sea level rise as climate change continues to affect this and weather patterns. Protection of our special areas and the flora and fauna with the pressures of development.
What is uppermost in your mind when it comes to local educational needs?
Frustration that the Ministry of Education has no concrete plans to assist Mahurangi College to double in size. This expansion is informed by the Ministry’s own reports. NZ First has adopted the Business Linked Internship Scheme, first trialled in Warkworth in 2013. This scheme connects those 60 per cent of local young people who have achieved at college, but are not yet sure about the career they wish to pursue, with local businesses to gain in-work qualifications and on-the-job experience.
Are there any particular law and order issues you think need to be tackled?
In conversations with local police, the rise of ‘P’ use and availability is a major concern. This addiction leads on to crime to sustain the habit. NZ First is committed to 1800 more front line police and dual staff rural stations.
How will NZ First ensure that there will be enough jobs in Rodney to match growth?
I have hosted ambassadors from several of our trading partners. Showcasing small, niche local businesses with potential. NZ has been built on small to medium businesses, they will always remain a core of our economy, but given an opportunity I believe we can do much more locally.
Does your party support the building of the Penlink Road and bridge from Whangaparaoa peninsula to Redvale?
NZ First Transport Policy specifically mentions Hill Street and Penlink as priority projects. After more than 20 years of conversation, we need action not more talk. NZ First is committed to taking whatever action is required to get these projects completed asap.