As your newly elected Member of Parliament, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and tell you I consider it a real honour to be your MP. Over 15 months ago, I was selected by the National Party to be their candidate in Northland and I began my campaign to win the seat back. After a huge amount of hard work, I realised my dream by successfully unseating my opponent Winston Peters. The rest is history.
What followed are some pretty unprecedented events that not many people would have ever predicted. We now have a coalition government with some vastly different policy positions from what we have experienced over the last nine years. As with any change of government, there is always a period of uncertainty and concern and we will have to see how this plays out.
My focus is purely on Northland and improving our prospects and our future. I intend to ensure Northland is never forgotten in the seat of power and will not let any opportunity pass by me to do that. The Northland economic action plan, which was the culmination of a lot of work by Northlanders, identified the Puhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance as the single biggest driver of economic growth. The first leg of this motorway from Puhoi to Warkworth is under construction and preliminary work had begun on the second leg from Warkworth to Wellsford. We had also committed to starting the northern leg from Whangarei to Northport in 2019.
This current coalition government has poured cold water on this project. We need to highlight this poor decision on their part and keep the pressure on. The Greens and Labour have opposed our extensive Roads of National Significance building projects from the start, despite clear evidence it has led to very positive outcomes. They have a love affair with rail, which from a Northland perspective does not stack up economically.
I do, however, feel confident in our long term future. We have plenty to be proud of and to look forward to. In recent years we have experienced record growth in tourism, employment, building consents, new car sales, export earnings and more.
Matt King, MP for Northland