Erica Stanford - MP for East Coast Bays | May 2023
It’s been a very busy start to the year. The Auckland Anniversary weekend floods took us all by surprise. We knew the weather was going to be horrible, but certainly didn’t expect the destruction and devastation that took place. I have never seen water rise so quickly and cut off so many communities.
Browns Bay was hit really hard. All of the bottom of Beach Road flooded. Businesses and homes alike were filled with water within minutes. Royale Kitchens at the top of the commercial zone had a torrent run through their showroom. All of their cabinets floated down the road and into other businesses. Holgate Panel-beaters lost over 40 cars, and Liv-On Lifestyle Gym lost all their equipment two weeks out from their grand opening.
After the floods I heard story after story of damage across the electorate. On one hand it was a heart-breaking experience, but on the other, it was warming to see our community come together and support one another. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who contacted me offering their time to help those in need.
It was a privilege to be able to physically help by clearing out businesses and homes. I can tell you, I will be happy if I never smell damp, rotten carpet again!
Agak Agak Foods made over 600 single serve meals to give away. I want to thank Cynthia and her volunteers for supporting the community with such incredible generosity. After seeing so much devastation, it was wonderful to be able to bring a smile to people’s faces by giving them some free meals for their fridge/freezer. What a way to show people that we care!
This whole experience has reminded me once again of the amazing community that we live in. The East Coast Bays truly is the best place to live.
If you are still in a situation where you need help after the floods, please don’t hesitate to contact my office.
WHERE'S MY BUS - PUBLIC MEETING
The public and school bus systems are failing us. Every day buses are canceled leaving people stranded. Kids are being left behind when trying to get to school and people are having to Uber to work.
I’ve been inundated with messages from upset commuters and parents about the problems with school and public buses:
!! Daily public bus cancellations
!! Overloaded school buses
!! School kids being left at bus stops
!! Kids late for school
!! Parents having to drive kids to school
I had previously been told by AT (Auckland Transport) that this is due to a bus driver shortage but this has been going on too long and is getting progressively worse.
I held a public meeting to give people the opportunity to share their stories and experiences. AT were invited, and I’m grateful they attended to hear first-hand what people are going through.
It was overwhelming to see over 120 people attend, with many watching on the live stream. It was clear that a lot of people were very upset by the situation.
I want to thank all those that shared their stories, especially the school kids - it was really brave to stand up in front of the crowd and tell AT your experience!
As AT’s response they simply said it won’t likely be resolved until September due to the delay in getting more drivers from overseas.
I was hoping for more information or ways they are looking at resolving the issues in the short-term. I will continue to keep an open dialogue with AT. I want to see them prioritise school kids trying to get to school, and schedule more buses during peak times.
You can watch a recording of the meeting on my website:
You can also follow me on Facebook to stay updated
GLENVAR ROAD SLIP
My office has recently received further updates from AT about the slip at Glenvar Road.
The power lines have now been relocated. This was the first part of the process because if these lines came down, all of Torbay would lose power.
Although you won’t always see it onsite, work to repair Glenvar Road is well underway. AT are currently finalising the plans and specifications for the repair works and expect construction to begin in May or June.
The works will be done under emergency settings allowing AT to fast track some parts of the process. It is expected that Glenvar Road will be fully open by the end of November. In time for summer!
Due to that section of road being closed, we have seen a massive increase in
traffic on the smaller surrounding streets. These streets are not built for heavy vehicles so to try to minimise damage, ‘residents only’ and 30km speed limit signs have been installed.
If you are having issues with big vehicles driving down your street, please try to get a number plate and call 105 (the non-emergency Police line). We have asked Police to monitor the area and ticket people, but we also need residents to report issues.
I completely appreciate this is very frustrating for many people. There was no way of knowing the Auckland Anniversary floods would cause so much damage. AT are doing all they can to minimise disruption for residents, and get the road repaired as quickly as possible.
SUPPORTING A REFUGEE FAMILY
I was made aware of a Syrian refugee family that had moved into our Electorate. I won’t go into details about their very sad story, but needless to say they needed our help.
They arrived in our electorate August last year with their four children under New Zealand’s refugee resettlement programme. They have been able to settle into a home and school, seek much-needed medical attention and become familiar with our fantastic community.
It quickly became clear they needed a car to get to medical appointments etc. (due to their situation they have to go to a specific doctor in another suburb). After passing their NZ driver’s licenses I bought together some amazing businesses and community groups to help fund a car.
With the outstanding financial generosity of GVI - Genuine Vehicle Imports, Rotary Browns Bay, Winsdor Park Church, and City Impact Church, they now have their very own car!
A special thank you also goes to Rangitoto College who have gone above and beyond to welcome and support this family. One of their teachers was even driving them to appointments during their personal time.
It was incredibly heart-warming to witness our community coming together to offer such amazing support.
TEACHING THE BASICS BRILLIANTLY
Our education system is failing too many children. National will make sure schools are teaching the basics brilliantly, so every child has the opportunity to succeed.
Our plan will ensure kids have the foundation they need in reading, writing, maths and science to set them up for success.
Under National, parents will know if their kids are doing well, or more importantly, if they’re falling behind. It’s not acceptable to allow children to fall further and further behind without anyone noticing or taking action to help them catch up.
National will set every child in New Zealand up for success and restore excellence to the heart of the education system.
An hour each on reading, writing and maths every day
Minimum requirements for what schools must teach every year in reading, writing, maths and science
Regular standardised assessment and clear reporting to parents
Better training and more tools to support teachers
Education is a critical tool for unlocking a better future for New Zealand and equipping the next generation with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to succeed. A high-quality education system is essential for driving social mobility, helping break cycles of poverty, and building a future-ready workforce.
Please feel welcome to read the policy with all the details on my website: www.EricaStanfordMP.co.nz/policy
OUT AND ABOUT