Simeon Says Email Newsletter - April Update

As we head into Easter weekend and the school holidays, I wanted to update you on some of the key issues affecting our community. I also wanted to wish you a safe and happy Easter weekend.

For those who are Christians, this is an incredibly important time of the year, and I wish you a Happy Easter. Inside this newsletter, I talk about:

  • The Eastern Busway public meeting held earlier this week
  • National's Education policy, "Teaching the Basics Brilliantly"
  • Out and about at the Macleans College Carnival
  • Volunteer for our local campaign!

If you have any questions or concerns about these issues or others please get in touch. You can do this by calling my office on 09 572 0000 or emailing me at [email protected].

Eastern Busway Update - Public Meeting Follow-up

On Monday, I hosted a public meeting to provide an update to the community on progress for the Eastern Busway project and to allow residents in East Auckland to express their view on Auckland Transport’s (AT) proposed speed bumps on Ti Rakau Drive.

The message from East Aucklanders is clear: we don’t want speed bumps on our main arterial roads. Hundreds of people turned up to have their say, with AT saying they will take this feedback on board before making a final decision. Their representatives couldn’t explain the cost of these proposed speed bumps, which I am now following up on.

So far over 2200 people have signed the petition opposing these speed bumps. Next week I will be presenting this petition to Auckland Transport – please add your name here.

Other points that were also raised were the fact that the design now includes a right hand turn at the Ti Rakau Drive/Edgewater Drive intersection, which is great news for residents of Edgewater Drive and people who go to Edgewater College. There was also an update on construction, with confirmation that main construction would start next year.

Unfortunately, the Government has cut funding for the final stage of the project, meaning it won’t go all the way to the Botany Town Centre. This is despite Aucklanders paying a Regional Fuel Tax for this to be delivered. This is another example of Labour’s inability to deliver infrastructure, and another reason why we need a change of Government later this year.  

"Teaching the Basics Brilliantly"

National's Education Policy Announcement

National recently launched our new education policy, called "Teaching the Basics Brilliantly". As the name suggests, we believe the key focus of our education system should be to ensure Kiwi children have the basic skills they need to fulfil their potential and meet the challenges of the modern world head on.

Our policy contains four main commitments:

  • We will require all primary and intermediate schools to teach, on average, an hour a day each of reading, writing, and mathematics.
  • We will rewrite parts of the curriculum to ensure clarity on the specific knowledge and skills that need to be taught each year to each year group.
  • We will standardise assessments across all schools in reading, writing, and mathematics, and require schools to regularly report to parents the progress of their children. We will also compare their progress at least twice a year against the expectations of the rewritten curriculum.
  • Finally, we will introduce an exit exam for teaching graduates to demonstrate expertise in reading, writing, mathematics, and science instruction, and require existing teachers to undertake professional development in teaching the basics. We will also provide more classroom tools to help teachers with this important task.

The unfortunate reality is that educational achievement in New Zealand has mostly declined over the last several decades under successive governments. Our global ranking in these foundational subjects has steadily decreased, and it is clear we are letting the next generations down. A recent NCEA pilot demonstrated just how bad things have become, with two-thirds of students failing to meet literacy and numeracy standards the OECD says are needed to succeed in the modern world.

Something must change, and if elected later this year, a National government will bring that change and ensure future generations are taught the basics brilliantly. If you want to read our policy plan in greater detail, you can do so at our website by clicking here.

Macleans College Carnival

Over the weekend, the Macleans College Carnival was held on the college grounds with the community turning out in droves for this fantastic family event. Community events like these really are a highlight of being a local MP, and it was awesome to see so much support for the school. It was also great to see a couple of National's new candidates come along: Dr Carlos Cheung, who is standing in Mt Roskill, and Siva Kilari, who is standing in Manurewa, both of whom are working hard to help National win the election in October.

I look forward to the next carnival, and to the many other events like it that will be held in East Auckland this year!

Election 2023 - Become a volunteer for the National Party in Pakuranga!

This year's election is incredibly important for New Zealand. I know many of you are concerned about the direction our country has been heading in, and in October we have a chance to get things back on track by electing a National government led by Christopher Luxon.

If you want to be part of this movement and help change New Zealand for the better, please consider signing up as a local volunteer in Pakuranga for National if you haven't already. The more volunteers we have to help with our campaign tasks in the coming months, the better chance we have to deliver a strong result for National. We need help with all sorts of tasks, including pamphlet delivery, putting up signs, and at community events like the Macleans College Carnival above.

If you'd like to help and you think you can spare some time during the campaign, you can click the button below to fill out our volunteer form.

Thanks for your support!

Once again, please be safe over the coming holiday period and as always, feel free to reach out to me if you need any assistance.

Kind regards,

Simeon Brown

Member of Parliament for Pakuranga