The Mapp Report: Shore to the Fore
SHORE TO THE FORE
This week, Shore people have been to the fore, with the Queen's Birthday Honours, and Tribute 08 for the Vietnam Veterans.
The weekend's events for Tribute 08 proved to be more deeply cathartic and healing than anyone could have imagined. The programme was carefully thought through, with the intent of salving old wounds. On Saturday the whakanoa, involving the apology to all the assembled veterans, was deeply appreciated. On Sunday, the memorial service followed by the apology from the New Zealand Defence Force, and a 37 gun salute for the fallen, capped the weekend. The New Zealand Defence Force apology given by Lt Gen Mateparae was received with a standing ovation. It means a great deal to servicepeople to have the most senior officer in Defence recognising that the New Zealand Defence Force had not stood by its people in the way it should have.
Much of the planning for the Tribute 08 weekend was undertaken by Chris Mullane, resident in Devonport. Chris retired from the New Zealand Army in 1988 as a Lieutenant Colonel, and had been a platoon commander in Vietnam. Chris knows the importance of redemption, and it was essential that Tribute 08 had this element as its central feature.
New Zealand prides itself as an innovative nation, but the statistics show we have a low level of patents, and struggle to build global companies. We have to change this for the future of New Zealand otherwise more and more people will leave for greater opportunities elsewhere.
Peter Maire, who was awarded a DCMNZ (equivalent to a knighthood) in the Queen's Birthday Honours, has been a technological innovator with his GPS navigation systems. He has built a company with a global brand, something few innovators achieve. Recently he spoke at a Rosmini College breakfast about how important it is for New Zealand entrepreneurs to break free from the local or trans-Tasman market. It's thinking like Peter's that will be instrumental in how our nation succeeds.
The most important priority for the next government will be building the framework for economic success. This is neglected at the moment, with only a half-hearted approach, crowded out by social concerns. We cannot afford to be distracted from the big goal, and that is getting our economy going so that New Zealanders will be confident in building their lives here.
I was very pleased to see Dianne Hale awarded a QSO. Dianne has been a tireless worker for the city, having been involved in local government for nearly 20 years. Much of the city's infrastructure, the stadium, Bruce Mason, the Busway, Albany centre, and our clean beaches, are a direct result of her advocacy and hard work. Improving a city does not happen by accident, or by benign neglect. People actually have to make the decisions that will build the city. Ten years ago most North Shore residents worked outside the city, today they mostly work in the city. Dianne's leadership of North Shore City over the last two decades has been justly recognised by this award.
OUT AND ABOUT
In the electorate
This week I have been continuing my regular school visits programme, visiting St Leo's, Mairangi Bay Primary and Stanley Bay School. North Shore schools consistently set high standards, and as a result our children receive an excellent standard of education. The recent North Shore Times article was good evidence of this.
There are, however, still some challenges. Virtually every school has to raise a large amount of money locally, just to meet parents' modern education expectations. Schools are constantly battling bureaucracy, dealing with huge demands for form filling from Wellington. What schools really want is to be able to get on with teaching our children.
As it was World Environment Day when I visited St Leo's School in Devonport, I was able to take part in a tree planting ceremony in the butterfly garden. This garden is designed to build children's understanding of New Zealand's unique flora and fauna.
Sunnynook Community Constable
Last Tuesday I met with a number of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators at the Sunnynook Community Centre. There is real concern that Community Constable Penny Rusbatch will have to move her office out of the community.
Much of Constable Rusbatch's work relies on criminal intelligence gathered from people dropping into her office. This source of intelligence is likely to disappear if she is based at Police HQ. I have been meeting with Inspector Les Patterson and Mayor Andrew Williams to get a more workable solution to this problem, to meet the needs of the Sunnynook community.
6 June 2008
CONSTITUENTS CLINIC - MAIRANGI BAY
10.00am - 11.00am
Saturday 7 June
Bay Arts Centre, Hastings Road, Mairangi Bay.
No appointment necessary
"KICK-STARTING THE ECONOMY"
7.30pm to 10.00pm
Wednesday 11 June
Netball North Harbour Northcote Road (next motorway exit)
Dr David Skilling,
New Zealand Institute
CONSTITUENTS CLINIC - DEVONPORT
9.30am - 11.00am
Saturday 21 June
Devonport Library, Devonport
No appointment necessary
Dr Wayne Mapp
For more information on National visit www.national.org.nz or have a say at www.johnkey.co.nz
Visit my website for more information at: www.waynemapp.co.nz