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Collins Comments - August 3

Collins Comments - August 3

Hon Judith Collins, MP for Papakura

Supporting seniors in Papakura

Papakura has a tremendous community spirit with many of our community volunteers being senior New Zealanders. We are fortunate to have that commitment by so many.

This year superannuation increases far ahead of inflation at 66 percent of the average wage. Since 2008 the married rate is up by $249 a fortnight and the single rate up by $162 a fortnight. For those unable to live independently, there is increased funding to aged residential care by $240 million and special care is up by 25 percent since 2008.

The Government also funds 27 elder abuse and neglect prevention services around New Zealand. These offer assistance to older people and their families. One of these is Age Concern Counties Manukau. It is opening The Vintage Store in Papakura that will sell good quality clothes and books to fund more counselling services for seniors.

NCEA Level 2 Achievements boosted

It is great to see Papakura’s secondary schools are producing higher numbers of students achieving level 2 NCEA qualifications each year. In 2014, 75 per cent of 18 year olds had achieved this level or its equivalent – a big improvement. The Government has a target for 85 per cent of 18-year-olds to achieve NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification by 2017.

To make this happen, 23 Trades Academies have opened nationally so students can achieve NCEA Level 2 while gaining industry-specific skills. For students in the Papakura Electorate, Manukau Institute of Technology offers trade certificates and secondary tertiary studies.

Raising achievement at school will be supported by the Ministry of Education’s plan to spend $359 million to have high-quality teachers and principals share their practices across schools. I was delighted to see Alfriston College has successfully applied for a Teacher-led Innovation Fund grant with its inquiry project that focuses on whanau based groupings and integrated learning for year 9-10 students. The impact of this on teaching practices and students’ learning will be measured by the success that these students achieve each year and as they progress to their NCEA studies.

Draft Future Urban Land Supply Strategy information sought

Auckland Council has announced a public consultation process on the Future Urban Land Supply Strategy. The Strategy will cover 11,000 hectares of rural land in Auckland, a large chunk of which will be situated around Takanini, Opaheke-Drury and Karaka.

The Strategy asks for information about what infrastructure, from basics like water and sewerage to recreational areas, need to be built to support development of rural land over the next 30 years. If you would like to contribute before the closing date of 17 August 2015, visit Shape Auckland or telephone 09 3010101.


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