Alfred Ngaro, National List MP based in Te Atatu
Welcome to my September Newsletter.
Last month I was out in the community supporting the people and organisations who make Te Atatu a vibrant and exciting place to live. One of these organisations was Hospice West Auckland, which held itsAbsolutely Fashion Show fundraiser at the Te Atatu Community Centre. It lived up to its name and was a fabulous evening of entertainment, flair and elegance on the cat walk. $40,000 was raised going towards services to patients and families – an amazing effort!
The Henderson Community of Schools initiative was announced recently, involving five schools. Two of them are Henderson South, and Henderson High. I’m really pleased because this means our children will benefit from shared teaching practices and expertise, with teachers working alongside each other on common goals to help improve educational outcomes in the classroom. More info here.
Congratulations to Dr Dale Bramley, CEO of Waitemata DHB, and his team for a job well done! 96 per cent of emergency department patients in Waitemata DHB were admitted, discharged or transferred within six hours. Also, last year, there was a 61 per cent increase for people in Waitemata receiving elective surgery. Rheumatic hospitalisations were also down nationally by 24 per cent since 2012. These good results are a credit to all the hard-working health professionals out there! More info here.
Cook Islands Language week opened with a tree planting ceremony at the Cook Islands Development Agency New Zealand (CIDANZ) in Mangere. This symbolised new life, growth, and the nurturing of the language and culture, which needs to start in the home first. Mid-week I was honoured to travel with the Prime Minister’s delegation to the Cook Islands to be a part of the 50th anniversary of self-government celebrations. Our participation reflected the special relationship New Zealand has with the Cook Islands as a Pacific nation. I was really proud of the warm and spectacular welcome we received – a fine exhibition of culture, language and dance, along with the beautiful sunny weather. Back in Auckland, I went along to the opening of Hon Paula Bennett’s new office in the heart of the Westgate Shopping Centre. It was great to see the Prime Minister open and bless the new office of my neighbouring colleague and hard-working Upper Harbour MP.
Some interesting, fiery and passionate arguments on social policy, tertiary education and topical issues took place at the Auckland University Students Association (AUSA) Back Benches debate. THANKS to the Young Nats for turning up in force to support me! There were a few hecklers, but I’m confident I got my arguments and my messages across nonetheless.
At the Fuji Xerox Next Generations Leaders Programme I met some very talented young, up-and-coming politicians. I shared my story of how I got into politics, the challenges faced, and the work that’s involved. THANKS to Fuji Xerox and the Sir Peter Blake Trust for supporting youth and making events like this possible.
It was wonderful to have Education Minister Hon Hekia Parata in the district where we visited Ranui Primary school and Henderson High School. Ranui Primary School’s motto is: "Happy, Healthy, Harmonious, High-Achieving. All children reach their full potential – no exception!". This really showed through in the confidence and pride displayed by the students and teachers. At Henderson High, my second visit to my old school in as many months, we were given a demonstration by student Shasti Tildsley in the technology unit, and we met with Principal Mike Purcell, Board of Trustees Chair David Lui, teachers, and students. The Minister was really impressed with the progress and achievements of both schools. Well done Stephanie Tawha at Ranui Primary and Mike Purcell at Henderson High School.
I then attended the Rail Safety event at the Ranui Railway Station and spoke about the importance of safety around tracks, trains, and stations.THANK YOU to our Travelwise Ambassadors: Ranui Primary School, TransDev, Auckland Transport, KiwiRail, NZ Police and TrackSAFE for the work they do in spreading the safety message.
Rutherford College’s 53rd Memorial day was a special event I attended to give thanks to those who have been supporting the college. I enjoyed the inspirational and funny speech by Jimi Hunt on how to “Live more Awesome” and principal Gary Moore’s speech on emotional intelligence and postive thinking. The highlight was the community presentation of a korowai, taonga and tewhatewha to Mr Moore in acknowledging his dedication and hard work at Rutherford and in the wider community.CONGRATULATIONS Mr Moore! Well deserved!
We had Health Minister Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman in Ranui to open the launch of Healthy Families Waitakere at Starling Park. The initiative is a key part of the Government’s wider approach to helping New Zealanders live healthy, more active lives. It is one of 10 locations across New Zealand challenging people to think differently about the underlying causes of poor health and to make changes – in our schools, workplaces, sports clubs, marae and other key community settings. It was great to see West Auckland providers collaborating to make it work for families.
Throughout the month I have been visiting our local schools. I am really encouraged by the hard work and the commitment to give our kids the best education possible. Well done to all our Principals, teachers, parents, students and boards of trustees. THANK YOU for meeting with me despite your busy schedules. School holidays are just round the corner. Enjoy your break!