Recently our Labour-NZ First government released the draft Government Position Statement (GPS) on Land Transport.
To help best inform Local Government Leaders on how the GPS will benefit and work in our region, I organised for the Minister of Transport, Phil Twyford, and the Associate Minister of Transport, Julie Anne Genter, to visit Tauranga to speak about the GPS.
It was great to hear how the GPS sees massive funding increases; for example Local Road upgrade funding increased by 43 per cent, regional roads see a 96 per cent increase, and Road Safety sees an 81 per cent increase, amongst others.
On a more sombre note, this week at the Mount Maunganui Cenotaph I had the honour of attending the ANZAC Day Ceremony. As the bugle call rang out over the incoming waves, I was reminded of Axel Gordon Hultquist, who was Labour MP for Bay of Plenty from 1935-1941.
No less than one month after New Zealand entered World War II, Hultquist enlisted and went into camp. He went overseas with the Third Echelon as a Second-Lieutenant, and was subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.
He took part in fighting in Greece, where he was amongst the last to be evacuated. After this he went to Crete, where he died in service. ANZAC day will always be a poignant reminder of those lost in battle, both overseas like Crete, and on local battlefields, like at Gate Pa in 1846 where over 100 lost their lives.