Youth MP 2010

Youth MP speeches

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Youth MP speeches

Jack McDonald (Tautokai Baxter) who was Sue Kedlgey’s youth MP spoke about the proposed motorway through Kapiti.

Here is his speech.

He mihi nunui ki te Whare Pāremata e whakawhaiti nei i te tangata. He mihi hoki ki ngā tangata whenua o tēnei rohe, ōku whanaunga o Te Āti Awa nō runga i te rangi. Ki a tātau ngā taiohi huiui mai nei i tēnei rā ki te tautohetohe Ingā take whakairaira o te wā, kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei te mihi.

A huge acknowledgment to the House of Parliament, which has drawn the people here. Acknowledgments, as well, to the local people, my relatives of Te Āti Awa, from above. And to us the youth gathered here to debate the important issues of the day, I salute, acknowledge, and commend you.

It is the greatest honour to speak in the House today. I would like to inform the House of an issue very important to the constituents in my area. In the Kapiti region we have been at the striking end of this National Government and its Minister of Transport, Steven Joyce. He has announced a four-lane expressway through the very heart of our community, with little consultation, and what consultation there was, was extremely flawed. This expressway destroys diverse ecology, including sand dunes and wetlands. It bulldozes right past two primary schools, right past many residential properties. And to me what is worst of all is that it bulldozes right through extensive wāhi tapu areas. These are burial grounds of Te Ati Awa ki Whakarongotai and Takamore.

How can the Government justify this? The supposed benefit to taxpayers is a reduction in the time to travel from Levin to Wellington of 12 minutes. This development is not in the name of Kapiti but in the interests of the trucking industry. In the words of Shakespeare’s Richard III: “Thus I clothe my naked villainy.” This is the approach National is taking. Yet around 75 percent of people in my region are opposed to this expressway.

The broader concept of the roads of national significance project is also flawed. It fails to address climate change and our dependence on foreign oil. We know we cannot continue to pillage Papatūānuku without end. Continued economic growth at the expense of the environment is not sustainable. The environment and the economy are interdependent. This is basic economic theory—and I thought National was the bastion of economics. What we need is frequent and efficient public transport not only in Kapiti but throughout the country. This will solve transport issues while heeding scientific advice on our climate and our resources.

I implore the Government to see the error in its ways and reverse this detrimental policy.

The full text can be obtained from the house.

E ai ki te whakataukī, “Toitū te whenua, whatungarongaro te tangata”—according to the proverb, people disappear, land remains.

Oti anō, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.

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