Backing Cambridge in 2022

Welcome to 2022!  I hope you’ve managed to have a good break over the summer holiday period or have one planned soon.   
My break had a healthy balance of resting, recovering and much needed time with family I had been apart from due to alert level boundaries. 
It was also an opportunity to reflect on a turbulent last year when Delta came and caused such disruption to our lives. 
We have all learnt that it pays to be adaptable and flexible as you never know what is around the corner.  Undoubtedly, many of us have also realised that health and wellness are vital as we go forward into 2022 better equipped to deal with the unexpected.
Omicron has come around and is expected to spread widely in the community.  The requirements of self-isolation for close contacts of a positive case will have a massive impact on those who are still working.   
I will be meeting with social services agencies in the coming weeks to discuss how families who are self-isolating, are best supported with their welfare and wellbeing needs.
Businesses have also called for the reinstatement of the wage subsidy and resurgence support payments to ensure business contingency, and I will be working closely with them to engage with Government for support.  
My goals for Cambridge in 2022 include pursuing the upgrade of our transport infrastructure.  I’ve submitted to the public consultation process on the Cambridge to Piarere roundabout and will closely monitor the progress of work while continuing to push for the 16km extension.
The hospitality and events industries face massive losses with the cancellation of significant events, including the NI club and national rowing championships, Balance Farm Awards, Festival One Music Festival, St Andrew’s Craft and Collectable Fair and Rotary Run the Runway, amongst others. 
I am planning a meeting with tourism, accommodation and events organisations, and if you are one of the businesses affected, please get in touch with us for details of the meeting.
The impacts of self-isolation on businesses for staff that come into close contact with a positive case pose another risk.  You might also be a family self-isolating and needing welfare and other support but struggling to get it.  If this is an issue you are facing, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Housing availability and affordability will be high on my radar this year.  Cambridge is now in the “Millionaires Club”, according to recently released figures. 
Living here is already unaffordable for many, and even more worrying is the prediction that Cambridge’s population will reach 24,000 over the next ten years, requiring 2300 more homes. 
We will also seriously need to look at the third bridge required to accommodate the cars that a growing population will bring.
We will continue to fight the Government on its proposed Three Waters asset grab.  There is still time to sign the petition if you haven’t already at 
Youth Parliament 2022 is taking place this year, and Taupō Youth MP Sophia Goodrich and I are keen to explore opportunities for youth in the region, whether through work, training or apprenticeships. 
There is still some time to join the Youth Advisory Board, and I’ll be promoting the opportunity at schools and on social media.
Finally, I wish you and your family health, prosperity and happiness as we get stuck into 2022.  My team and I look forward to being of service to you. 
You can reach us on [email protected] or 07 827 5572.