Flag battle in Franklin….

The flag debate has made headlines in Franklin!

One of our local papers has this story to tell………..

Franklin RSA flag story Dec 2015

Some local updates from our board..

Franklin has a page or two of updates in the monthly Auckland publication, telling us of one or two things that have happened or are happening.

So here’s a wee copy of the latest….

A Word from Bill Cashmore November 2015

is Auckland Council helping Franklin?

A local Franklin resident has put out some information on intended water upgrades in the area

Waikato River

Will this really help? or will it be more of a concern for the future of the area?

Watercare update Nov 2015

Southern Corridor Update

Another update on happenings for the Southern Corridor, including part of the Franklin region, has now been published and delivered.

Auckland Mayor, Len Brown turned the first sod on the 21st October of this year – 2015.

The project will see –

  • improved safety and journey reliability on Auckland’s Southern Motorway

and extends 9.5 kms from Manukau to Papakura along SH 1.

Walking and cycling improvements have also been factored in to the improvements

Southern corridor improvements Nov 2015

Southern corridor imp Nov 2015

Pukekohe (and Franklin) Growth…..

Franklin’s main town of Pukekohe is showing the signs of major growth!
GVR engine

Pukekohe, and the surrounding region within Franklin, is growing!! as if we didn’t already know, and as far as the local train station goes, the local public transport area is NOT growing as well, or as rapidly as the district would like and needs to, to accommodate the population explosion on our doorstep!

At the present time, Auckland Transport are not able to help with any inquiries, which would give the assumption that, really, not a lot IS happening, and according to local councillor Bill Cashmore, “this longer term planning needs to be aligned with the Franklin Long Term Plan”
We can all agree that careful thought is required so that the job is done properly to move the population to where it needs to be without clogging the roads more than necessary. Most of us can relate to the peak hour traffic chaos!
Info from one of our local media, show that:

in 2011, Pukekohe and surrounding villages had a population of 23,500. By 2021 that number is expected to reach 35,100, and by 2031, to over 52,000. In 30 years (2041) there will be over 78,000 of us, which is about six times the population back in 1981 (of 13,200).
When we consider that the Pukekohe-Papakura highway is largely unchanged, (save a few passing lanes) for over four decades, something has to give soon.

Franklin SH1

Also from the local media info : –

In 2011 there were 19,700 local jobs. By 2021 there will be 25,900, and this will grow by roughly another 10,000 for each of the next two decades. ……..
The Rail network from Pukekohe to Papakura, said Bill Cashmore, is a central government asset and talk about its electrification…..would need to be a joint Auckland Council/government project.
The government has said no to electrification for the immediate future.
Some comparative growth figures at two of Auckland’s rail stations confirm the growing popularity of a rail system.
Pukekohe Station daily passengers2003 – 74; 2007 – 218; 2011 – 1052… a growth rate of 1322% in 8 years. This represents the highest growth in the Auckland system…..
Even with the local growth in rail travel, still a number of Pukekohe people choose to drive to Papakura to catch the train from there. The attraction being the manned security of the park and ride

( and I feel a more regular number of departures and arrivals)
modern train

Our rural paradise – proposal threatens growers….

One of our local papers has news about the rural sector regarding a proposed Irrigation Tax!!

Franklin irrigation pic
The report mentions

…a proposal from the Labour Party to introduce an irrigation tax is a pointed attack on rural New Zealand and small businesses that operate there, and could also hit consumers in the pocket at the supermarket. The proposal could affect market gardeners in Pukekohe, among other areas nationally.
The proposal has been slated by the Irrigation NZ chief executive, who said last week : “A ‘fair and affordable’ variable rate water tax will be impossible to implement and will cost a fortune to establish. In no other country in the world is irrigated water paid for through tax”.
…only a few days ago Labour was claiming they supported small businesses. However, Labours water tax…..would cause real damage to hundreds of small, rural businesses in the productive sector.

… A water tax will increase the cost of production which could mean higher costs for New Zealanders, for products like milk, cheese and fresh vegetables. Improving the quality of our freshwater is important to all of us, but we must do it sensibly…..

(Irrigation NZ chief exec) says that the proposal does not consider the capital investment made by farmers

P1000660 IMG_0246 P1000319

Roading improvements project…..

NZ TA has put out it’s latest Southern Corridor improvements Project Newsletter –
This should prove to be useful to Franklin and the rest of the country!

road pic
Quick Facts – Budget;$210 mil
Construction to start late 2015 with estimated completion in 2018
Providing additional lanes between Manukau and Papakura on the Southern Motorway
Investigations to provide walking and cycling facilities

The Transport Agency has secured funding from the Government to progress this important project which covers the stretch of Southern Motorway (SH1) from the SH20/SH1 connection at Manukau down to Papakura in the south. Additional lanes will be created both northbound and southbound, and the Takanini Interchange will be redesigned to improve safety and access onto the motorway for this important industrial hub.
Those that travel the route on a daily basis, know that bottlenecks at several locations along the motorway cause significant delays for motorists and commercial vehicles.
There are also known safety risks at the Takanini Interchange, particularly at the northbound merge onto the motorway.
The Transport Agency has been working closely with Auckland Transport during the design phase to integrate the state highway with the local road network……. We are also working with the walking and cycling teams to include a potential cycleway as part of the project to link up to the existing cycle pathways.
It’s essential that we link Auckland to the rest of New Zealand to unlock the country’s economic potential, and move people and freight more efficiently

Southern Corridor Improvements