I grew up in car-free family. We had bikes, trams every seven minutes and a train to every other major center every 30 minutes. Not having a car was easy, and normal. Now, in rural South Taranaki, we only have one bus a week, and even in urban New Plymouth there are no buses after 7pm, very limited services on Saturdays and nothing at all on Sundays.
We need urgent action to improve our public transport network. Public transport has numerous benefits: it connects people and communities, enables the poor the get around easier, drastically reduces our emissions and de-congests roads. While there have been some improvements in recent years such as the introduction of The Connector service linking Te Hāwera and New Plymouth, we need a lot more investment and support, particularly for rural South Taranaki. I am passionate about public transport and want to see a well-designed, frequent and affordable public transport network for our whole region.
Ultimately, the Taranaki Regional Council has failed to provide enough funding in their Long Term Plans for public transport.
[Photo - our family on the Southlink bus that connects Opunake with New Plymouth every Friday]
Kia ora koutou,
my name is Urs Signer. I have lived and worked in South Taranaki with my partner and our children since 2008. I seek your support to be elected to the Taranaki Regional Council to bring a voice to the decision-making table for the climate, our waterways and struggling provincial communities. Having worked for many years in the community for environmental and social justice, my top three priorities are generating a shift towards local regenerative agriculture, public transport and ensuring our kids can safely swim in every river across our region. For too long, the Council has just played catch-up when it comes to looking after the environment. Given the state of our planet, it is time for transformative change. In order to shift away from the dog-eat-dog mentality, we need grass-roots and collective solutions for a just, fair and regenerative future.