Mayors launch social media campaign

by Paul Campbell

Kaipara Mayor Jason Smith has joined with Far North’s John Carter, and Whangarei’s Sheryl Mai, all acting “as private individuals” to launch Kia Kaha Northland, a campaign for Northlanders to say yes to five major projects they say will transform the regional and national economy.

An initial video will appear on around 300,000 Facebook and other social media accounts today to outline the campaign, which seeks associated funding.

“We need all Northlanders to support Kia Kaha Northland by liking it or following it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or by emailing, calling or writing to government and opposition MPs,” the mayors said.

The five elements of the campaign are:

  • A $240 million dry dock to enable ships to be serviced and repaired in Whangarei;
  • A new base for the Royal New Zealand Navy to replace Devonport;
  • An expanded Northport to take the cars and containers from Auckland and for exports from Northland and elsewhere;
  • The completion of a four-lane expressway from Whangarei to Auckland, including the planned four-lane highway to Port Marsden
  • Fast-tracking a double-tracked rail line from West Auckland to Whangarei, including the planned spur to Port Marsden

“We have strongly welcomed last week’s announcements about funding towards new road and rail links to Port Marsden.

“All the people of Te Tai Tokerau must tell the government, the National Party and all of parliament that we want all five projects to start now,”
they said.

Dr Smith said: “Everyone I talk to is excited by how these five projects could transform Northland and New Zealand.

“I hope lots of Kaipara people join the Kia Kaha Northland campaign on social media and #BackTheBigFive.”

The initial launch is being funded by private donations with further fundraising to occur in the weeks ahead.

Donations can be made to 12-3126-0259126-00 for the purchase of additional social media advertising.