The revitalisation of the Coast town centre is an example of new investment signaling a high level of confidence in the continued growth in the area, says Whangaparaoa MP Mark Mitchell.

“We’ve seen that on the Coast in the past decade – there’s been good planning for residential development with the likes of Millwater.”

It’s gratifying to see strong commercial development taking place in tandem with that, he says.

“We’ve got all the big brands in the area – people don’t even need to leave the Coast.”

Keeping up those levels of investment in the new Whangaparaoa electorate is a focus for Mark, who is committed to ensuring work on the Penlink route connecting the peninsula to State Highway 1 starts as promised next year.

It’s a vital project, he says, not only for relieving congestion on local traffic networks, but also for improving safety in the region.

“I’m conscious that if we have a major Civil Defence emergency on the peninsula, there is currently only one way in and out.”

Safer roads and more reliable journey times mean the project benefits will be enjoyed by people throughout the region, as well as Whangaparaoa residents, Mark says.

In conjunction with Penlink, there needs to be more investment in local roading infrastructure and to ensure there are improved services to match the population growth in the area.

“We are definitely going to need to build some new schools.”

More people are selling up in Takapuna and the East Coast Bays region to tap into the strong community vibe and laidback lifestyle the Coast offers, he says.

“I know I’m biased but I think we live in paradise. We’re 25 minutes from the only real international city in New Zealand and we have the best beaches and regional parks in the country. It’s a fantastic place to live and raise a family.”

The growing café culture and increase in quality restaurants on the Coast is another plus, he says.

“When I moved back from overseas nine years ago, if you weren’t in a restaurant on the Coast by 6.30pm, you were likely to miss out.”

That’s certainly not the case today – despite the challenges created by Covid-19, there are more dining out options than ever.

And, he says, it’s wonderful to see people supporting those businesses, with Coasties embracing the message to buy local and stay local when you can in 2020.

“It really reflects the strength of the community and the amazing Coast spirit.”

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