Maggie Barry's line in sand

Last updated 08:43 29/11/2011
Maggie Barry
Ben Watson

STRONG VIEWS: Maggie Barry is committed to a second harbour crossing.

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Maggie Barry hit the ground running as the North Shore electorate's first woman MP.

The morning after National's resounding victory she sent a strong message to Auckland mayor Len Brown, saying there would be a CBD rail link before a second harbour crossing "over our dead bodies".

And the former broadcaster also affirmed her support for the Puhoi-Wellsford motorway extension.

She attacked those who have labelled it the "holiday highway.

"I refuse to use the `H' word. It will be an umbilical cord for the far north and its economy.

"It is an arrogance for the critics to take money already set aside for this purpose and use it for something else."

Barry was speaking on Sunday morning at the opening of the Wilson Home gala in Takapuna.

She went to bed at 2.30am that morning but was up at 6.30am to see her 15-year-old son Joe row for King's College in the Bennett Shield at Lake Pupuke.

The family lives in Point Chevalier but Barry plans to move to the Shore.

Her majority was 13,739, down from the 14,574 for Wayne Mapp in 2008.

Mapp has retired from Parliament.

And she attracted around 3000 fewer votes – 20,494 against 23,824 for Mapp in 2008.

But Barry said she was pleased with the party vote in the North Shore electorate, which was 63 percent of votes cast.

She said she viewed the electorate as fragmented and wanted to unite it.

"We have the republic of Devonport, Takapuna, and Milford and I want to see them working a little more closely together."

On a more national level, she has taken a keen interest in the Pike River Mine tragedy.

Michael Monk, 21, the son of her cousin Bernie Monk, was one of the 29 victims.

"The tragedy was a cathartic moment for me. I didn't want to be sitting on the sidelines reporting, but making a difference," Barry said. She said she wanted to see the bodies brought out to give families closure.

And she wants to see mining resume at Pike River.

"There is $30 billion of coal there.

"If it doesn't reopen, the 29 won't be the only casualties – the West Coast economy will be one, too."

She criticised former North Shore mayor Andrew Williams, who will enter Parliament as a list MP for New Zealand First, for saying he would represent the Shore.

"He got only 828 votes and will lose his deposit."

Williams was the lowest polling candidate of the main parties.

Act's Don Brash got 1129, and Conservative Party candidate Craig Jensen got 844 votes.

Williams' term as North Shore mayor was marred by controversy.

Incidents included abusive late night texts to Prime Minister John Key and urinating on a tree outside the council's headquarters.

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- North Shore Times

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