It’s time for Jacinda-rail to blast off and take New Zealanders for a ride into the future.
Earlier in August this year, the Jacinda-rail, had arrived in Auckland soon after taking over Labour Party leadership and affirming support for the light rail in Auckland in her first major policy announcement in New Zealand’s largest city.
Since then Jacinda-rail or Jacinda-train has gained a lot of traction in a section of media and supporters.
In the last two and half months or so, Jacinda-rail had swept across the entire nation, eventually reaching Beehive in Wellington, albeit without enough power to be of much substance.
However, it was only when Winston Peters decided to provide the much-needed power that Jacinda-rail dawned the mantle of Rt Honourable Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Now after the official swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, October 26, the Jacinda-rail is truly ready to blast off.
Going by the intentions and body language of those who are already on-board in this Jacinda-rail, there are all possibilities that the ride on this rail would be adventurous, if not bumpy.
Given the fact such a ride is imminent, it is in everyone’s best interest to enjoy the ride rather than sulk in pessimism.
The first 100 days of this new government would be very crucial to act upon some of the issues that they have campaigned upon so steadfastly in the lead up to the election.
It’s not yet clear if starting work of light rail in Auckland would be a priority for the government in the first 100 days.
However what is clear is that Auckland Council is gearing up for a regional fuel tax to raise money for building Light rail in Auckland, which many believe would be a panacea to Auckland’s growing transport woes.
With that, the long ongoing debate between motorways and Light rail as being Auckland’s main public transportation mode will end, at least for now, in favour of Light rail.
Regardless of the motorway versus Light rail debate, it is important to reiterate that the Kiwi-Indian community along with other ethnic migrant communities are by and large public-transport friendly.
Generally all new migrants, ethnic migrants particularly are believed to relying overwhelmingly on an effective public transport medium, at least in early years of their migrant-lifecycle in this country for their all travelling needs.
Be it the travelling needs for their day to day work and back home or schools and colleges for their kids; the new migrant communities prefer to rely on an effective public transport rather than purchasing a car if given an option.
For many years now, Auckland city has not been able to give them an option of a reliable public transport system that can give them certainty and peace of mind while commuting for work or pleasure around the city.
If Auckland’s Light Rail offers them that certainty, convenience and cost-effectiveness as well, then the community would be enthusiastically looking forward to welcoming this project.
The Kiwi-Indian community, like all other New Zealanders who have a clear understanding about the nature of the electoral process, of being just a process to choose the new set of direction for the country, is welcoming the formation of Jacinda Ardern led government.
The community is drawing strength from Labour Party’s previous record of engaging with the community and immigrants in general.
There might be some apprehensions within the community about the government’s proposed action in the big-ticket area of immigration, which is obviously a highly emotional issue for the community.
In the lead up to the election, The Indian Weekender had numerous occasions of speaking with Jacinda Ardern, and other senior members of the Labour caucus in the cabinet now, who equivocally asserted that the Labour-led government would act fast on issues important to the community including law and order.
Therefore it is important to dispel all negativity and scaremongering, if any, within the community towards this new Labour-led government before it has even started working.
In future, if for any reason Jacinda-rail fails to meet the expectation of the Kiwi-Indian community, then The Indian Weekender will be doing its due diligence, like a responsible media, and holding it accountable for any unmet promises.
For now, it is surely a time for gearing up for the adventurous ride ahead on the Jacinda-rail.