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The spring flowers popping up around our region serve as a reminder that we are entering the last few months of the year.  I’m looking forward to making them count.  There has been a lot of activity both in Parliament and in Tauranga this past month.

Rebuilding confidence in the economy

I was pleased to outline Nationals economic plan with the launch of the fourth Discussion Document, this time focussing on the economy.  There is no doubt the economy is stalling and infrastructure is grinding to a halt under the Labour-led Government. 

Our plan will focus on creating a more productive, competitive economy that lifts incomes, lowers the cost of living for all New Zealanders and provides responsible economic management that delivers world-class public services.  To view our plan and have your say, go to www.national.org.nz/economy

Speaking at the Infrastructure NZ Conference

Bayfair Underpass

I have been receiving lots of feedback about the upcoming demolition of the Bayfair underpass.

I am shocked that the current Labour-led Government has abandoned the underpass underneath the Baypark to Bayfair Link.  I started this project when I was the Minister of Transport under the National Government.

Nine months ago, the Government made an announcement that the project would have the underpass, now it’s backtracking due to lack of funding.  Pedestrians will have to cross a major multi-laned highway.  An underpass is a much safer option.  Also, crossing with the traffic will significantly slow motorists at this major intersection. 

Under a National Government we would have the underpass…no ifs or buts.

Tauranga Corrections facility

The proposed Corrections facility in Burrows Street is causing anger - I understand and share your concerns. More than 100 people attended a meeting at the Tauranga City Council.  Locals voiced their concerns over the Department of Corrections proposal to move its Community Corrections facilities to 36 Burrows Street Tauranga.

The site will be used for offenders to meet their probation officers, attend skill development programmes and join community work teams.  More than 550 offenders will report to this site every week.

The facility will be near residential houses, schools, an early childhood centre, churches, and public walkways. The local community has serious, legitimate concerns around parking and their safety, especially for school students and elderly living in the area. 

There are much better locations for a facility like this.  The Department of Corrections should find a more suitable location for this facility.

Tauranga City Council meeting addressing concerns over the Corrections facility

Back to School

The enthusiasm of young people is always inspiring.  On a recent trip to the newly opened Taumata School I got the chance to hang out with some of its students.  They had some hard and well thought through questions for me.  I often find children and teenagers ask the most thought provoking questions.  It’s great to see they are so interested in what’s happening in New Zealand.

Chatting with students from Taumata School

Their learning environment is so different to the classrooms I grew up in.  Everything is open plan, the students sit at group tables and there is lots of hands-on learning.  I really enjoyed my time at Taumata School.

Have Your Say

It’s almost two years since the last election.  The Labour-led Government has had time to fulfil their pre-election promises.  After almost 300 working groups they still have no clear plan or direction. 

National is doing the work in Opposition.  We are forming clear plans for New Zealanders so we can hit the ground running in 2020.  The policy work we are doing now is part of the biggest policy development process by an Opposition ever.  We understand that policy can’t be made without your feedback.  Our Discussion Documents can be found at www.national.org.nz

I hope you take the opportunity to share your thoughts.

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