Weekend Sun column

Friday, April 24, 2015

There was a fantastic response to my first ‘People’s Question Time’ held at Tauranga Boys’ College last Wednesday night. It was a great turnout and there were some very good discussions on a number of topics.

As your local Member of Parliament, it is important to me that I am available to hear any concerns or comments you may have, and also for you to be able find out about my plans and priorities for Tauranga. Although I am out and about in the community every week meeting constituents, business and community organisations this forum allows a structured setting where anyone can come along and ask me questions. I plan to continue holding these Q&A sessions twice a year.

Tomorrow I will be at the Tauranga Domain for the ANZAC Day services to pay my respects to the brave men and women who have fought and died for our country. As you will know, this year is particularly significant, marking 100 years since New Zealand and Australian forces landed on the beaches at Gallipoli. I have attended ANZAC services in Tauranga for many years now, and I have noted a significant increase in the number of young people who attend these services. It is great to see that the next generation will continue to honour and remember the sacrifices our forefathers made.

I have just returned from the World Geothermal Congress in Melbourne, where I gave the opening address. New Zealand is a world leader in geothermal energy. We have doubled generation in the past decade, and last year geothermal ranked ahead of all non-renewable energy sources. This is a great opportunity for New Zealand to be able to leverage our skills and knowledge in this area on the world stage.