Bay News column

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Getting out and about in the community and having the chance to interact with such a wide range of fantastic people is one of the great things about being a Member of Parliament.

It was a privilege to have Social Development Minister, Anne Tolley, in Tauranga last week. We spent the day visiting local social service providers in the region and hearing first-hand from those that help look after the most vulnerable in our society.

We had a tour of the Tauranga Moana Men’s Night Shelter in Elizabeth Street and checked out the vege garden that some of the men have grown. The staff at the Shelter should be applauded for the great job they do looking after people dealing with a variety of complex issues.

At the local CYF office the Minister thanked the staff for the amazing work they do looking after families, protecting young people and helping to keep them on the right path.

Last week I also visited the Heart Foundation at their new premises in Tawa Street and spoke at the Western Bay of Plenty Disability Support Trust Forum at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Tomorrow I am attending the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce’s City Leader’s Annual Lunch with Mayor Stuart Crosby and 2014 Westpac Business Leader Steve Saunders, to discuss the future of Tauranga, the Government’s plans for the region and the possibility of local government reform.