Bay News column

Thursday, December 3, 2015

It was great to see that the Bay of Plenty has overtaken Auckland as the best performing region in the country. According to the ASB/Main Report Regional Economic Scoreboard, strong job growth and a booming construction sector in the last quarter makes the Bay of Plenty “the place to be”.

This is certainly the feeling I get when I meet with local businesses. Confidence is high across the economy, from tourism to retail to manufacturing. Many companies have either hired new staff, or are seriously considering doing so.

The Government is doing its bit to help support businesses to grow and create jobs. Environment Minister Nick Smith recently introduced legislation to reform the Resource Management Act (RMA), fulfilling a promise we made at the Election to reduce bureaucracy and simplify the consent process.

We have all either personally experienced or heard the horror stories surrounding the unnecessary hoops you have to jump through for the most simple of building projects. These proposed changes will give councils the discretion to no longer require resource consent for minor issues and reduce the costs and delays for homeowners and businesses.

Next week I will be attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris with Climate Change Issues and Trade Minister Tim Groser. After Parliament has risen for the year I am looking forward to some quality time with my family.

I hope you all get to relax and catch up with family and friends over the holiday season. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.