The Bridges Brief - March 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hon Simon Bridges
MP for Tauranga

It's hard to believe it's nearly the end of March. Where have the past few months gone? A lot has happened so far this year and I would like to thank you for your continued support.

Papamoa to Paengaroa Cycleway

Earlier this month I officially opened the final $600,000 section of the Papamoa to Paengaroa Trail, a 10 kilometre cycleway that runs from Te Tumu Road and follows the Te Puke Highway into Paengaroa Village. Work will also soon begin on a bridge that will take pedestrians and cyclists over Poike Road, the new walking and cycling overbridge will connect Ohauiti with Windemere Polytech campus, creating a safe way for people to cross this busy intersection. This is a great initiative as it gives more people more opportunities to choose cycling – whether to commute to and from work and school, to run errands, or get some exercise.

Roading announcements

As Transport Minister I have been able to make two significant roading announcements in the wider Waikato, Bay of Plenty area. Earlier this month Prime Minister John Key and I turned the sod on the $973 million Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, signalling the start of the largest roading project in the Waikato’s history. In February, I was also able to team up with Rotorua MP Hon Todd McClay to announce that the Government would be injecting $24 million into Rotorua’s transport network. Both these announcements are great for the respective areas.

Bayfair electric vehicle charging station

This month I was excited to launch the electric vehicle (EV) charging station at Bayfair Shopping Centre, the first of its kind in the Bay of Plenty. New Zealand is one of the most EV-ready countries in the world, and I think we are going to see a whole lot more of them on our roads in the coming years.


I had the honour of officially opening Trustpower’s new inner city building. The company has moved its 500+ staff from its Te Maunga location into the purpose built facility on Durham Street. Having such a major Tauranga company move its headquarters into the CBD is a great boost for the central city and I wish them all the best in their new office.  

Museum Campaign

The debate about Tauranga needing a museum is continuing as the City Council looks at ways to rejuvenate the central city. I am a firm believer that the city needs a museum and I have been in talks with the Mayor and Councillors about the possibility of this. I believe there are options available to us and that the National Government will stump up with some funding. As talks continue, watch this space.

Trip to Antarctica

In late January I was incredibly lucky to be able to accept an invitation from Antarctica New Zealand to spend a week at Scott Base. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the work being carried out down there by New Zealand scientists, especially research relevant to my Associate Climate Change portfolio.

I would like to wish you all a safe and happy Easter. I look forward to updating you again next month.

Kind regards,

Hon Simon Bridges
MP for Tauranga