Welcome to my first E-newsletter for 2019.
I have been reflecting deeply on the events of the past two weeks, as I’m sure we all have, and of the gravity of what has happened. There can be no doubt that our country has lost some of our innocence, but as we look inward and collectively enter into a national conversation I hope we will speak freely and frankly so we can ensure that we never need to see this kind of loss again.
The tragic events of March 15th that claimed 50 innocent lives, and has impacted so many more, were felt deeply not only by our Muslim community but by our whole community. It was a crime committed against New Zealanders – and all New Zealanders collectively share in the grief.
The actions of one man do not define New Zealand as a nation. What I believe does define us is the outpouring of love and compassion that has been wrapped around those of the Muslim faith not only here in Tauranga, but right across New Zealand. This has sent a powerful message of inclusiveness and an acknowledgement that we welcome diversity.
Faced with unspeakable evil our Muslim community could have chosen to retreat, close ranks and let resentment and anger fester. Instead they have opened their arms, opened their doors, and embrace those around them.
New Zealand is an open, tolerant and diverse place. Whether you were born here, or have made the decision to call Aotearoa home - we are all kiwis together.
My wife Michelle and I sharing a very special and emotional afternoon at our local mosque in Tauranga.
You may notice my team and I are giving a new newsletter format a trial that we hope will be more user friendly and drive those of you who are on Facebook to my page Todd Muller MP where you will be able to engage with the content, check out photos, and most importantly – leave comments and feedback that I can take on board. I really value your engagement and I’m looking forward to taking this to a new level.
It’s been a very busy start to the year but it’s great to be out and about connecting with locals and discussing the issues with our community. We had a HUGE turnout for Nikki Kaye’s Future of Schools Roadshow connecting with local schools, teachers and parents. I also had the privilege of opening a new early childhood centre, BestStart Omokoroa.
With Wayne Wright and Manager Diane Amrein at the opening of BestStart Omokoroa
Late last month I had National Party Leader and fellow Tauranga MP Simon Bridges in the electorate for the day for visits to Golden Sands Primary, McLeod Cranes, Henry & Ted Café and Compac Sorting Equipment. We finished the day at Papa Mo’s for a meeting with small business owners where there was a lot of feedback on Labour’s Tax Working Group Report and the proposed Capital Gains Tax!
Simon was very well received and I have no doubt he has a firm understanding of the issues we are facing – particularly the pressure population growth is putting on our local school rolls and transport networks.
With Principal Melanie Taylor meeting some of my younger constituents at Golden Sands School.
Our city is growing fast and putting huge pressure on local infrastructure. My concern as the local MP is that the Government has done such an appalling job with the census that our growth over the last few years may not translate into delivery. Government service provisions, such as DHB’s, rely on updated census data to inform their funding. I don’t want poor data collection to hold our city back.
Our community’s frustration is already showing with petitions calling for improved roading on SH2 North of Tauranga, a new secondary school northwest of the Wairoa River, and after-hours A&E healthcare in Papamoa all being driven from the grassroots. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to support these causes as the local MP – and we are making progress!
With Jo Linthwaite and her team as they presented to a Parliamentary Select Committee
Already this year we have seen the petition of Judy Killalea requesting funding for after-hours A&E healthcare in Papamoa East tabled in Parliament and the petition of Jo Linthwaite requesting a new secondary school northwest of the Wairoa River presented to a Select Committee for a hearing. I have no doubt our community will keep the pressure on until we see the investment we need and deserve.
In the meantime, if you have any issues that my team and I can assist with please do reach out and contact us.
As always, I look forward to seeing you all out and about in our community this month.
MP for Bay of Plenty