Todd Muller December 01, 2022
It's an eventful week this Parliamentary recess. With my Primary Industries portfolios of Agriculture and Oceans and Fisheries, Fieldays is a key event for me to connect with stakeholders and that's where I'm spending the next few days.
Having so many encounters with primary industry stakeholders in one week and in one place is extremely valuable and the Fieldays makes this possible. Having spent much of my life working in the horticulture and dairy industries, these portfolios are a natural fit for me and I appreciate the warm welcome when travelling around New Zealand to meet with farmers and others in this sector.
Earlier this week I hosted Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon, together with Tauranga MP Sam Uffindell. Chris addressed a Business Chamber lunch and shared National’s plans for restoring a healthy economy for New Zealand. We visited two key social investment programmes for the Bay of Plenty: Graeme Dingle Foundation and Good Neighbour (pictures below). Luckily the Bay of Plenty weather did its thing and we had a rain-free day.
With just another month till the end of 2022 there's a lot to fit in. Parliament resumes next week and our National Caucus has plenty to focus on as we hold the Government to account, especially on their intention to entrench Water Services legislation.
I hope to see you out and about over the coming weeks.
Scroll down to view pictures of where I've been and who I've connected with in the last month.
MP for Bay of Plenty
People I met and Places I Visited this November
Papamoa Volunteer Fire Brigade Honours Night
It was a very special night celebrating with Pat Wilson and family his 14 years long service and good conduct medal with the Papamoa Volunteer Firefighters - what an awesome group who care for our community.
Canterbury Show Day
Couldn't have asked for a better time at The New Zealand Agricultural Show in Canterbury meeting exhibitors and visitors, and got to watch the 2022 Clash of the Colleges event - which included gumboot throwing, egg throw and catch, and wool fadge races.
Graeme Dingle Foundation Kiwi Can
Dan Allen-Gordon from the Graeme Dingle Foundation and Matt Simeon, Principal of Papamoa Primary School, showed us a session of Kiwi Can which teaches young children about values, respect, consent and managing emotions. It was a very powerful visit, engaging with the children on the basketball court and in the classroom.
Another local success story we took Christopher Luxon to is Good Neighbour, conceived by Campbell Hill and managed by Simone Gibson with their dedicated team of staff and volunteers. Good Neighbour provides social assistance and, as well as practical help of distribution of rescued food, firewood and lawnmower rental, their team provide a hand up to help people to help themselves. The power of volunteering has led to greater self-respect and self-reliance as well as increased connectedness to the community. If you’re looking for a way to volunteer in our community, please consider contacting Good Neighbour to offer your support.
Back into farmer meetings with in the Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa with Christopher Luxon and also Balclutha. Frank and honest conversations are helpful as we develop primary industry policy over the coming months.
Interesting visit to the Port for a meeting with Pelco, a family owned seafood export company where Sam Uffindell and I were given a tour of the processing plant at the Mount and had a look at the boat unloading at the Port of Tauranga. Jack Mackerel were being loaded for export to Africa where it's a very popular source of protein. We're pictured with Tom Wilson, Andrew Rolleston, Maureen Rolleston, Steve Keeves and Delwyn Cloughley.
Henry and Ted's Afternoon Tea
I enjoyed shouting a cuppa and scone for retired Papamoa constituents at Henry & Ted's Cafe, one of my regular refueling stops. It was great to get feedback from the community about the issues that matter to them.
Omanu Rescue Centre Opening
The Port of Tauranga Rescue Centre was opened by the Prime Minister this month. Donal Boyle has done an amazing job getting the centre finished in just a year. It's the hub for surf life saving operations in the eastern region, covering 19 clubs from Hot Water Beach to Gisborne.
Other cool people I met this November
Above left: Erica Stanford visited the Bay of Plenty electorate as Opposition Spokesperson for Immigration and appreciated a catch up with local kiwifruit growers before attending a combined Te Puna-Omokoroa dinner at Te Puna Hall where she spoke about her portfolios and what drove her to become an MP.
Centre: Matt Delaney and Jeremy Gooders came for a chatabout the incredible work St John do in our community. Until we can get our much-needed after hours medical facility in Papamoa, it's good to know that the St John crew has roving ambulances throughout the district to respond quickly when needed. Their triage service helps them to help the people most in need, while providing virtual appointments for those with less urgent needs.
If you are keen to help St John as well as your loved ones, consider gifting St John memberships this Christmas.
Above right: Claire Dale has done an amazing job getting her petition heard at the Petitions Select Committee in the next stage of her aim to see abusers of disabled parking spaces fined in private as well as public car parks. Best of luck Claire, you've worked hard for this.