Latest News

Seven-fold increase in DOC land destroyed by wild fires concerning

May 11, 2022 Share

The area of Department of Conservation (DOC) land burned in unwanted fires is rising rapidly yet the agency is doing just the bare minimum to protect land and has taken no accountability, National’s Fire and Emergency Spokesperson Todd Muller says.

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Bay of Plenty electorate newsletter: Autumn 2022

April 20, 2022 Share

My Autumn 2022 newsletter is hitting letter boxes this week. It's on line so others can read it too. Click the image below to open the PDF.

From the Bay to the Beehive - March 2022

April 07, 2022 Share

Have you noticed that your shopping bills are higher this March than last? I certainly have, and so have many constituents who've shared their frustration with me.

Labour is taking Kiwis backwards with a cost of living crisis in New Zealand. Since Labour came into office food prices are up more than 13 per cent – shoppers now have to spend nearly $4 for a kilo of cabbage, $12/kg for broccoli, $7 for a lettuce

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Sunscreen Bill Passed Unanimously

March 03, 2022 Share

Sunscreen Bill passes, putting heat on manufacturers to meet SPF label promises

Parliament has unanimously passed a bill which will give New Zealander’s greater confidence in the effectiveness of the SPF products they buy, says MP for Bay of Plenty Todd Muller.

The Sunscreen (Product Safety Standard) Bill, sponsored by Muller, explicitly references the joint Australian/New Zealand Sunscreen Standard in the Fair Trading Act with steep consequences for proven breaches.

Muller says he is delighted with the level of parliament support. 

“This is personal for me, I made very poor decisions sunbathing as a young guy, and still pay the price every year with ongoing skin cancer removal. I can’t dodge that lack of judgement, but I have no time for a scenario where well informed consumers cannot be sure that that the SPF claims on all of our sunscreens will be accurate. 

“Currently New Zealand and Australia have a shared sunscreen standard, however it is only voluntary in New Zealand, meaning products sold here may not have been tested against their SPF ratings, or they could meet different standards such as those in the United States.

“Considering New Zealand has one of the highest skin cancer and melanoma rates in the world, the idea that the SPF promises on the label aren’t verified in all cases is unacceptable. Consumer NZ has continued to find that sunscreen is not meeting SPF levels advertised. Last year it found that three sunscreen brands out of nine tested failed to meet their own sun protection claims.

”With the bill that passed tonight, the sunscreen product safety standard that we share with Australia is now specifically referenced in the Fair Trading Act.  Any breaches can be subject to significant fines of up to $600,000 for a company.

“To see a members’ bill unanimously supported through all stages suggests it was well and truly overdue.

“I want to thank all parties in Parliament for their support, also the stakeholders, including Consumer NZ and various sunscreen manufacturers’ peak bodies for their willingness to work with the Health Select Committee to get a sensible outcome.  Whilst there’s no complete solution to the impacts of our harsh sun, this will strengthen the consumer’s position and is a necessary and vital step while the Government works on a more enduring legislative framework.”

From the Bay to the Beehive - February 2022

February 28, 2022 Share

Well another year and another Covid outbreak in New Zealand and it's a worrying time globally too with Russia flexing its might against Ukraine. Not quite the 2022 we'd hoped for.

With daily Omicron cases in the thousands now it's disappointing that we are still dealing with inefficiencies with the Ministry of Health's response to the pandemic. By now we should all have been provided with Rapid Antigen Tests but the roll out has been shambolic, sadly. Queues at testing stations are lengthy, as is the wait for test results.

As well as Covid, people are on edge about business viability, the rapidly increasing cost of living and the threat of a Northern Hemisphere war that will certainly make its effects felt here in New Zealand. Many of us have loved ones in Europe and in Ukraine and it's tough to see innocent civilians and defence personnel caught up in the fighting.

National’s Autonomous Sanctions Bill, which Labour voted down last year, explicitly provides for the asset freezes, financial market restriction and trade embargoes that would allow New Zealand to join our traditional partners in punitive action. We stand ready to work with the Government to facilitate whatever legislation is required to enable us to act alongside the rest of the international community, rather than having all UN sanctions blocked by Russia’s veto. 

Politically we are seeing a Labour Government that is looking increasingly incompetent. The National Caucus feels like a very positive environment at present. We are a strong and unified team with the experience and expertise to lead New Zealand out of the economic doldrums. It's essential that our government spending is reduced so we can rein in inflation and increase productivity. This will enable economic growth and reduce welfare dependency.

Leader of the Opposition, Christopher Luxon, gave a speech last week that sums up our Caucus view about the current state of New Zealand.

It's been great to spend time catching up with constituents and portfolio organisations. Below are some of my February highlights. 

Wishing you a great week and a positive March. 

Kindest regards

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Todd Muller
MP for Bay of Plenty

 


Youth Parliament

This July MPs will step back from their seats in Parliament as they are taken over by our Youth MPs. In the lead up to the 2022 Youth Parliament Tom Catto will be joining me at electorate events around the Bay of Plenty. Here we are with neighbouring MP Simon Bridges and the Tauranga Youth MP Ben Cosgrove addressing a constituent meeting at Omanu this morning. 

Mobility Parking Petition

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I supported constituent Claire Dale with her petition that seeks to increase penalties to fine abusers of mobility parks. These spaces are essential for disabled motorists to get around and their lives are made extra difficult when able-bodied drivers occupy their parks illegally.Claire presented her petition, with 2,737 signatures, to Minister of Transport Michael Wood together with Rachel Dunn, Josia Vickers, Greg Sexton, Morris Priestly and Linzi Young.

Claire's petition can be read here.

 

Coastguard Tauranga

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As part of my Oceans and Fisheries Portfolio I was keen to catch up with Dane Robertson and the team of volunteers who do so much to keep our boaties safe. It costs less than $100 to join and membership can save boaties thousands of dollars if they need a rescue at sea. The Bay of Plenty has 13% of New Zealand's 2 million recreational boat users so Dane and his colleagues are kept busy with an ocean rescue almost every day of the week.

If you have a boat and are not yet a member, you can join here

Mount Maunganui Engineering

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Like many who travel through the Baypark area, I've been fascinated watching the development of Mount Maunganui Engineering's new Mangatawa workshop. It seemed to go up very quickly for such a large structure and it's a very impressive set up where they are working on substantial engineering projects. 

I appreciated hearing the feedback from GM Dave Short and MD Rick Leach about the stresses of our current workforce constraints. They are, like most business owners, looking forward to the borders opening so they can get back up to capacity for their crew as skilled labour is spread thin around many trades at present.

The Freeport with Cleaver & Co

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Had a great catch up with Tim and Aaron who operate these two  joint restaurants in Bayfair's Dine precinct. The Freeport with Cleaver & Co offer innovative menus that include pizza and smokey barbecue options and some cool function areas that I look forward to booking for events in future. 

As with many hospitality businesses, Covid isolation rules have caused challenges. If we'd had self-testing RATs available when they were first needed quite a lot of rostering stress could have been avoided.

Kaimai Internet

Constituent Wayne Lowry has been pushing hard for improved internet access in the Lower Kaimai region of the Bay of Plenty electorate. I presented his petition to Parliament last June and it was considered by the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee. They have now reported back on their findings and it's clear that better internet connectivity is essential for Wayne's community. We have requested comment from the Minister of Communication, Hon David Clark and hope that the Minister's recent announcement of connectivity upgrades that will see 99.8 percent of New Zealanders experience improvements augurs well for Lower Kaimai constituents.

From the Bay to the Beehive | December 2021

December 17, 2021 Share

This time last year many of us were heaving a sigh of relief that 2020 was nearly over. There was an expectation that 2021 was going to be a fresh start with Covid sorted and the stresses of lockdowns behind us. There was even a famous local gin branded with the sentiment that we were all over 2020.

And yet 2021 has been another up and down year for New Zealand. For me personally I had a few low moments. I had to take a period of time out of Parliament to care for Michelle after back surgery and run the household - which turns out to be a full-time job in itself. Surgery was a success though and Michelle is pain free for the first time in many years.

I also took some time away from Caucus and my portfolios which had its upside as I had more time in the Bay of Plenty electorate to connect with local stakeholders and constituents.

The year ends for me and the National Caucus on a very high note. I'm delighted to have been allocated the portfolios of Internal Affairs (again) and Oceans and Fisheries, which is very relevant with the work I have been doing with my Motiti Reefs petition locally. I am looking forward to providing my petition's verbal evidence to the Environment Select Committee next year. 

Being part of the newly refreshed and re-energised National Caucus is exciting and the feeling in Parliament and elsewhere is very positive. I have indicated that I'll stand for re-election again in 2023 and I hope to continue to represent the Bay of Plenty in the 54th Parliament as I still have key priorities that I want to help our community achieve.

 

Youth Parliament

In November all MPs selected their counterparts for the 2022 Youth Parliament. I am pleased to announce that the Bay of Plenty Youth MP is Tom Catto, a Te Puna local who attends Tauranga Boys' College. Tom will be joining me at electorate events next year in the lead up to the July Youth Parliament in Wellington so hopefully you'll have a chance to say hi to him yourself.

Video Update

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Here's a video I've just recorded from Parliament. Click to hear my Christmas message.

Christmas Newsletter

My Christmas newsletter is hitting letterboxes all over the Bay of Plenty electorate next week. If you don't live locally, you're welcome to read it here. This newsletter includes a section on local community support resources that you may like to share with your family and friends. Let me know if you'd like a hard copy posted to you.

I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy Christmas with a heartfelt hope that 2022 starts off well for all of us.

Kindest regards

Todd Muller
MP for Bay of Plenty

Todd's Take - June 2021

July 01, 2021 Share

You’ll no doubt have seen recent media coverage that I have decided not to stand again at the next election. It has not been an easy week, for either my family or myself, but I am determined to remain focused on serving my community. At times like this, it is even more important to recall the values of service and integrity that I was brought up by, so deeply expressed by my late father and grandparents. Part of what they taught me is not to let bitterness, anger or ego corrode your life.

So, however difficult the last few days have been, I need to acknowledge and apologise for my part in it, accept what’s done is done, and focus on the future; anything less than that doesn’t serve the community who voted for me so strongly for three elections.

Michelle has had major surgery on her back this week; I had earlier been granted leave to care for her and our family until she is up to full strength again later this month. The leave I am taking is from Parliament, not from my electorate; my team and I remain available to assist constituents as always. I would like to thank the hundreds of people who have sent their good wishes to Michelle and our family. We greatly appreciate the support and friendship of this amazing community we live in.

Please enjoy catching up with some of my recent and upcoming community activities below.

Kind regards

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Todd Muller
MP for Bay of Plenty

 


Tauranga Boys' College

It was great to visit my old school last month. I enjoyed chatting with some of the senior students who asked thought provoking questions about politics, the economy and property investment, with future space travel cropping up too. I’m pictured here with Principal Robert Mangan and Head Prefect Corban Laban-Palmer.

Summerhill Youth Academy Graduation

Located in the Papamoa Hills behind Welcome Bay, Summerhill Youth Academy teaches leadership, enterprise and life skills to more than thirty young achievers in their final two years of high school. It's an amazing location on a farm in the private charitable trust established by David & Cloie Blackley. I'm pictured here in the woolshed with Cloie and a few of this year's graduates.

Mainfreight

I had a great catch up with Lance Chadwick and met some of his team at Mainfreight. It was interesting to hear their perspectives on the global freight challenges many New Zealand businesses are facing. Their award-winning logistics facility on Truman Lane features solar power, EV charging stations, grey water recycling and this amazing moss wall that helps absorb moisture. 

2021 Fieldays

It was fantastic to return to Mystery Creek for this year's Fieldays, the first since 2019. Here I am talking about international trade on The Country with Jamie and Ro. There were some very grumpy farmers at the event, unimpressed by the Government's announcement of the Ute Tax. 

Community Support

I'm compiling a list of community service agencies who may be new or not very well known. If you would like to have your community support service included in the directory that will be delivered to every letterbox as part of my next electorate newsletter, please reply to this email so my team can follow up with you about how you are helping people in need throughout the Bay of Plenty electorate. 

July 23 Dinner Invitation

My colleague Nicola Willis, Opposition Spokesperson for Housing, Urban Development, RMA and Associate Economic Development, is guest of honour at a dinner being held next month. Hosted by the Papamoa/Mount branch of the Bay of Plenty electorate, it's at the Omanu Golf Club on Friday 23 July at 6pm. If you'd like to come and hear Nicola's speech and enjoy a great dinner in the club house, please contact Sam Uffindell to book tickets on [email protected] or 020 4084 6993.

SH2 Extension to Omokoroa Cancelled

Last month’s announcement that the Government are pulling Stage 2 of the TNL was an utter slap in the face to everyone who has worked so hard to get State Highway 2 up to the quality we deserve in the Bay of Plenty. Too many people have lost their lives or been affected by injury to themselves or loved ones due to accidents on this dangerous piece of highway. I don’t think there is a single person in this city who isn’t shaking their head at the cancellation of the link to Omokoroa. Instead of getting underway in 2018, the incoming coalition government cancelled the TNL. Then two years later they reinstated a watered-down version from Tauranga to Omokoroa. Now they have cancelled that extension, along with other significant roading projects around New Zealand. But hey, some Aucklanders may get a cycle bridge instead.

 

 

Todd's Take - May 2021

May 28, 2021 Share

Hello Jo,

Well we were presented with the first Budget this month from this sole-charge Government and now that they've got shot of their handbrake, what a lolly scramble it was for some. Few of us will begrudge support for those who need it most but there is absolutely no plan to recover our economy – in fact Finance Minister Grant Robertson proudly outlined his expectation that by 2025 we will be almost $200 Billion in debt, over three times as much as last  March.

The Bay of Plenty electorate is home to 24,330 constituents aged over 50 – that is more than half of the electorate. Yet this year’s Budget provided no meaningful assistance to those people who quietly get through life with determination … tradies, self-employed, local workers, the elderly, the disabled, the working poor who chose not to have children due to lack of a permanent home.

And the public sector workers who kept our community operating safely and efficiently during last year’s lock downs? They’ve had their pay frozen. These members of our region have been forgotten by a government who has chosen to borrow more money to build more government rather than support more businesses.

This is ridiculous at a time when orchardists and pack houses are crying out for workers. There was once a time when MSD required jobseekers to pick and pack fruit in season rather than collect the dole. This government has decreed that no sanctions will be applicable to those who choose not to work. Instead of helping business owners to sell more produce, to earn export dollars, they’ve announced a reduction in international work visas while making it even less attractive for local unemployed people to take up these jobs.

Business owners are the employers we need to be supporting. They have suffered so many hits in the last year, from lock down restrictions to minimum wage increases, doubling of paid sick leave, and another paid day off next year. This month’s Budget was yet another blow to the employers of our region. The cost of produce will simply have to increase to keep up with higher costs and this will likely wipe out the $20 per week that the poorest members of our community will gain in July.

Next week I will be hosting the Leader of the Opposition, Judith Collins, on a visit to the Bay of Plenty electorate, including a dinner on the night of Thursday 3 June. There are limited places still available and this is a great opportunity to meet Judith in person and hear her post-Budget commentary and views about the current state of New Zealand's economy and other key topical issues. If you're interested, reply to this email and my team will send you details.

Below you can see updates of events, people and issues that I've encountered over the last few weeks. Have a great weekend and I hope to see you out and about.

Kind regards

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Todd Muller
MP for Bay of Plenty

 


A Night for Oscar

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Thank you to Sarah Clark, Melanie Taylor and everyone in Papamoa who came to support a very special fundraising event last Friday at Golden Sands School. Student Oscar Bisman has fought hard against Leukaemia but has recently suffered a recurrence. The Bismans have done so much for Papamoa families and it's impressive to see how wholeheartedly the community has come together in support of them while they base themselves in Auckland for Oscar's treatment at Starship. I'm proud to be a part of the caring community in Papamoa where we all look out for each other. There is a fundraising site to help the family - neither Sarah nor Gav can work from Auckland - and if you'd like to contribute, the page is at https://givealittle.co.nz/.../the-baddies-are-back-oscars.... I know you will join me in sending best wishes to Oscar for a successful outcome to his stay at Starship.

 

Petition for Rural Internet

Many of us are lucky to have high-speed fibre internet in our homes and offices but this is not the case for those in rural communities like Lower Kaimai and Omanawa. Please support Wayne Lowry's petition to get rural fibre connected for the folks who really struggle with slow and patchy internet - it makes life very difficult for kids to do homework and for parents to work from home or run businesses in the area. Wayne's petition closes on Monday and we'd really appreciate your signature here on the Parliamentary petition website.

 

Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club Opening

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It was a great pleasure to attend the official opening of this fabulous new asset for the community of Papamoa that will serve locals and our many thousands of visitors. Thank you to Jim Pearson and Andrew Hitchfield for their commitment to bringing this project to completion, and to everyone who has donated, sponsored or assisted in the development of the new surf life saving base. 

 

Papamoa Volunteer Fire Brigade

Congratulations to the Papamoa Volunteer Fire Brigade for their success in the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge. Their team raised $8,617 for supporting sufferers of blood cancer and leukaemia by climbing up the Sky Tower wearing firefighting kit and carrying 25 kgs each of gear. What an incredible feat, well done to you all for your strength and community spirit. Donations are still open here if you'd like to help out the Papamoa team's fundraising.

 

Law and Order

I appreciated having MP for Pakuranga Simeon Brown spend time in the Bay of Plenty yesterday. As the Opposition Police Spokesman he enjoyed connecting with local Police at a community meeting I held in Papamoa and we also had a ride around with the Papamoa Community Patrol. This is a local initiative operated purely by volunteers who are the eyes and ears of Police and provide a vital service helping keep our community safe. Thanks to Debbie, Japie and Bernz for inviting us and thank you also to Ebbett Tauranga for providing the vehicle that makes it possible.

 


 

 




Todd's Take: April 2021 Goings On

April 30, 2021 Share

April Newsletter

In this issue: * ANZAC Day Services * Papamoa Public Meeting * Kaimai School Opening * Motiti Petition Update * Kaima Fibre Petition * Sunscreen Bill Submissions

Hi Jo 

Well that's April knocked off, along with the first quarter of 2021. My Autumn Newsletter hit letterboxes over the weekend throughout the Bay of Plenty. It's also available online for those outside the electorate to read. We included a feature on banking services for elderly and customers without smart devices as it's an area we're getting a few queries about in the community. 

I've enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with constituents and businesses over the last few weeks. My regular drop in clinics in Te Puna and Welcome Bay were busier than ever with an interesting array of topics raised. My team has been hard at work helping to resolve issues relating to immigration, health, housing and technology.

We also received a number of queries relating to council and I met with the TCC Commissioners to advocate for many constituents about their concerns. The Commissioners were receptive and have followed up and responded to the points raised. I am confident that ratepayers will see positive engagement with Tauranga City Council over the rest of their term. 

Housing continues to be a hot topic in the Bay and I appreciated a catch up with two social housing providers to get an idea of plans for permanent housing for the thousands of people currently living in motels. It’s not healthy for any family to live in temporary accommodation but available land to build on locally is almost non-existent, with Papamoa East and Tauriko West the last green fields locations. Each has its own challenges to build on but infrastructure is one of the keys to opening these areas for families to live in.

Employers struggle to attract staff to the area because it’s nearly as difficult to buy a house here as it is in Auckland. Real estate agents are crying out for listings. Letting agents have massive waitlists. Even to get on the register for a new build can cost over a thousand dollars as housing developers have many more buyers than sections.

Central government must ensure that the infrastructure we need is made available and that the Resource Management Act changes smooth the way for new housing areas to be fast-tracked. We simply cannot afford to slow our city’s growth for the lack of roads, schools and everything else that contributes to affordable, safe and healthy neighbourhoods.

Papamoa Public Meeting

On the evening of Thursday 27 May I'm holding a community meeting, at Legacy Gardens, with a focus on mental health, crime and after hours medical facilities. I encourage Papamoa residents to pre-register at www.toddmuller.co.nz/papamoa. It's a great opportunity to share local feedback and ask questions about crime with Inspector Clifford Paxton, Western Bay of Plenty Area Police Commander. We have Pete Chandler, Chief Executive of the DHB, coming to talk about after hours care and he'll be accompanied by a colleague from the Tauranga Mental Health team. Judy Killalea, whose petition got the after hours medical conversation started, will be in attendance too. 

You can read on below for an update about what's been going on for me and have your say on some important issues too. 

Have a great weekend - I hope to see you out and about.

Todd Muller
MP for Bay of Plenty

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Autumn 2021 Bay of Plenty Electorate Newsletter

April 29, 2021 Share

I often wonder as I sit in the dark of our Mount Maunganui dawn service listening to the waves fold gently upon each other whether I would have thrown myself into the water like those landing in Gallipoli or Normandy.

Whether I would have driven on into the desert valleys of the Middle East and North Africa or slashed through impenetrable jungles of Asia. In my bravest moments I tell myself I would have and so would my friends, but if I am honest I find their bravery and courage daunting beyond measure. I am particularly moved by the humility of our service men and women.

To those who think that the greatest (WW2) generation can’t be replicated, I can give you confidence that our current service women and men are exemplary. In 2017 I was very privileged to travel to Iraq and meet those serving in that hostile part of the world. I was struck by how young they were, how professional and diverse and comfortable in their skin. They truly were inspirational.

I find the many forms of service a profoundly inspiring part of this job. As Member of Parliament for Bay of Plenty I meet so many locals who serve their community with humility and consistency, never seeking recognition, other than simply lending a hand to someone or some people who need support.

It is always risky to call out individuals but I have four names I want to acknowledge:

  • Bryce McFall and Amanda Lowry whose work with our disabled athletes to help them be the best they can be is just stunning.
  • Andrew Hitchfield and Jim Pearson, from Papamoa Surf Lifesaving Club who have worked for years and years to get our new surf club built.

These four will immediately say they are part of a much wider team, which of course is true, but someone has to lead, someone has to serve, and in these four we have great community examples.

We live in a remarkable community at a profoundly challenging time. I believe a way through the next few years is for those of us who can, spend just that extra bit more helping out our neighbour – great things happen when extraordinary people allow themselves to be truly themselves.

I look forward to seeing you out and about.

Kind regards

Todd Muller

 

Read my newsletter as a PDF here or click the thumbnails below.

 

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