SunLive         

Tauranga is expanding at an accelerated rate yet its infrastructure is struggling to accommodate for this growth.

Key roads which provide access to some of the Bay of Plenty's largest economic and tourism hubs are already overloaded. It's time we address the deficit in our infrastructure and get things moving.

The road between Tauranga City and Mount Maunganui is and always will be a primary arterial route. As major business and tourism hubs, it is incredibly important that we prioritise ease of access between these locations. With the recent approval of the new Te Tomokanga Cruise Gateway and Welcome Hub, there are major increases in tourism forecasted for the future. We need to be proactive in preparing for this increase.

The Port of Tauranga broke records again this year with an 11.2 per cent increase in volume. The economic success and high activity of the port should be serviced by sufficient infrastructure, but sadly this is not the case. Traffic flow on its connecting roads such as Totara St has slowed to a snail's pace. Instead of a free-flowing thoroughfare, it has become far more reminiscent of a clogged up drainpipe.

The increases in our economy and population have far outrun the capacity of our infrastructure to accommodate the traffic volumes of our area. We need to take action to help our infrastructure catch up and keep pace with our rate of growth. Let's get things moving!

Clayton Mitchell
New Zealand First MP