SunLive         

With New Zealand’s busiest port and the bustling kiwifruit industry the Bay of Plenty is a big contributor to the country’s economy. In fact without the goods we export there would be fewer jobs for local people. As a former trade minister I was able to compare New Zealand to countries we compete within markets around the world. The ability of kiwi exporters is second to none, we punch above our weight in almost everything we do.

But to compete internationally we need to be productive – greater productivity means lower costs, better prices and greater returns – it means our exports are more attractive on the shelves in China or the UK – and our businesses are able to grow and invest.

It all sounds easy until you consider the role that government plays. When kiwifruit sits in traffic taking longer to get to the port than it should, it costs. When the government reduces the speed limit to 80km/hr instead of fixing the road, it costs. I’m proud of the roading infrastructure that the last National government delivered for the Bay of Plenty, to get our economy growing.

As National’s Tauranga candidate Sam Uffindell said at his campaign launch, almost every road in Tauranga was announced and funded by National and has been delayed by Labour.

Sam has a plan to get Tauranga moving again and National knows that a productive Bay of Plenty is good for New Zealand. We pay a lot of tax – Labour should give us our roads!

Todd McClay
National MP for Rotorua