After a busy start to the year, Parliament is now in the middle of a two-week recess, which gives me more time to get out and about in our community.
I have been enjoying meeting with Tauranga residents, community groups and businesses. On Thursday, March 15 at 10.30am I will be having the first of my regular Community Catch-Ups at Greerton Library.
This is a great opportunity for you to come along, get to know me better and to discuss the issues you are concerned about.
The issue many locals are talking to me about at the moment is traffic and our land transport network which, as we all know, is under huge pressure.
Land transport affects us all. Everyone has a story to tell, ranging from being stuck in increasing congestion to the most horrific scenario of an unforgiving traffic environment resulting in serious death or injury.
As a new MP, I believe it is important for me to have a good understanding of this issue.
My fellow MP Angie Warren-Clark and I have been meeting with local government personnel, interest groups and concerned individuals to better understand this issue, which is a very complex one due to the varying needs across the region.
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is currently reviewing the Bay of Plenty Regional Land Transport Plan to ensure it continues to set an appropriate direction for our transport system.
The Regional Transport Committee is seeking your feedback on this plan, with submissions now open until the March 23.
It is important that you have your say.
I urge you to read the draft Regional Land Transport Plan and make your submission online at: www.boprc.govt.nz/landtransportplan