Region challenged, new MP tells House

By Genevieve Helliwell

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New Tauranga list MP Brendan Horan highlighted the Rena disaster and Psa crisis as major issues for the Bay in his maiden speech to Parliament.

The New Zealand First MP also spoke about the challenges facing society and how these had changed over the years. He talked about the policies of New Zealand First and how the party would strive to make New Zealand a better place for the people who live here.

"We are a growing party, strong in our beliefs, and to all 147,544 people who entrusted us with their votes - we will represent the beliefs that you hold as vital to the prosperous future of our nation."

In the speech on Wednesday, he highlighted the high cost of local swimming pools and spoke about the alarming number of child brutality cases and murder rates in New Zealand, saying New Zealand had the highest rates in the OECD.

His speech brought him back to Tauranga as he spoke about the challenges facing the region - the Rena disaster and Psa crisis.

"On top of the many challenges that we face in New Zealand, Tauranga has the added burden of the Rena and its effect not only on our environment but also the economic damage to businesses both small and large, and the long-term effects that have yet be fully realised.

"Another major concern is Psa that has wiped out over half the golden kiwifruit crop, and that equates to close to $500 million out of the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty economy.

"All levels of the industry are having to change and adapt their businesses to survive ... [and] I believe with time and government support our industry can recover. I believe that Tauranga has the potential to be a great city. The best in the world."

He finished by talking about the importance of technology and how the world was constantly changing, saying it was a New Zealand First priority to upskill the New Zealand workforce.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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