Tauranga politicians can all agree on one thing: it's a sad state that Tauranga Community Foodbank has almost run out of food due to increased demand for help.

However, those who will be vying for votes come the general election in September have differing solutions to the problem.

The foodbank was a band aid for wider issues including low wages, high living costs and increasing rental prices faced by many in Tauranga, they say.

Labour Party candidate Jan Tinetti said things were very tight for many families in Tauranga, something she saw every day in her role as Merivale School principal.


There needed to be adequate funding for services like foodbanks.

"At a higher level, there needs to be a nationwide discussion about why rents are going up, why the cost of living has gone up and what we can do to bring up minimum wages."

A big focus for the Labour Party was affordable housing and adequate emergency housing, with a pledge to build 10,000 affordable houses every year for a decade.

Bay of Plenty-based NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell said it was a sad reality that so many people were dependent on the foodbank.

"The next government needs to take a bottom-up approach to our economy, making sure living costs are in line with wages."

Mr Mitchell said taking GST off food would be a good start but was only the beginning of changes needed to fix the problem.

Green Party candidate Emma-Leigh Hodge said it was not good enough that so many people were relying on the foodbank to get through.

Immediate steps needed to be taken to build up emergency housing stock and a Green Party bill to improve tenants' rights would help people in rental accommodation.


She said the Green Party was also looking at increasing the minimum wage and work towards implementing a living wage to ensure incomes were realigned with living costs.

National Party MP for Tauranga Simon Bridges was unable to be reached for comment.

On Monday the Bay of Plenty Times reported the foodbank was facing bare shelves as food collected from the Christmas Appeal was already dwindling.

Already the Tauranga community has rallied and donated non-perishable food items, but more was needed to prevent the foodbank from dipping into its savings account to pay for food items.

How you can help

Bring donations of non-perishable food or cash to the Bay of Plenty Times office at 405 Cameron Rd between 8.30am and 5pm or to the Tauranga Community Foodbank at Unit G, 4 Brook St by Fraser Cove.