Four Labour MPs have been given a grassroots insight into the challenges facing the education sector in Tauranga in helping tackle the region's skills shortage.
The Labour Education and Workforce Caucus Committee spent the day visiting
Robotics Plus and the new Waikato University campus on Durham St to discuss different issues facing the region.
Tauranga MP Jan Tinetti was joined by Rangitata MP Jo Luxton, Rodney MP Marja Lubeck and Hamilton's Jamie Strange for the day to hear people's thoughts on what needs to be done to meet industry needs in the region and would be reporting back to Wellington.
"I've been convinced for a very long time that we need to get the ministers here to Tauranga because we have some great work going on, but we also have some issues in the workforce," Tinetti said.
"Particularly in the horticulture field and we really need to look at that as a Government and find out how we can support those issues."
As well as Robotics Plus and the university the caucus met with Priority One, Port of Tauranga and Zespri.
She said it filled her with pride to bring her fellow MPs around the city which she believes is a hub for innovation and fresh thinking.
Hamilton-based MP Jamie Strange said it was great to see the strong links between the regions.
"There is a huge amount of economic and educational growth, and there are lots of opportunities for our region to still collaborate."
He said the university campus was a great example of this.
"It links to the economic development that is happening here. The timing is perfect.
"And they need staff and skills, so the tertiary institution is absolutely vital in supplying that."
Acting campus manager Ken Perszyk said it was important for MPs to see what the university was trying to achieve.
"It's terrific to have the chance to share the excitement we have been having in putting this together for the students and the region."