With his elevation up the National Party pecking order, 2015 was a busy year for Rotorua MP Todd McClay.

Late last year he was made Minister of Trade and Minister for State Owned Enterprises while also becoming Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs.

He has spent plenty of time overseas in the past few months on trade delegations and has now got to deal with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, as Tim Groser has stepped down to take up a diplomatic role.

But while Parliament is in recess, he's having fun at the beach with his family.


"My family and I spent Christmas enjoying the great weather and swimming in lakes Rotoiti and Tarawera.

"We've gone away for a break over New Year and will then be spending a few days at Pukehina enjoying the surf."

He said 2015 had been a good year for Rotorua with the local economy continuing to strengthen as one of the best-performing regions in New Zealand.

"It's pleasing to see families returning from Australia as jobs are created and wages grow. Investment in wood processing and tourism have led the way, with retail starting to perform well."

He said some of his highlights for 2015 included education initiatives, increasing benefits and cleaning up the lakes.

"The Children's Team has expanded its network focusing on Rotorua children who are most at risk, and free doctor visits for under 13-year-olds was extended to all young people in Rotorua," he said.

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"The first increase in benefits for more than 30 years was delivered in Budget 2015, helping Rotorua families with children.

"Important progress on a clean and healthy Lake Rotorua has been made and its pleasing to see the regional council build on the 2013 Oturoa Agreement to include local people in their decision-making process over land-use changes and the allocation of $24 million funds for the Rotorua catchment."

He said this year held equal promise with the economy predicted to perform well.

"Priorities will be to deliver on important infrastructure to ensure Rotorua remains an attractive district for investment, establish a business and create jobs," Mr McClay said. "This must include transportation infrastructure in the eastern suburbs and Te Ngae Rd to accommodate growth and take advantage of reduced journey times to the Port of Tauranga.

"I will also be looking to help local businesses take advantage of our network of free trade agreements to boost exports from the Bay of Plenty to lucrative overseas markets."

He said 2016 would be a big year "full of opportunity for Rotorua and new challenges".

"I can't wait to get stuck in."