There was a fantastic response to my first ‘People’s Question Time’ held at Tauranga Boys’ College last Wednesday night. It was a great turnout and there were some very good discussions on a number of topics.
Good morning and welcome to the World Geothermal Congress. It is a real pleasure to be here and I’m sure that, like me, you are all looking forward to a fascinating few days.
In recent years we’ve heard a lot about the idea of an 'energy trilemma'. As the World Energy Council puts it, we need to balance the tensions between the need for energy reliability and security, society’s need for accessible and affordable energy, and the need for environmental sustainability.
We are all aware that house prices in Tauranga relative to income are among the highest in the country. One reason for this is that Tauranga is such a desirable place to live; another is that the high rate of retirees skews income figures.
Putting this aside, housing affordability is a major concern for a number of people, and an issue I hear mentioned a lot when out and about in the community.
Last week during Parliament’s General Debate I gave a speech about how the National-led Government is backing the regions to achieve their potential through increased support and investment.
In my Transport portfolio we have policies like accelerating regional roading projects and the Roads of National Significance, including the Tauranga Eastern Link, which is ahead of schedule and due to be completed by the end of this year. Funding for local roading in the Bay of Plenty has increased 47 percent since we took office.
In the current National-led Government, Simon is Minister of Energy and Resources, Minister of Transport, Deputy Leader of the House, Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues and Associate Minister of Justice.
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