Tom Rutherford - The week that was

A year ago today, I was selected as the National Party Candidate for Bay of Plenty, replacing the retiring Todd Muller.

Since then, as the candidate and now as the local Bay of Plenty MP, I have had the opportunity to meet and work alongside some inspiring people.

Often the most rewarding work is done in private, not publicised on social media, but I know the massive impact it has for my local Bay of Plenty constituents.

Thank you to everyone who has made the effort to get to know me. To those who have met me at my local electorate office, out and about in the community, or through email or social media – thank you. I hope I am the representative you’d hoped I would be.

To my partner Hannah, who has been by my side through it all. You sacrifice so much, yet you give me so much love. Thank you!

Here’s to continuing to serve the Bay of Plenty. Thank you for this incredible opportunity!

The Week That Was
 - 17 MAY 2024

Out and about in our Bay of Plenty business community, I recently had the opportunity to visit ReDefined - Health Wellbeing Movement in Pāpāmoa, where they’re combining proven science with a holistic approach to improve the lives of people in our community.

Their impressive four-studio complex offers state-of-the-art gym equipment, yoga, and reformer and functional movement studios.

Big thanks to Jimmy for the tour, introducing me to his team, and even beating me in a push-up contest. I'll be back!


The Bay of Plenty Mayoral Forum is a significant gathering of local government leaders in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand.

The forum consists of mayors and chief executives from various councils in the Bay of Plenty. Mayor Tania Tapsell chaired the forum, with Mayor Victor Luca serving as the deputy chair.

Other members included representatives from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Kawerau District Council, Ōpōtiki District Council, Rotorua Lakes Council, Taupō District Council, Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, and Whakatāne District Council.

I enjoyed accompanying Minister of Local Government Simeon Brown MP to the Forum recently.

Also was a good chance to catch up with my friend and former boss, Mayor of Rotorua Tania Tapsell.

Back To School!

I enjoyed spending an afternoon with the leaders of Papamoa College, including Principal Iva Ropati, Associate Principal Pete Durie, and Director of Property and Development Nathan Rillstone.

I love the work the school does for our community, and I’m proud to represent them in Parliament.

The school’s vision is “Embracing Opportunities; Creating Excellence,” and they’re doing a fantastic job of supporting young people to achieve their very best.


Great news that the local Papamoa Interchange project is entering its final stage. I am an excited advocate for this project and am staying across its progress with regular meetings with commissioners.

The start of the main construction phase of Papamoa East Interchange project was recently marked with a small ceremony on the southern embankment on the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Rd. The $90 million project was expected to be completed by mid-2026.

Construction during the first two years of the four-year project included preparing the ground for construction, implementing new water infrastructure and building the new intersection for the future The Sands Avenue.

This final phase of work included the new interchange including abutments, on- and off-ramps with State Highway 2/TEL TR, construction of The Sands Avenue, between the Te Okuroa Drive intersection and the interchange, lighting, traffic lights and cameras, stormwater infrastructure and landscaping, planting, and cultural design elements.

Local firm HEB Construction Ltd won the public tender for the work and will take on construction of the interchange and the on- and off-ramps.

Traffic on State Highway 2/TEL TR will be managed to keep drivers and construction crew safe during construction. The left-hand lanes alongside the work section will be closed for extended periods and the speed limit reduced to 70km/h. Traffic management is anticipated to add less than a minute to an average journey.

The new interchange is scheduled to be operational in mid-2026.

Local Elections 2024

The Tauranga City Council election is on Saturday, 20 July 2024.

This is your chance to make a real difference in your community and restore democracy in our city.

Tauranga City Council are looking for intelligent, passionate and caring people to apply for the most important jobs in the city.

If you think you have what it takes to represent your community as one of nine ward councillors, or lead the city as mayor, nominations open Friday, 26 April and close Friday, 24 May. You could make all the difference!

Pretty In Pink?

Pink Shirt Day is today - Friday 17 May 2024! By taking part in Pink Shirt Day 2024, you'll be doing your part to eliminate bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting kindness and inclusion. Did you get involved and support? I Did!

Bay of Plenty Retirement Villages

In the Bay of Plenty Electorate, we have 11 retirement villages. Are you a resident in one of these villages? Would you be interested in a regular constituent clinic at your village? 

Recently, my office contacted each of the 11 retirement villages offering to co-host constituency clinics in each village every 3 months. This would give residents the opportunity to meet with me without travelling to my electorate office.

A regular constituent clinic gives all interested residents an opportunity to engage directly with me as their local Bay of Plenty elected representative in Parliament, share concerns, ask questions and voice their opinions on matters that affect them and our community.

The Brewer Effect!

We were lucky to have the entertainment of Cameron Brewer MP at the Bay of Plenty Superblues recently. A great captivating informative and entertaining speaker. Thanks to everyone who came out and asked the hard questions.

Rest assured we are doing everything to deliver tax relief to Kiwis!

Building Our Future

Picture perfect day in the Bay of Plenty hosting Building & Construction Minister Chris Penk. We proudly showed Chris the new and exciting local projects such as : the Winstone Wallboards factory in Tauriko, the Rangiuru Business Park and progress on the impressive Sands Town Centre in Papamoa.

Lots of progress, changes and opportunities happening in our Bay of Plenty community, all centred around rebuilding our economy.

Hope you have a great weekend and if there is anything I can do to help - please give my office a call on 07 542 0505 or email me at [email protected]


Tom Rutherford
MP for Bay of Plenty

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