Tom Rutherford - The week that was - 24 May

The Week That Was  - 24 MAY 2024

Fantastic news that Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand will continue to be able to keep people safe in, on, and around the water following a funding boost of $63.644 million over four years.

Heading to the beach for a day of fun in the water is part of the Kiwi way of life, particularly in summer and especially for us here in the Bay of Plenty!

With that comes inherent risk and these frontline organisations do critical work to help ensure people can head home safe.

This funding will ensure that Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand can continue to deliver water safety services and save lives, and keep up their efforts to reduce New Zealand’s high drowning toll on the water and beaches.

Costs are rising across the board for these largely volunteer-driven organisations. The funding will cover operational expenses for both organisations as well as rescue equipment, facilities and maintenance.

“The work of close to 4,500 volunteer lifeguards at Surf Life Saving New Zealand provide the public with an incredible service. I want to thank all of those people who help keep Kiwis safe in, on, or around the water for the work that they do each summer.

This funding injection will contribute to lifeguard training and gear, beach and coastal safety initiatives, as well as maintaining and upgrading lifesaving club buildings.

Coastguard New Zealand rescues over 6,000 people who get into trouble on the water each year and, with demand for their water safety services growing, this funding will ensure they can continue to deliver their essential prevention and rescue services.”

Funding for Coastguard New Zealand will cover personal protective equipment, critical marine communications equipment and the continued provision of emergency call-out rescue services for recreational boat users that get into trouble out on the water.

Love is in the air!

I recently delivered a letter of congratulations to Papamoa’s very own Elizabeth and Ray to congratulate them on 70 years of marriage! Love is in the air in Papamoa. Congratulations to you both!!

National Party Regional Conference.

Enjoyed the opportunity to speak recently at the Central and Lower North Island National Party Regional Conference, in Palmerston North.

Great to have all the MPs from the two regions there for the weekend, along with many members from across the North Island.

During the conference, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon fronted an unapologetic defence of National's first months in power, its pace of change and commitment to tax relief.

Speaking to party representatives, the Prime Minister said the coalition had no intention of changing tack.

He mentioned - "It's only just the beginning. We are moving at pace, and we will continue to do so, quarter by quarter, year by year, to get us out of where we are to a much better place."

"We're not here to manage the status quo”, he continued. “We do not care about the pundits and commentators and what people say out there." Looking ahead to the 30 May Budget, the Prime Minister said he was proud of what Finance Minister Nicola Willis had achieved.

The Best Start in life!

Thank you to the new BestStart Bayfair for inviting me to officially open their new purpose-built premises.

I was fortunate to open the centre alongside Centre Manager Amy Woodman, BestStart Founder Wayne Wright and Chief Executive Tony Ryall.

The great news is that the new facilities will provide quality education and care for children aged between 3 months to 6 years old.

The new indoor spaces are built to support the learning and development of every age group – Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers. Each room will be equipped with high quality, focused resources designed to spark curious minds.


In the last 53 years altogether, the founders, directors and volunteers of the Doing Good Foundation have built over a hundred homes for families. During the last 28 years alone, 88 homes have been built for partner families in genuine need through the Progressive Home Ownership or Rent-then-Own model. 

A pleasure to meet Sandie from the foundation an organisation making a real difference in our region by helping families achieve homeownership through their rent-then-own program. Amazing work happening in our community!

Supporting Victims in our Community

Really worthwhile to meet with our local Victim Support Bay of Plenty team, led by CEO James McCulloch. Victim Support is available 24/7 for people directly affected by crime, suicide, and traumatic events, including their families and witnesses. They work to support people to feel informed, empowered, safe, and able to cope with the impact.

On a personal level, in 2015, on my first day as a new student at Victoria University, I was punched and knocked out by an intoxicated stranger when I stood up for an older gentleman.

At that time, Victim Support worked with me as the offender went through the justice system, and they helped facilitate a restorative justice process. Their support was incredible, and I cannot speak more highly of how they looked after me.

Countdown to the budget!

Tax relief is coming! The Prime Minister along with Nicola Willis will announce our 2024 budget next Thursday May 30th.

So, what can you expect?

We will cut wasteful spending. We will get money out of the back office and into the front line. We will invest in infrastructure, and we will deliver tax relief.

No bells, no whistles, just the basics done well to rebuild the economy, restore law and order and deliver better public services.

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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