Sam Uffindell has been MP for Tauranga since June 2022 and has been working incredibly hard to set Tauranga up to be the best city to live, work and enjoy in New Zealand.
Tauranga’s new MP, Sam Uffindell, was elected to Parliament following a by-election brought on by the retirement of Simon Bridges.
Since coming into his role, Uffindell has experienced a baptism of fire. He rode through the challenge with resilience and the significant support of his electorate. He has come out the other side a much more battle hardened member and a highly visible leader within the Tauranga community.
What’s clear from watching Uffindell is his calm and easy nature with constituents, relentless work ethic and long term vision for Tauranga and New Zealand.
All those that have met Uffindell will notice that he’s genuinely friendly, open, laid back and interested in people. He has an easy way about him and makes others feel comfortable. He has all the hallmarks of a successful long term electorate MP. One gets the feeling he really wants to help those living in Tauranga and has hired an extremely open and hard working set of staff to run his electorate office in Third Avenue.
During the by-election campaign, Uffindell was easily the most visible of all candidates. He and his volunteers knocked on a significant majority of all the residential doors in Tauranga. Uffindell personally visited many businesses throughout Tauranga, whether they be in our CBD, Tauriko Business Estate, the retail shops along Maunganui Road or businesses through the Mount industrial area.
He was there to meet with businesses, to let them know that their local MP cared for them and was genuinely interested in addressing their concerns.
The major areas of feedback given to Uffindell from Tauranga businesses is the labour crisis, congestion and regulation. He is taking those concerns and driving for change locally and from Wellington. Since returning to duty in September, Uffindell has been visible at an endless list of events across Tauranga. He is clearly putting in the hard yards to assure voters that in him they have an incredibly hard working MP that is dedicated to delivering for the people of Tauranga.
Uffindell has been quite clear about his vision for Tauranga: to make it the best city to live, work and enjoy in New Zealand. He also envisions Tauranga becoming a tech hub, ideally, the tech capital of New Zealand.
The National Party has given Uffindell portfolio roles that could help bring this vision to life. He is National’s Associate Spokesperson for Economic and Regional Development and Research, Science, AI, Innovation and Technology. The Economic and Regional Development role gives him considerable scope to help shape the future of Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty.
He is an incredibly strong advocate for dramatically improving the infrastructure feeding Tauranga. This includes extensions of SH29 to allow the development of tens of thousands of new homes and a four lane, grade separated SH29 all the way over the Kaimai’s to SH1.
The upgrade of Hewletts/Hull/Totara is also critical to Tauranga as a key artery connecting Tauranga to the Mount and to the Port. He would like for some serious long term strategic planning and infrastructure development to take place to see that when SH29 and Hewletts/Hull/Totara are upgraded they are developed with 2050 in mind, not yesterday.
Uffindell has publicly advocated for the Port of Tauranga to expand and develop a third birth. This is critical for the Port to be able to manage exporting our goods. Uffindell believes it would be a travesty if local businesses and growers were denied the ability to grow because the government has not held up their end and limited growth through a lack of suitable infrastructure.
Technology is something that Uffindell is very passionate about. He cites Tauranga’s proximity to the kiwifruit capital of New Zealand, location within the golden triangle, expansion of Waikato University and amazing climate as key factors to draw in young people. He wants Tauranga to lead the country for agri-tech and hort-tech; services in which New Zealand could lead the world. There is huge potential in these industries and Uffindell is highly driven to support their development here in Tauranga.
With the rapid development of our city, and passionate local advocates like Sam Uffindell, there is a real sense that Tauranga will achieve its ambitions and become the best city to live, work and enjoy in New Zealand.