Latest News

News from Louise - July 2021 update

July 15, 2021 Share

Engagement campaign determines priorities 

We held a series of interactive workshops with different interest groups during our engagement campaign over the past few months to determine priorities for Cambridge, Tirau, Putaruru, Tokoroa, Taupō and Turangi and surrounding communities. 

I was really encouraged by the positive ideas shared by a diverse group of people and organisations that included tourism operators, accommodation providers, farmers and business networks.

We also met with Indian business and Filipino communities, community organisations, parents, youth groups and seniors including Greypower and residents of Retirement villages to hear their views.  

I will be reporting back on our agreed priorities through my mid-yearly print newspaper.  It is currently in print and should be hitting your mailboxes soon, so keep an eye out for it.  

In addition, we've hosted several MPs in the electorate this year so far, including Dr Shane Reti, Deputy Leader, Michael Woodhouse MP and Chris Luxon MP.  Michael joined us as Spokesperson for Transport at our C2P public meeting in Cambridge while Chris Luxon joined us in Taupō to share his journey so far. 

In August and September, we will be joined by Stuart Smith MP and Scott Simpson MP, details further down.

I have also been catching up with many of you at our regular Friendly Forums and Coffee Catch ups, while others have joined me online on Facebook during our monthly "Live with Louise" sessions. These are held once a month on a Tuesday at 8pm and topics are wide-ranging from UTEs, car tax, hate and free speech, He PuaPua, MIQ to name a few. 

I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to come along and share your thoughts with me.  I look forward to updating you regularly on actions arising out of our conversations.  If you have any concerns, whether about your community or the direction of our country at the moment, I really would like to hear them, so please do join me at one of the future meetings detailed below. 


Post-Budget events

Our post-budget breakfasts hosted in Cambridge, Taupō and Tokoroa were well attended, with discussions varied.  Overall, businesses reported finding it hard to recruit staff even with the increase in JobSeeker numbers reported by MSD and current immigration settings not helping either. 

High freight costs and the increasing cost of doing business due to current Government policy settings are already showing in the rising cost of living. 

The sentiment in the room was that in this year's budget, the Government overlooked business favouring spending on social services. 

Business owners are calling for pro-growth Government policies and I outlined five quick win policies that the Government could implement.  I have elaborated on those in our print newspaper, so keep an eye out for them.

C2P a decade away 

Waka Kotahi NZTA announced that its Board had endorsed the business case for the Cambridge to Piarere Waikato Expressway extension.  However, disappointingly they also said that there is no funding to start construction on it before 2027!

Under a National Government, it would already be well underway after we committed to building it in 2017. National will continue to advocate for earlier funding of this vital project to get the road built and save lives. Read our update here.

Affordable housing development underway in Taupō 


It was a great pleasure to be part of the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the affordable housing development at Parawera Estate in Taupō recently.

This development is a long time in the making. I have to commend the developer David Duggan for his perseverance and tenacity over the past couple of years working with the Maori landowners Hiruharama Ponui to bring this project to fruition. 

The development will contain 15 affordable houses, each one with a private front and rear garden. They will be placed in the centre of the Parawera Estate close to the community facilities.

The 2-bedroom units are all single storey and suitable for non-disabled and mobility-impaired occupants with level access to the units.  Well done again, David!

Celebrating our volunteers

We recently celebrated our volunteers from across the electorate.  The theme this year of Volunteers Week theme was ‘Recognise, Connect, Reimagine’. 

It was apt considering the incredible effort of our volunteers during the past two years helping communities get through an ongoing pandemic.  Volunteers are the backbone of the community and we are so lucky to have so many people who give their time tirelessly and selflessly to others.

We had over 25 organisations represented at our celebrations this year and it was great to sense the strong camaraderie in the room.  Once again, thank you for all you do!

Demand the Debate

From issues such as He Puapua to the Ute Tax, I'm hearing from people that they are starting to feel left out on decisions being made by the Government that affect all of us, but without opportunities to have our say.  At the same time, more than 4000 children are left to grow up in motels and mental health services are in crisis.  If you want to have a say in your future, demand the debate, and sign up to receive updates on these and other vital issues facing our country.

Opportunities to meet me

Howl of a protest

I will be attending the Taupō Groundswell protest on 16 July.  We will meet at Miers Contracting in Reporoa, 198-4 Butcher Road, Reporoa 3083 at 11am and convoy into Taupō.  If you are planning on joining the convoy in town instead, the assembly point is the Lakeside Car Park opposite the Mini Golf at 12:00pm.  Contact is Gavin Watson, 022 600 7223.

Coffee Catch Ups

  • Taupō - 17 July, 9am, Baked with Love, 11 Gascoigne Street. RSVP here

Friendly Forums 

  • Cambridge - 23 July, 10am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street. RSVP here

Climate Change Public meeting

  • Taupō - 18 August, 5:30pm - 7pm with Stuart Smith MP, Spokesperson for Climate Change.  Motutaiko Room, Suncourt Hotel, 14 Northcroft Street.  RSVP here

Fair Pay Agreements roadshow - Hold the date!

  • Taupō and Cambridge, 3 September with Scott Simpson MP, Spokesperson for Workplace Relations.   Details to follow in our next newsletter.

Live with Louise on Facebook

  • Tuesday 3 August, 8pm.  Please send me your questions and join me on the day to have them answered.  I look forward to seeing you online!  

Hon Louise Upston MP for Taupo

Labour leaves Waikato to wait a decade for C2P Extension

June 27, 2021 Share

The announcement that the Waka Kotahi NZTA Board has endorsed the business case for the Cambridge to Piarere Waikato Expressway extension is progress, but it is disappointing that there’s no funding to start it before 2027 when under a National Government it would already be well underway, National’s MP for Taupō Louise Upston and MP for Waikato Tim van de Molen say.

“We committed to building that road in 2017,” Ms Upston says.

“While the Board’s endorsement yesterday is a positive step, with no funding allocated for nearly a decade, there is still a long way to go before any sign of construction starts.”

Mr van de Molen says, “it is encouraging to see Waka Kotahi NZTA’s acknowledgement of the importance of this project, but we now need to get the Government to understand this is not something that can wait a decade.

“We know the road is critical; the local community knows it and local businesses know it.

“The Government are seemingly the only ones who don’t recognise the safety, social and economic benefits of this road for one of the key regions in New Zealand.”

Ms Upston says this progress is thanks to the hard work of National MPs, including Transport spokesperson Michael Woodhouse, who visited twice this term. National will continue to push with the community’s support to get the road built.

Ms Upston says she wants to “thank everyone who has signed petitions, attended public meetings, and made their voices heard by writing to ministers.

“You can all be proud of your efforts so far and we appreciate your continued support to ensure the Government builds this road.”

Mr Van de Molen agreed saying, “while this is welcome news, National will continue to advocate for earlier funding of this important project to get it built and save lives.”

Media contact: Ani O’Brien 021 848 812

Taupo Maternity Postnatal Stay restrictions unacceptable

June 14, 2021 Share

Lakes DHB’s decision to restrict the opening hours of the Maternity Unit at Taupō Hospital at night and during weekends for postnatal stays due to a lack of staff put mothers and their babies at risk, says Taupō MP Louise Upston.

“I’ve been in regular contact with CEO Nick Saville-Wood at Lakes DHB, and he assured me in December last year that the DHB has addressed staff shortage issues affecting birthing and postnatal care at the Taupō Hospital.

“To hear that women may now need to be discharged after giving birth during a weekend or at night, or go to Rotorua Hospital if they want any postnatal care, is simply unacceptable.

“Babies don't arrive on set days.  Women are entitled to up to 48 hours of in-patient postnatal care in a maternity facility of their choice and the DHB has an obligation to ensure uninterrupted service provision to Taupō women.

“My proposed 3-Day Postnatal Stay Members Bill will increase this entitlement to 72 hours because National recognises how important this time is to mothers and their babies.

“However, when I sought Labour’s support of my Bill, the Associate Minister of Health, Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall, said “she believes the current legislation already meets the needs of women who require longer in-patient postnatal care and suggested the Government remained committed to improving maternity care for women, babies and whānau through the public health system”.

“Well, the reduced operating hours of the Maternity unit at the Taupō Hospital due to staff shortages do not match the Government’s commitment rhetoric then,” says Ms Upston.

Figures obtained under the Official Information Act suggests DHBs are facing critical health workforce shortages, including midwives. Lakes DHB had 58 staff vacancies as of 30 March 2021 across all sites operated by the DHB. These include 5 midwives and 28 nurses amongst others.

Ms Upston says the Government has talked up its health restructure package of $486 million, but have failed to produce any concrete plan or policy to increase the supply of critical health workers including midwives.

“As a result, our DHB is having to push back and shut vital facilities like our Maternity unit at Taupō hospital due to its inability to provide postnatal care as it doesn’t have enough staff.”

Ms Upston says mothers and their babies should not be collateral damage for the Government’s inaction on addressing the critical issue of healthcare worker shortages.

“Taupō needs a 24 hour, 7 days a week service for birthing and postnatal care. Women and babies will pay the price of the restricted opening hours of the maternity unit and that is unacceptable,” says Ms Upston.

Anyone with concerns about their postnatal stay entitlements when giving birth at the Taupō Hospital is encouraged to get in touch at [email protected].

Figures obtained under OIA – Lakes DHB Staff vacancies as of 30 March 2021

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887


News from Louise - Budget 2021/22

May 21, 2021 Share

The Labour Government has announced their plan for moving New Zealanders back to prosperity through its Budget 2021/22

It's titled the "Wellbeing Budget" however, this isn't a budget that is aspirational for all New Zealanders's wellbeing.

It shows no actual plan to grow the economy nor does it detail how it intends to reduce the ever-growing debt that will become a burden for generations to come.

All New Zealanders are feeling the pinch right now, not just those on benefits. This was an opportunity for the Government to take an all-inclusive look at how it can help everyone in New Zealand get ahead.

It is clear that there has been an escalation in hardship in the last few years which started before COVID. Benefit increases will assist many in hardship.

Yet, there is nothing in this Budget for low or middle-income earners in New Zealand. Nothing to ease the burden for families who don't receive a benefit, but whose rents too have jumped by $100 a week.

There is no extra money for those who have seen their power bills increase due to the impacts of the oil and gas ban by this Labour Government but who don’t qualify for additional financial support.

There is also no plan for how to support those on benefits to get back into work.

Businesses have seen their costs of doing business rise through minimum wage hikes and unionism but they too have largely been overlooked.  Those SMEs that can't find skilled workers due to this Government's immigration settings still don't have any certainty that their outlook will be any less bleak this year.

Business groups, Chambers of Commerce and employers associations have expressed their disappointment at the lack of real benefits for business in this year's Budget.   

The EMA had “hoped for better growth projections and more practical support for businesses.” BusinessNZ called the Budget a “missed opportunity for growth”.  PwC’s analysis of the Budget acknowledged the investment across several of Labour’s priority areas but also noted: “it is less clear how this Budget will help businesses to continue their recovery in a COVID-19 world.”

So, where is the actual plan to take the entire country back to prosperity? 

A National Government would be more aspirational for New Zealanders. We don’t want Kiwis to just exist on a benefit. We want them to have jobs, to prosper and to have a future.  Watch Judith Collins' speech here.

Where your money goes - quick facts

Photo credit: Felippe Rodrigues, Stuff

Opportunities to meet me to discuss Budget 2021/22

I'm hosting Post Budget Breakfasts, Coffee Catch Ups and Friendly Forums where we'll be discussing in more detail what this year's Budget means for our businesses and communities in Cambridge, South Waikato and Taupo.  I'll also be going live online on Facebook and hope you can join me with any questions you need answers to.

Post Budget Business Breakfasts - RSVP essential for catering

  • Taupo - 27 May, 7.30am - 9am, Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre, Conference Room, 14 Northcroft Street, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 28 May, 7.30am - 9am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street, Cambridge.  RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 14 June, 7:30am - 9am, Lions Room, South Waikato Sport and Events Centre, 25 Mossop Road, Tokoroa.  RSVP here

Coffee Catch Ups

  • Turangi - 31 May, 1.30pm - 2.30pm, Hydro Eatery, 17 Ohuanga Road, Turangi.  RSVP here
  • Taupo - 11 June, 10am - 11am, Victoria's Cafe, 127 Tongariro Street, Taupo.  RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 12 June, 10am - 11am, Absolute Coffee House, 88 Alpha Street, Cambridge.  RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 14 June, 10am - 11am, Robert Harris, 284 - 294 Main Road, Tokoroa.  RSVP here

Friendly Forums 

  • Cambridge - 28 May, 10am - 11:30am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street, Cambridge. RSVP here
  • Taupo - 9 July, 10am - 11:30am, Rotary House, 12 Story Place, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 12 July, 10am - 11:30am, Tokoroa Community Link, Te Rakaunui Room, 8-10 Torphin Crescent, Tokoroa.  RSVP here


  • Visit me at National's stand at Fieldays on 16 - 17 June

Live with Louise

  • Tuesday 1 June, 7pm - I'm hosting a live catch-up online on Facebook on Budget 2021/22.  Send me your questions and join me on the day to have them answered.    

If you aren't already connected with me, please do visit my page and follow me to receive notifications of when I'm going live. I'm also on Instagram and Twitter.

I hope to see you soon, if you have any questions or need assistance in the meantime, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Hon Louise Upston MP for Taupo

News from Louise - April 2021 update

May 07, 2021 Share

April has been a month of highs and lows.  Highs because in our Taupo electorate our businesses are going from strength to strength, lows because our families and communities are feeling the pinch of a rising cost of living with more people relying on taxpayer support to get by each week.

Despite this, I've been meeting so many wonderful people out and about and am encouraged by the spirit shown.  I remain optimistic about our electorate's prosperity against all odds. 

Our community engagement campaign is in full swing and there are several opportunities for you to catch up with me at one of the upcoming engagement forums

We've also taken the fight to the Government on infrastructure causes such as the SH5 Napier - Taupo upgrade and the Cambridge to Piarere (C2P) extension to the Waikato Expressway with a public protest being planned in June.   I'd be keen to hear from anyone willing to be involved in the organisation of the protest.  

On a personal note, my daughter Jess and I completed three events as part of the annual Plunket Fun Run 2021 drive - exhilarating and fulfilling at the same time for a good cause.

Finally, May is Budget month. This year's Budget will have to be focused on creating resilience in our economy and our communities. I'll again be co-hosting our annual Post Budget Business Breakfasts in Cambridge, Tokoroa and Taupo in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, the South Waikato District Council and Amplify.

I'd like to encourage business owners and managers to join us for a presentation on what Budget 2021 will mean for you, your business, your family and economic development in our region.  RSVP is essential, details on the website.


Out and about

In April, we hosted Dr Shane Reti, Deputy Leader and Michael Woodhouse MP.  We’ve also met a variety of groups and businesses including Greypower, Cambridge Steel Products & Engineering and Westpac

The Women's Institute Cambridge branch celebrated its 71st Birthday.   I read out the minutes of the branch's first-ever meeting on 11 April 1950 and was presented with a commemorative badge. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the company of exceptional ladies.

The ANZAC dawn service in Putaruru didn't disappoint yet again this year where I laid a wreath in honour of our armed forces past and present in recognition of their sacrifice and service.  I also attended the civil service in Cambridge.

A highlight this month was my tour of NZ's first-ever 'chicken forest', with the opening of Better Eggs NZ's egg farm.  The egg farm was specially designed to create the best possible environment for their free-range chooks through indoor shelters and tree-lined pastures with over 31,000 trees planted on-site. When the trees are mature, they will be milled for timber or pulp, making the business double up as a forestry-poultry enterprise. 

Tauhara College

I’ve been working with Tauhara College in Taupo since December last year when the school sadly suffered great misfortune through flooding from a severe weather event.  The Ministry has undertaken to rebuild by providing fit for purpose classrooms however it is Term 2 already and the classrooms are yet to arrive on site.

Our children deserve better and I’ve written to the Minister of Education Hon Chris Hipkins to request his urgent intervention and ensure classrooms are provided as soon as possible to minimise any further disruption to students’ learning.

Cambridge to Piarere extension to the Waikato Expressway

At the other end of the electorate, we are still fighting the Cambridge to Piarere C2P battle.  At a public meeting held on 6 April with Transport Spokesperson Hon Michael Woodhouse, the community's voice was clear and unequivocal. The Governments continued delays with building this road is unacceptable.  We need action now. 

A protest is being called for and a date of 4 June has been proposed.  This is the Friday of Queens Birthday weekend.  If you are able to assist with arrangements for this protest day, I'm keen to hear from you.  Flick me an email or text at 021 824 922 if you are keen to be involved.  More details about timing and venue will be communicated over the coming days, keep an eye out for updates.

SH5 Napier-Taupo

Even more concerning is Waka Katohi NZTA's intentions to simply slap on a speed reduction as their way of resolving the trauma being suffered by users of that road on a daily due to its poor condition.   

The proposal to lower the speed limit for eighty-three kilometres on the SH5 and is further proof that the Government doesn't consider this route and its many users a priority. 

While lower speed limits can be useful for more dangerous sections of roads, the Government should also invest in urgent road maintenance, surface upgrades and safety features.   

There is still some time for you to make a submission on Waka Katohi NZTA's proposal here.  Submissions close on Sunday 9 May.  Your voice will make a difference.

Wellington activities

My member's bill, the Rights for Victims of Insane Offenders Bill was reported back from the Select Committee on 16 April. I'm really pleased with some of the excellent recommendations made by the Select Committee to improve the Bill.   

The next step is the second reading in the House where MPs will debate the recommended changes which will hopefully lead to a vote further down the line for the bill to become law.  I've worked on this Bill alongside victims and their advocates over many years.

No mother should have to suffer from post-natal depression. I’ve written to all political parties to seek support to fast track the introduction of my 3 day stay Members Bill that guarantees mothers and their babies receive 3 days care in a postnatal facility following birth.

ACT will support the immediate introduction of my bill and I had a good meeting with the Green Party to discuss it too.

However, I need the support of at least 61 MPs for the bill to be introduced to Parliament. I hope Labour and the Maori Party are also able to lend their support to all mums and their newborns at what can be a very vulnerable time.

Upcoming events

In May, our events include Friendly Forums and the annual Post Budget Business Breakfasts.

Friendly Forums 

  • Putaruru - 10 May, 10am - 11:30am, Timber Museum off SH1 Lichfield, Putaruru.  RSVP here
  • Taupo - 14 May, 10am - 11:30am, Rotary House, 12 Story Place, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 28 May, 10am - 11:30am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street. RSVP here

Post Budget Business Breakfasts - RSVP essential 

  • Taupo - 27 May, 7.30am - 9am, Suncourt Hotel & Conference Centre, Conference Room, 14 Northcroft Street, Taupo. RSVP here
  • Cambridge - 28 May, 7.30am - 9am, Cambridge Health and Community Centre, 22a Taylor Street.  RSVP here
  • Tokoroa - 14 June, 7:30am - 9am, Lions Room, South Waikato Sport and Events Centre, 25 Mossop Road, Tokoroa.  RSVP here

Live with Louise

I host regular live catch-ups online on Facebook with the next one scheduled for Tuesday 1 June . If you aren't already connected with me, please do visit my page and follow me to receive notifications of when I'm going live. I'm also on Instagram and Twitter.

I hope to see you soon, if you have any questions or need assistance in the meantime, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Kind regards,

Hon Louise Upston, MP for Taupo

Tauhara College Students and Teachers left in the lurch

April 30, 2021 Share

The Government should be prioritising the supply of new classrooms at Tauhara College to replace those damaged by flooding during last year’s storm, not contribute to the continued disruption of learning at the school, National MP for Taupō Louise Upston says.

“These students and the teaching team have suffered enough disruption of their learning last year. They shouldn’t have to bear the brunt of continued delays to get back into classrooms through a lack of delivery by the Ministry of Education too.

“To not deliver is bad enough, but then to delay telling the school in a timely manner of their failure to deliver is appalling service by the Ministry.

“I’ve raised concerns with the Minister of Education about the delays in the supply of classrooms that the Ministry had promised would be in place for the start of Term 2. 

"I want to know what the Ministry will do to support the education of those affected students while they delay supplying the school infrastructure needed.

“There are senior students who need classes and contact with teachers to ensure they aren’t left behind or disadvantaged in their learning through circumstances beyond their control.

“I’ve received a response to my initial queries from the Minister’s office who suggested that the replacement classrooms ‘are arriving on-site and installation and fit-out will continue with urgency’.

“Term 2 starts on Monday 3 May, Minister – where are the classrooms?”

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887



Authorised by Louise Upston MP, 67 Paora Hapi Street, Taupo

Govt needs to speed up the Napier-Taupō SH5 upgrade

April 15, 2021 Share

The Government should be prioritising a comprehensive upgrade of the State Highway 5 (SH5) between Napier and Taupō instead of simply lowering speed limits, National MP for Taupō Louise Upston says.

“The proposal announced today by Waka Katohi NZTA to lower the speed limit for eighty-three kilometres on the SH5 is further evidence the Government does not consider this route and the many users of it a priority.

“While lower speed limits can be useful for more dangerous sections of roads, the Government should also invest in urgent road maintenance, surface upgrades and safety features.

“A lower speed limit will only pile on additional costs in lost time and revenue for those responsible road users who already drive to the conditions and current limits.”

Prior to the 2020 election, National committed to investing $200 million for the improvements to the Sh5 route. The commitment also included an immediate fast track of the safety projects.

Ms Upston says that at the time, the road was described as ‘so patched up it looks like a patchwork quilt’ by the Road Transport Forum and there has been huge public support for an upgrade since.

Maintenance work required includes upgrading the surface and seal of the road and fixing dangerous potholes.

Major safety issues need to be addressed through the retrofitted median and roadside barriers, re-engineered and straightened dangerous corners, new passing lanes, widened shoulders, and a greater number of safe turning opportunities.

“This is sensible, shovel-ready work that can get underway quickly, creating jobs and improving safety,” Ms Upston says.

“While the evidence is clear that better, modern roads are safer, Labour has no plan and no funding to address the deficiencies.

“It’s about time the Government gets on with it and action National’s proposals to improve the poor condition of this road rather than just slowing everyone down.”

Notes to editors: A copy of National’s press release of 24 August 2020 can be found here.

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887

C2P Public meeting yields calls for protest

April 10, 2021 Share

Enough is enough! That’s the message coming through loud and clear at the public meeting attended by over 40 people on Friday 6 April 2021 on the Cambridge to Piarere (C2P) extension of the Waikato Expressway that was cancelled by the Labour Government, with some calling for a protest march to highlight the seriousness of the situation.

This Easter weekend yet again told a story of near misses or accidents and bumper to bumper slow traffic and from what I heard, the people have had enough of talking. It’s time for action.

Joined by Michael Woodhouse MP, Spokesperson for Transport, we talked about the lack of funding allocated by the Government for the construction of the planned extension to the expressway. The current safety work being done is not enough to reduce the risks to road users. 

In addition, the upgrade of the SH1/29 intersection to a 2-lane roundabout construction is only starting in late 2022 and Waka Kotahi NZTA’s proposing the installation of Intersection Speed Zones (ISZs) with no funding available.

The Fergusson Gully Road remains an issue and suggestions include the passing lane be moved to make the start of the road longer.

I provided an update on actions I’ve taken since our December 2019 public meeting which includes writing to Ministers, Hon Michael Wood, current Minister for Transport, Hon Phil Twyford, previous Minister for Transport and previous minister Hon Julie Anne Genter, Associate Minister of Transport at the time.

Neighbouring MP Tim van der Molen and I facilitated meetings between Karapiro School and Waka Kotahi NZTA and I’ve written letters to Waka Kotahi NZTA about the SH1/SH29 roundabout, their plans for Karapiro Road near Karapiro School, the update of the Karapiro Road intersection and speed reduction signs.

Sadly, despite all the above, the Government has not come to the party to reinstate the plans to build the C2P extension and ignored community concerns about increasing risks with more traffic when the Waikato Expressway is complete following the opening of the Hamilton section at the end of this year.

It’s a section of State Highway 1 which forms part of New Zealand’s most important transport corridor between Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga which accounts for a significant proportion of all road freight in the country.

The high volumes of traffic and freight in the area and the impact that has on travel times and increasing safety risks required an urgent investment in high-quality roading infrastructure to future-proof the transport links in the area and improve road safety.

As our towns grow, so do the communities living in them and the road needs to be fit for purpose and of good enough standard to accommodate the safe movement of people and goods. It currently isn’t.

I have urged the Minister to reconsider the decision to delay building this important roading project and address short term safety needs along this route. I’ll keep fighting hard to get this road built and I will be updating the community as soon as I hear from him.

If you couldn’t attend the meeting and would like to express your support of this important cause, you can take action at 

You can also sign up to receive updates about the next steps here.  

Take action against gang violence in Napier now, Minister

March 29, 2021 Share

29 March 2021

Action needed on gang violence in Napier now

The Hawke's Bay community wants more police officers whose presence are more visible and who act more swiftly and decisively when a threat is being reported by the community.

“Residents are scared and that’s what we heard loud and clear at our community meeting on gangs in Napier recently,” MP for Taupo Louise Upston says.

The meeting was held in Napier on Wednesday 17 March, hosted by Louise and Simon Bridges, National’s Justice spokesperson.

Speakers sharing their experiences included members of the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs, business owners and residents.

Ms Upston says the people have spoken and their voices are unanimous.

“Every day we hear news reports of gang on gang violence and the severity appears to be increasing.

“Gangs are continuing to live up to their violent reputation, their use of guns in public has become far too common. We’ve already seen an innocent member of the public caught in the crossfire.

“Parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children joining gangs.

“I’ve written to Police Minister Poto Williams to ask her to take urgent action to curb the increasing gang activity and violence in Napier.

“The community has a right to go about their lives peacefully and without the ongoing threat of violence.

“I hope the Minister heeds this call for action and does something about it before it’s too late and someone is killed,” Ms Upston says.

Notes to editors: A copy of the letter to the Minister for Police is attached.

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887

Authorised by Louise Upston,, 67 Paora Hapi Street, Taupo


MP calls for action to counter soaring gang violence in Hawkes Bay

March 19, 2021 Share

A community meeting on gangs held in Napier on Wednesday 17 March 2021, hosted by National MPs Louise Upston and Simon Bridges attracted a large diverse audience including residents, some with gang affiliations, business people, Napier City Councillors and the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

“This meeting was an opportunity for the local community to come together in a safe, moderated environment for a conversation about gang activity to hear first hand from people who are fearful of the ongoing tension and violence, and to explore potential solutions,” says Ms Upston.

“I went to the meeting with an open mind and expecting a robust conversation and I was not disappointed.

“Some of the experiences relayed were sobering, ranging from business owners being threatened with guns, to mothers sharing stories about their children becoming caught up in gangs with dire consequences for the family, ‘ Ms Upston said.

“While the conversations were frank and passionate, constructive solutions and ideas were put forward too.

“Councillors addressed the meeting and one of the key messages was the need for a greater policing presence to give people more assurance that they can go about their daily activities without feeling fearful in their own communities.

“The Hawkes Bay wants more police officers, a more visible police presence in public spaces and a quicker, stronger response when community members alert Police to an incident.

“I will be writing to the Minister of Police urging her to take urgent action to keep the community in Napier safe.

Ms Upston says she looks forward to continuing the conversation with the community and giving them a voice in Parliament.

Media contact: Louise Upston 0274767887