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Tolley Talk: August 2015

Hon Anne Tolley, MP for East Coast

Youth Parliament

We’re already gearing up for next year’s Youth Parliament, with the selection process kicking off this month. Youth Parliament will take place on19 and 20 July 2016 and Youth MPs will hold office from 25 January to 25 July 2016

Young people who are interested in representing the East Coast will need to meet the following criteria:

• Be aged 16-18 (inclusive) on 16 October 2015

• Be an active member of the community

• Be passionate about youth issues, politics and social change

• Be able to attend Youth Parliament on 19 and 20 July 2016 and commit to the Youth MP tenure

Those who wish to be considered should submit a 600 word essay or a digital presentation of no more than 4 minutes on an issue affecting young people which politicians should be more aware of, and why. Applications should be sent to by 30 September 2015 with ‘Youth MP' in the subject line.

I know we have a high calibre of students on the East Coast and I look forward to reading the applications.

Steam train

Gisborne’s iconic steam train is back on track, with contractors able to start work on the track between Gisborne and Muriwai.

It has been a team effort with myself, Mayor Meng Foon, Tourism Eastland, and the Gisborne City Vintage Railway working together to ensure the project is able to continue. The train is a significant attraction on the East Coast and its loss would have been hugely felt in the region.

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Cruise ships and their passengers bring between $5-6 million per year into our local economy and the steam train plays a significant role in attracting them to Gisborne.

It’s fantastic such a historic and well known attraction will remain a staple part of our local tourism industry and continue to set us apart as a destination.

The work is expected to take around six weeks with the steam train expected to be running for Labour Weekend, in time for the 12 cruise ships expected this summer.

Meantime, in the Eastern Bay part, the old 19km line to Taneatua is being readied for an exciting new tourism venture; driving your own rail cart through to White Pine Bush. Awakeri Rail Adventures opens in November.

Tauranga Eastern Link open

The $455 million new highway between Paengaroa and Tauranga has now been open for almost a month, cutting 12 minutes off the journey and making it safer for families and the many trucks transporting goods to the port and beyond.

This National Road of Significance will provide our region with the boost we need for our economy to thrive, and I know there are many of you who regularly travel who will be reaping the benefits.

It was fantastic to attend the opening with Prime Minister John Key, Transport Minister Simon Bridges, and Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller. The turn out and support shows just how important this piece of road is for the regions.

As always, feel free to contact me or my office if you have any questions or would like to share your views.

Hon Anne Tolley

MP for East Coast


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