Todd Muller is the next MP for Bay of Plenty. He was Waikato Young Nationals chairman in 1990, and President of Waikato Student union in 1992. Since then he’s worked in great New Zealand businesses like Zespri and Fonterra. We got to know him a bit better:
What is your number one policy priority for your time in Parliament?
I want to ensure conditions for successful exporting to the world are constantly improved and enhanced. We are a trading nation, so open access to world markets plays to our competitive advantage of producing safe and nutritious food back up by world class innovation and manufacturing excellence.
Having worked in agribusiness, what do you see as the role of primary industries in 21st century New Zealand?
Helen Clark once said she thought Agribusiness was New Zealand’s sunset industry. Well, we would have had a long dark night of economic suffering over the last 6 years if it wasn’t for those same agribusinesses! Primary Industries are the backbone of this country – for this to continue we need to ensure the environment for success is maintained – stable economic management, investment in market focused innovation, a balance of environmental and economic success, and increased investment in our people.
What is something about you that we should know, but don’t know already?
With Peter Douglas (formerly Prime Minister’s Office, in the Bolger years) we bought Nelson Mandela a batik shirt in a Maori design which the great man wore in NZ. We then both got to meet him and he personally signed his Long Walk to Freedom autobiography for us
What makes the Bay of Plenty a place you’d like to represent?
It truly is one of New Zealand’s special places. Productive heartland that can grow anything well, due to its climate, stunning beaches, beautiful coastline and harbour, and great people – many who have moved from elsewhere to make something for themselves and their families. I like the mix of young making their way in the world, intergenerational and new entrant farming and our more mature residents who have chosen the Bay for the next stage in their life’s journey. The Bay is still primarily made up of smaller communities that are welcoming and friendly to one another, and I like that about my home town.