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April is a time of contemplation and gratitude as we remember and give thanks to those selfless brave men and woman who served to protect our freedom. Each ANZAC anniversary is as important as the last, however this year we commemorate the 100th year landing of the Australian and New Zealand Corps at Gallipoli, Turkey. During this eighth month campaign almost 3000 soldiers died, mothers lost their sons, wives lost their husbands and children lost their fathers. Rural was hit as hard as urban but strength throughout our communities ensured our nation’s spirit would not be beaten. You cannot drive through a small rural town or visit a local hall, without seeing the names of fallen soldiers listed on plaques in remembrance and realise the impact this would have had.

I am always deeply touched when I see children attending the Dawn Service parades, as I believe it is important that our younger generations understand what a generation of men and woman did for us. Some lessons for the future can only be taught through the history of others. This year I will be attending the Dawn Service parade in Inglewood followed by an ANZAC day service in Urenui.

I am very excited and looking forward to attending the Great NZ Muster in Te Kuiti on Saturday 11th April. This is one of the key annual events in Te Kuiti and each year never fails to attract 1000’s of visitors to New Zealand’s Shearing Capital of the world.   For those who want to experience something unique and have a fun filled family day I strongly encourage you to come. I would like to wish all those competing in the 3 day NZ Shearing Championships the very best of luck.

I was delighted by the news that Te Awamutu and Raglan Chamber of Commerce have been awarded $35,000 of the Youth Enterprise Fund. This is a tremendous opportunity to support young people considering setting up their own business venture. This investment will allow young entrepreneurs the best chance of success by enabling them to develop skills attributed with running a business. I hope that local businesses in the electorate will support these young people by offering them mentoring and hands on work experience.

Easter is approaching and school holidays will commence. This is a good time for our children and grandchildren to re-charge their batteries after a busy first term at school, hopefully some of you will get away for a break and for those that don’t I hope you are able to enjoy this special family time.

Be safe on the roads and I wish you all a very happy Easter.

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