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Te Kuiti hosted another fantastic weekend with the annual Muster and Shearing Champs. It was a fabulous experience to travel down the main street in a sponsored Canam vehicle driven by Sir David Fagan with 1103 sheep following behind.  I’m pleased to say the wet weather did not deter visitors attending with a crowd of over 5000 people coming out to watch.  I am in awe of the hard work and dedication the NZ Shears committee and Donna Macdonald do for making this such a successful event.  I acknowledge the dedication of John Fagan, his family and team for bringing the sheep into Te Kuiti.   My congratulations to Rowland Smith, New Zealand Shearing Champion for 2016 and to all the other competitors, it was incredible to observe you in your sport.

I also had the opportunity to attend the 50th Waitomo Sports Day along with my Youth MP, Leah Bell.  Again, this was another outstanding locally organised and community attended occasion.  I reiterate that we have such amazing strength in our local communities and I am proud that people in my Taranaki-King Country electorate look after and support each other.

On Sunday 17th April there is to be a Free Farmers Family Day Out being held at the Otorohanga Kiwiana Leisure Park for farmers and their families to have a day to enjoy themselves during these difficult times. I will be there and hope to see many of you come along for a day of fun.

I had a meeting with Peter Nation, CEO of Fieldays at Mystery Creek recently and it was great to hear the preparation and work being put in place for this year’s event with the theme being ‘Stay a step ahead.’  Remember to put 15th-18th June in your diaries!

It was an honour to be able to speak to the local members of Altrusa International of Te Awamutu and to meet these like- minded ladies who actively work hard locally to make a difference. I have always been impressed with Altrusa in particular their support of recognising improvement in children who struggle with their reading by rewarding them with an Altrusa Literacy Award at the nomination of the school the child attends. This is an invaluable programme helping to boost confidence and affirm that the child’s hard work is acknowledged and celebrated.

ANZAC day will be soon upon us and this year I will be attending the Dawn Service  in Te Awamutu and then the RSA Raglan Parade. This is always a moving time of year when we give thought and thanks to the bravery of those young men and women who lost their lives so we could keep our freedom. I hope many of you have the opportunity to attend an ANZAC day service.

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