Barbara's Beat No. 16



Like the rest of the world I was so sad to wake up to the news of Her Majesty’s passing, at the age of 96 after a 70-year-reign, in the early hours of September 9.
She dedicated her life to the service of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and Realms with determination and distinction.
It also reminded me of our shared love of Jersey cows, which my family as dairy farmers have always milked, as well as her very close relationship with Ōtorohanga Jersey breeder Don Ferguson of Ferdon Stud.
She was an extraordinary monarch, the likes of which, we will not see again.

Like the millions world-wide I too say… “Thank you Ma’am".

‘Incredible service’ was also expressed time and time again following the sudden death of Ōtorohanga retailer extraordinaire Karam Haddad on September 14.
Hundreds turned out to pay their respects to Karam, his family, as well as his brother and business partner John, who has worked alongside him for decades.
I have never failed to leave Karam and John Haddad Menswear and Womenswear without a smile on my face. It is a store where customers become both old friends and family.
Rural New Zealand, outside the King Country, will travel to the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek next month and many will stop by Haddads on their annual visit to stock up on workwear.
While Karam’s familiar face will be missing from among the racks and boxes, I’ve no doubt that John and the team will ensure that their special magic brand of customer service continues.
Karam, thank you for your service to the community and for the joy in how you served it. May you rest in peace.


As an MP, some days in the House can be very special.
So it was on September 21, when hundreds of Ngāti Maniapoto descendants came to Wellington, to witness the third and final reading of the tribe’s claims settlement bill.
The road to redress has been decades long for the iwi, so I wish them all the best as they face the future under their new tribal entity, Te Nehenehenui.


As this newsletter goes together, I’m still waiting on Environment Minister David Parker to announce that he is either delaying, or better still withdrawing, the unworkable Intensive Winter Grazing (IWG) regulations.
Created in conjunction with Damien O’Connor and his Ministry for Primary Industries, they were introduced inside the National Environment Standards for Freshwater 2020, as part of Essential Freshwater reforms.
But two years on, the MfE still hasn’t put in place the process to enact them. And that’s a problem when they are due to come into force on November 1.
Meantime, in order to comply farmers will have to apply for special resource consents at a conservative estimated cost of $100 million.
While Environment Southland has found a way to avoid that for about 2000 farmers in its region, adding a $100 million cost to NZ’s most productive sector, because Minister Parker and his officials are ill-prepared to successfully implement a policy, is an epic fail!

To read my full thoughts, go here — Barbara Kuriger (


You will already know that I’m the kind of MP who is out and about at every opportunity. Here’s a brief snapshot of what I’ve been up to last month.
Survey — On September 2, I launched an anonymous well-being survey in Te Kuiti, asking residents how they are, and a series of questions used to identify barriers and enablers to achieving a good life. It should reveal trends and gaps in services as well as highlight what’s working well.
The aggregated data will be shared with the Waitomo District Council and other local services, as it makes sense for us all to work together. It will also be shared publicly.
Mental health — I paid a visit to Te Awamutu College on September 8 to visit my Youth MP Brylee Gibbes and her classmates to discuss mental health. Due to flight issues my fellow MP and Mental Health spokesperson Matt Doocey didn’t make it, Later in the month, during Mental Health Awareness Week, I shared this brief video on social media —
Food waste — On September 16, I visited Easy Earth with fellow MP Harete Hipango (left). Owned by Derek (above) and Sarah Pickering, this Whanganui company is making inroads with the global challenge of reducing our food waste by converting it into compost. It’s an impressive business with loads of potential. From paddock to plate, about one third of world’s food is wasted. Going to landfills and creating emissions we do not want.
Student Suffrage Morning Tea — Now in its fifth year I hosted, along with my fellow Selwyn MP Nicola Grigg, students from six Taranaki schools at my Inglewood office. Held on September 19, we talked a lot about career paths for this promising group of young women. I’ll be watching their progress with interest.
Dairy Sector vs Parliament (Rugby & Netball)  — On September 24, I was in Morrinsville for this event held in memory of former National MP John Luxton.
John, who hailed from Morrinsville, served from 1987 to 2002 and had many ministerial roles. I spent 11 years alongside him on DairyNZ’s board and he was a strong champion of RURAL New Zealand. I’m proud to have worked with him and follow in his footsteps.
So despite the fact that netball was never my forte I was always going to spend some time on the court in memory of him. Thankfully, we won!
MP visit — It was great to have our Port Waikato MP Andrew Bayly (below centre) visit on September 30. Andrew and I spent the day on the road talking building and construction with businesses in the Waipā, Ōtorohanga and Waitomo districts. There’s a lot to get on with to improve housing in this country.
But we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a photo with the statue of Te Kūiti legend Sir Colin Meads and Waitomo mayor John Robertson.