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As I reflect back over the last twelve months I am struck by the incredible highs that the electorate has experienced but am also saddened by the tragedies that impacted our communities.

Hon Anne Tolley’s recent visit to the electorate was a great day. The Minister and I attended a White Ribbon BBQ arranged by MFVIN held at the Benneydale School. It was a great community event and we were both endeared by the students of the school and their great enthusiasm to have photos taken with us. The day was concluded by a visit to the WINZ, Te Awamutu office where the Minister met the hardworking team.

I recently attended the community consultation at Te Kawa Hall regarding the proposal to increase the capacity at Waikeria Prison. This was a great opportunity for the locals to have a discussion with the Corrections Department to ask any questions or raise any concerns they may have. It was very pleasing to see the positive feedback.

It was a great honour to be invited to Frank Kelly’s 90TH birthday, a stalwart of the Te Kuiti community and feel the love and affection for Frank from his friends and family. Frank’s stories and knowledge of the area are fascinating to listen too.  Congratulations once again on meeting this milestone!

Thank you to Waitomo Grey Power for inviting me to attend a meeting. It is always such a pleasure to speak to your group; we certainly had some good discussion with valid points raised.

As the summer months approach Louis and I will be visiting some of the wonderful tourist attractions that the Taranaki-King Country has to offer. Our electorate will certainly see an increase in visitors both internationally and nationally over this time and I am always so proud to know the great welcome and hospitality that will be shown towards them.  We have some fantastic niche industries; amazing home grown organic food places; locally brewed beer – TKC offers everything!

The Christmas Parades are almost here and I hope to see many of you enjoying the festive activities around the area as I will be.  Christmas is a time when the majority of us get to spend time with our family and friends, enjoying a good summer break and recharging our batteries to start another busy year.

It has been a privilege meeting many of you over 2016, the amazing organisations that you volunteer for; the local businesses that you work hard to make successful; the farmers who have done it tough but are seeing a turnaround; the strength in our families and communities.

Be safe, well and happy - I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a fantastic 2017!

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