Fieldays hosted another fantastic event with over 126,000 visitors and 1000 exhibitors. Over the four days that I spent there, I was fascinated by the new innovations that were being show cased. In particular I would like to make a special mention to Ayla Hutchinson aged 16 from our own electorate further south in Taranaki who has invented The Kindling Cracker, her stand certainly was popular and many purchases of this product made.
I was also very pleased with the announcement made by Minister of Health, Hon Jonathan Coleman at Fieldays and the funding boost made to rural mental health services. This has certainly been a tough year for farmers suffering from drought, low pay out and now flooding in the Wanganui region. Our farming men like to be staunch and we need to make sure they realise there is no failure in asking for help and seeking additional support.
I recently travelled to Whangamomona where I met Dr Tom Mulholland from Farmstrong who has been travelling around the district doing some basic health and wellbeing checks on our farmers and residents of our rural communities. Farmstrong is an initiative to promote and encourage farmers to live well, farm well and get the most out of life by giving them helpful resources and skills to maintain a healthy work/life balance. We are very good at looking after our stock but not so good at looking after ourselves.
Korakonui School has recently hit the headlines with its dynamic approach to learning and implementing a programme called Brain Gain using neuroscience research to help students with learning difficulties. I was certainly very impressed at my recent visit to Korakonui School with the Minister of Education, Hon. Hekia Parata and we were both blown away by the hard work Principal Carla McNeil, her staff and students have done and accomplished in this field.
I was delighted that two local students have been awarded Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia. Jonathan Adams from Te Awamutu will receive a scholarship taking him to Japan and Lauren Anne Borgas from Te Kuiti will receive a scholarship taking her to China. This is a wonderful achievement for both Jonathan and Lauren and will certainly be an experience that will help them in their futures.
I was also very pleased that Waitomo District Council will receive $21,000 under the Youth Development Partnership Fund of 2015 which will be used to develop event management skills for a Waitomo District Youth Citizenship Achievement Award event.
I could not be prouder of the Taranaki-King Country electorate and the wonderful achievements and successes that are currently happening among us, we are certainly punching way above our weight.