Reflecting back on April I realise what a phenomenally busy and exciting month it has been.
Taranaki King-Country has certainly had its fair share of visitors. It was an absolute delight to open the Kiwi Night Zone at the Otorohanga and Native Bird House with my colleague Hon. Nicky Wagner, Associate Minister of Conservation. I was incredibly impressed by the nocturnal set up of this new enclosure and the dedication by the local volunteers including hand sieving over 72 cubic metres of soil that had been barrowed into the enclosure and then checking it with a metal detector to ensure no traces of metal or other objects were left. Another highlight for me was taking Hon. Nicky Wagner to visit John and Karam Haddad at their world famous menswear shop.
I was also pleased to host Minister Amy Adams in the electorate where we met with members of Maniapoto Family Violence Intervention Network (MVFIN) to seek feedback on the changes currently being made to Family Violence laws and discuss the successful work MVFIN is doing in the community. Hon. Amy Adams also had an interesting visit with Chris and Erinna Lane, Big Kid Productions in Te Awamutu. The amazing film work being done by this couple is inspiring with their next project being a New Zealand wide film tour to highlight good things happening in communities to prevent family violence. I very much look forward to seeing this when it is complete.
It was a very proud moment for me to be invited to be included in part of the Prime Minister’s visit to Otorohanga with Hon. Te Ururoa Flavell, Minister of Māori Development. I was given great insight into the amazing work being accomplished by our Māori community and the wonderful projects being done in Māori health and business development.
I had an amazing day with Hon. Paula Bennett which saw us start the morning off by visiting Susan O’Regan and John Hayward Supreme Winners of 2016 Waikato Ballance Farm Awards, followed by a tour of Te Awamutu Museum. I also took the opportunity to show Hon. Paula Bennett as Associate Minister of Tourism some of the attractions the electorate has to offer, from Piopio where we shared an ice-cream at the Piopio Berry Orchard followed by lunch at the Fat Pigeon where the Minister was able to meet locals and tourists alike. We then travelled to Waitomo Caves and had an amazing experience at the Glowworm Caves. A highlight of the day was meeting patrons at Curly’s bar where Minister Bennett managed to pull a pint!
It has been a tremendous month and I have been extremely proud to show each Minister how amazing Taranaki-King Country is.