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Spring has finally arrived which means a very busy time for our farmers who will be busy calving or lambing. I am also pleased to see that the global dairy index has now had 3 recent increases which is reassuring. The increase in whole milk powder in particular is a real positive, may this increase continue.

It was an incredible privilege to attend the Returning Medals ceremony for late Corporal Barry Wahanui on the Mokai Kāinga Marae, Kawhia. Over 300 people attended including representatives from the army and police. I know it was a very emotional day for Nick Tuwhangai and his family and I am very humbled to have been included in this occasion.

I am very proud of my Youth MP, Leah Bell, who was instrumental in organising a petition that was accepted by Parliament to commemorate the Māori Land Wars with a special day. Leah and her peers showed great determination and heart throughout the entire process and I am so pleased for her to see her work being recognised. As my Youth MP, Leah recently spent several days in Parliament experiencing life as an MP, including debates in the Debating Chamber and learning how the process of Parliament works. She did the Taranaki-King Country electorate proud with her representation of us.

 Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and I recently had a very informative visit to Te Awamutu. We had a fantastic meeting with Wendy Becker, CEO of Enrich+ and her staff and the Minister also got to meet some of the clients Enrich+ support with their services. A highlight of the visit was when I took the Minister to Te Awamutu Intermediate and he was very impressed with the facilities the school offers. He was quite taken with the Wall of Fame and was very surprised by the sporting and performing arts talent that has come out of the school over the years. We both really enjoyed participating with the students and teachers with their singing assembly it was a great experience. We concluded the visit by meeting residents of Freeman Court and enjoyed a chat over a lovely afternoon tea.

I was very thrilled to host Minister of Transport, Hon Simon Bridges in Waitomo when he announced that the $1.5m project on the high risk part of State Highway 37 for safety improvements was completed. This is the first phase of the Government’s $600m Safer Roads and Roadsides programme and great that a project in Taranaki-King Country is the first to be done. 

The Waipa Business Awards held at Mystery Creek was an excellent night and I would like to again convey my congratulations to all those businesses and individuals who were successful in winning an award. The calibre of nominees was certainly incredibly high and a fun night was had by all.

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