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The New Year is always a time to recognise those members of the community honoured for their outstanding achievements. I would like to congratulate Margaret Knight from Te Awamutu, named in the New Year Honours List 2015 for services to music and the community. Margaret received a QSM and her family and friends will be incredibly proud of this well-deserved accolade.

January proved itself to be a very busy and enjoyable month as I travelled around many parts of the Taranaki-King Country Electorate. I had a fantastic time at the Whangamomona Republic Day and enjoyed the many activities at the Marokopa Sports Day. Many hours of organisation are put into these events making them the fun filled days we all delight in and I would like to thank all those people involved in the organisation of them. It is also great to see the support of the community attending these occasions as a lack of attendance can mean we lose such events.

This time of year always sees a growth in both International and Domestic visitors to the Taranaki-King Country Region. We are blessed to have so many naturally beautiful attractions as well as activities for those of us looking for adventure. We can be proud of the high standard of local backpackers, holiday parks and resorts available and the friendliness and hospitality we show our visitors. All these great attributes ensure tourists spend their money boosting our regional economy.

2015 will be another busy year for the Government. I have been approached by a number of people frustrated with the current Resource Management Act (RMA). The National led Government has outlined significant changes to the RMA and will be working with officials and support parties to develop detailed legislation over the next few months. We intend to progress this legislation during 2015 and it will go through a full select committee process so the public can have their say.

I have started training for the Central Finance South Island Charity Cycle Ride for which I will be riding the last leg from Winton to Bluff a total of 58KM. This is raising awareness for a great cause, the Taranaki Rural Support Trust and the Mellowpuff Trust. These are both amazing Trusts set up to assist and support rural communities. Living in a rural area can sometimes be isolating and it is important that we look after each other.

For many of us holidays are over and daily routines are back in place, children have started school and the new year is underway. I look forward to meeting many of you over the next twelve months and wish you all a great 2015.

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