Thank you Waimakariri for your support and endorsement in re-electing me to represent you in Parliament.
Over the past three years, I have enjoyed being a hands-on MP who has strived to be accessible. It was great to receive feedback during the run-up to the elections from our residents who told me they value being able to access me in a range of ways that are convenient to them, including through my three offices, constituent caravan clinics, evening meetings, coffee mornings and other events I hold to connect with you. I know it is only through staying connected to you that I can remain relevant to the issues on the ground.
I have enjoyed working hard for you over the past three years and will continue advocating for the Waimakariri as we continue to move forward. Thank you for supporting me with an electorate majority increase from 2,500 in 2014 to over 10,000 in 2017, which tells me you value accessibility and commitment to our area.
Last week, I joined our residents in marking a poignant milestone and laying a wreath at the Kaiapoi Cenotaph for the 100th commemoration of Passchendaele. The participation of our young people at these events, and the way they get involved in keeping alive the memory of the sacrifices that were made by our soldiers, is heart-warming.
Volunteers in the Waimakariri have been working hard over the past few weeks with a number of events that have provided some great activities for our residents and also raised money to invest back into our community. I enjoyed attending the Rangiora Rotary Club’s annual book fair, which was held over the holidays and proved a huge success with impressive support from our residents. The volunteers put in an exceptional effort in organising the amount of donated books that were on offer.
The Soroptimist International 24th annual market day at the Rangiora Showgrounds was another enjoyable event that was well supported and raised funds for our community. This year, the donation went to Wellbeing North Canterbury and, with my background in mental health, I was thrilled to attend and support this event.
Over the holidays I joined our Oxford residents in visiting the new Oxford Library and Service Centre. The attractive new building has been purpose built and my children enjoyed the very engaging children’s area. This is a great facility for our families and tourists, who can use the public-access computers and free Wi-Fi.
I’d like to end with a big thank you to everyone who expressed their sympathy in some lovely messages following the passing of my wife, Viki's, father recently. While his death was not unexpected after a long battle with cancer, it has been a difficult time and your support has been very much appreciated.