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Five years ago, Waimakariri residents woke to find their world had changed. No one could have realised the enormity of that change or foreseen the journey that would have to be made in our recovery.

With my background in mental health, I am very aware that events like 4 September 2010 linger for a long time. I frequently mention that international research shows us years three to five are the most significant psychologically and socially in the recovery process. As Deputy Chair of the Social Services Select Committee I am gratified that select committee members will be coming to Canterbury for a briefing on how our social-service agencies are meeting mental-health needs post recovery.

And, once again, if you or someone you know, is not coping, please contact my offices. I am here to help.

Tomorrow I will join residents at the 4 September Observance Day in Kaiapoi. Join me at 3.30pm for the unveiling of the iconic Letterbox Sculpture, which will be followed by a family event. It will be a time to acknowledge the journey behind us, celebrate our resilience as a region and mark the progress we’ve made. 

2015 has been a year of openings, milestones and new beginnings.

Over the past year we have celebrated the opening of the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre, the re-opening of the Oxford and Rangiora Town Halls, a new bridge over the Ashley River at Cones Road, work started on the new Farmers building and, over the road, we can look forward to the opening of the new Conway Laneway development, which I was lucky enough to tour recently with the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery.  I’ve also attended the openings of many new businesses in the electorate and it was gratifying to hear at the recent Small Business Conversation Café I organised in Kaiapoi with Minister for Small Business Craig Foss last month just how well our local businesses are doing.

I look forward to meeting you and your families tomorrow in Kaiapoi as we take time to pause in our busy lives and look back.


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