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It was good to see so many of our young people attending last week’s Anzac Day commemorations.

This included our Squadron 88 youth cadets who presented an impressive and well-disciplined display. It is gratifying to see our area represented by such fine cadets. I spoke at the Ohoka service on the Monday and my wife and I attended and laid wreathes at the commemorations in Kaiapoi, Rangiora and Tuahiwi, joining the community in honouring our veterans who have served and are serving in our armed forces.

Those who work to keep us safe, often behind the scenes, deserve our gratitude. The opening of Coastguard Waimakariri-Ashley’s new premises, which is completely manned by volunteers, was a great opportunity to honour the contribution of our voluntary sector. Coastguard Waimakariri-Ashley provided 2170 volunteer hours in the year to June 2016, bringing 27 people home safely. It’s great they have these new premises to operate from, thanks to funding from a range of organisations, including the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.

The committee, president Victoria Caseley and members of the Oxford A&P Association once again put together a great day for this year’s show – no mean feat as the show is the largest single day A&P show in the country. They put in a huge effort that was reflected by the large turn-out. I enjoyed attending the event with my family and catching up with many of you.

This week kicks off my Keeping Connected Evening Meetings to be accessible to residents outside business hours. The positive feedback from last year’s meetings encouraged me to run them again this year across the electorate. I look forward to meeting you at the venue closest to you – just turn up and join the discussions:

(All meetings will all be held from 7.30pm to 8.30pm): Rangiora Town Hall: 1 May; Kaiapoi Library: 8 May; Woodend Community Centre: 15 May; Oxford Town Hall: 16 May; West Eyreton School: 17 May; Belfast Rugby Football Club: 18 May; Swannanoa Community Hall: 22 May; Cust Community Hall: 29 May.


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