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Staying connected is vital for an MP. Being in touch with what people are talking about on the ground gives an MP’s role relevance and it’s good to just get out there to really connect with people.

The Northern A&P Show was a great day to catch up with people in an informal setting. Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller and Kaikōura MP Stuart Smith joined me and it was a key event for my daughter, who got to pet her first lamb. A big thanks to show president Dan Higinbottom and his wife, Mel, for another successful event.

I also had a good day in Oxford last Friday at my regular constituent clinic. Being accessible as an MP is important and I know living in a rural area can be a barrier to accessing help.

I am therefore looking forward to the Provincial Priorities meeting on 23 November in Oxford. These are being run all over the country to bring a spread of rural-based MPs out to meet locals and hear their concerns. The issues brought forward will help us to develop policy to further strengthen our economy and communities in the years ahead. So bring your ideas on what we can do better.

During the week I also caught up with some local organisations doing valuable work in our communities. I touch base regularly with agencies working around a variety of issues so that we can collegially ensure Waimakariri electorate has the support it needs.

I also enjoy just being out in the community with my family. On Saturday, my daughter and I grabbed a bucket and helped out at the Southbrook Park clean-up. It’s a great space and it was good to be able to help in keeping it tidy. On Sunday, I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with constituents at the Northwood Fair and, on Friday, I joined others in celebrating our sporting stars at the MainPower Sports Awards.

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