Parliament has wrapped up for the year and like many I’m looking forward to spending some time with family and friends over the Christmas break. I always find the end of the year a good time to reflect on the year; what’s gone well, what’s gone less well and how we can improve things.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who sent well wishes on the recent arrival of my son James. On behalf of my wife Viktoria and I, thank you for your kind messages.
It has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of Waimakariri. There have been tough times since the earthquakes but we’ve had a fantastic year of new beginnings and openings. We’ve celebrated the opening of the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre, the new Ashley Bridge, the new Rangiora Health Hub and re-opened Oxford and Rangiora town halls, and $300 million worth of roading projects for our region.
When you look at the new retail developments on our high streets, you can see the vibrancy of our town centres coming back to life.
I am grateful for the continuing cross-party support of Parliament for Canterbury. The rebuilding of Canterbury remains one of the Government’s top four priorities. The Rangiora health hub is part of a $900 million hospital rebuild programme in Canterbury - the largest we’ve ever seen in New Zealand. We’ve also got the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Bill moving us from the response stage to recovery into regeneration. There is a lot to be proud about in Canterbury as it rebuilds. What we are building in Christchurch is the best new small city in the world.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge all hardworking Waimakariri residents who in 2015 contributed to the country returning back to surplus, GDP growth that’s the envy of other countries internationally and the highest work-force participation rate on record in New Zealand.
From my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to working for you as your local MP in 2016.