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It’s been a week of big announcements.

On Monday, our Prime Minister announced his resignation and I thank everyone who has been in touch to convey their appreciation of the Prime Minister’s contribution in building a New Zealand that is taking its place on the global stage with confidence. This cross-party support is appreciated.

Cantabrians will remember John Key for the strong leadership that guided our region towards recovery following our earthquake events. As a fellow Cantabrian, I would like to thank the Prime Minister for the leadership and empathy he showed us after the Canterbury earthquake events in 2010-11, and again this year. I have always been deeply appreciative of the time the Prime Minister has taken out of his busy schedule to visit the Waimak to support our physical and psychosocial recovery.

Another surprise announcement this week brought good news to residents of the Waimak at the public meeting I held on Monday to review health-service provision in our area.

At the meeting, Carolyn Gullery of the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB), announced they are looking at potential new models of after-hours health provision for Waimakariri and Hurunui. An initialising workshop is to be held as early as 14 December to start the process of planning and shaping what that provision will look like. It was great to see residents engage with the CDHB and there was excitement around the ideas that came up on Monday. These included a satellite GP service, where residents could be put through to a centralised booking system where they will be offered an appointment with a GP within the Waimak and video consultations.

This re-look builds on the success of models like the Waimakariri paramedic service which are helping to keep residents at home and out of hospital, resulting in fewer bed stays through the emergency system. This announcement is great news for our community.

From my family to yours I wish you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful and healthy new year.

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