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Communities  will have a chance to chat directly to Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Alfred Ngaro when I bring him to the Waimak on 2 March for public meetings titled ‘Building Stronger Communities’. This is part of my commitment to bring relevant ministers into the electorate so your voices can be heard. There will be a meeting at the Ruataniwha Kaiapoi Civic Centre from 12pm to 1pm and at the Rangiora Town Hall from 2pm to 3pm. Come and be involved.

The announcement by the Prime Minister and Communications Minister that additional areas of the Waimak will benefit from ultra-fast broadband was great for our region. Congratulations to Waimakariri District Council and Enterprise North Canterbury on putting forward a strong case for our district. I have been a strong advocate for Waimakariri to be part of the extended roll-out. As local MP, I’ve been working hard to drive forward connectivity in Waimakariri, whether it be advocating for constituents individually in the electorate, securing cabinet upgrades in Ohoka or a whole infrastructure upgrade in the town of Pegasus. In today’s fast-paced world, reliable connectivity is aligned to not only our business productivity but our social networks.

Commuters will be noticing a new road layout for the next stage of the Western Belfast Bypass. Following meetings with my constituents, I am advocating for a third southbound lane over the Waimak Bridge to be included in the current work to fully benefit from the gains that the Bypass and Northern Corridor will deliver. I have spoken to the Transport Minister and have written to the regional director of the New Zealand Transport Agency to express my support of a third southbound lane. I am interested in your views on this, so please do get in touch.

Locally, I enjoyed opening the North Canterbury Kip McGrath education centre and launching the Relay for Life fundraiser for the Cancer Society last week, as well as attending the special citizenship ceremony at Tuahiwi Marae and the commemoration event in Kaiapoi on Waitangi Day. My family and I enjoy being part of this annual family event.

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