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Sitting with Karanga Mai when they were announced the winners of the Prime Minister’s 2016 Focus Prize in the Education Excellence Awards in Auckland was a great moment.

I regularly catch up with the team at Karanga Mai and am always impressed at the support these young mums receive to further their education while their little ones benefit from the early learning centre. It’s a holistic approach that is reaping results. Well done to these courageous young women who work hard to achieve their goals. During my last visit, I chatted about how I had been up the night before with my son, who is teething. A mum shared that she had also been kept up but she had used that time in the early hours to do school work.

These mums are committed to reaching their potential and it is heart-warming to see Karanga Mai recognised for its ongoing support to these young parents.

It’s been a week of celebrations, with the energy and momentum in the rebuild of our Rangiora town centre very evident at Rangiora Promotion’s AGM. I spoke at the event on how I meet a range of people in my role - from business owners, to community groups to individuals on the street - who are all upbeat that the district is heading in the right direction and is on track.

We have a lot to be proud of.

I fed some of that back to the New Zealand’s Property Council’s Rebuild Seminar in Christchurch on Thursday, where I spoke on the positivity of Waimakariri and what we are doing well. It was great to be invited to share what we are doing. Waimakariri is leading the way with our community discussions around the future use of the residential red zones and I enjoyed feeding back to the seminar how far we have come with our vibrant town centres and great anchor projects.

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