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I’ve often said the Waimak enjoys a unique set of circumstances with its rapid growth, mix of rural and peri-urban areas, and vibrant regeneration post-earthquake. These are part of our success story. However, engaging with our communities on a daily basis, I am often involved when these factors result in changes in our communities.

There has been some concern around the protection of our rural areas. Businesses coming into the Waimak bring jobs and support our local economy but some developments could bring adverse effects to those living nearby. Recently, I attended the presentation by the Isaac Community Association to the Oxford-Ohoka Community Board on the proposed quarry development that brought out a large number in our community. A wider debate is coming on the council’s proposed revision of its District Plan and I urge all residents who have views to participate in this process so that what is valued in our communities can be preserved and protected.

Residents would have seen my signs around the Waimak advertising my Building Stronger Communities public meetings today with Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Alfred Ngaro. With the rapid growth of the Waimak, it is important to build strong communities from the ground up. Our regeneration is not just about the bricks and mortar but keeping our communities connected and resourced.

The official opening of the Waimakariri Hockey Turf brings another great facility to our area. The Black Sticks have been confirmed to play on the new turf this month and it will be fantastic to have our national team playing in the Waimak.  Attending the special citizenship ceremony on Waitangi day at Tuahiwi Marae, I was again impressed by how our community is growing and it’s exciting to see facilities matching this growth.

I joined our community in marking the sixth anniversary of the Canterbury Earthquake at the memorial service and unveiling of the earthquake national memorial. We will always remember those who lost their lives on that terrible day.

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