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As we have officially entered spring and the new growth is starting to bloom, it’s fitting we celebrated the opening of our new Farmers’ building recently. Speaking at the opening, I reflected on how our new Farmers has come to symbolise a celebration of how far we have come as a community and it’s good to see our streets bustling with people enjoying spring and our renewed town centres.

Rangiora was bursting at the seams with the Farmers’ Rangiora Festival. As a proud sponsor of the event, I enjoyed being out with my family and meeting with you, and the festival was another example of Waimakariri being a great place to raise a family. The excitement around the opening of our new Farmers’ was infectious and I think we all felt it mirrored the optimism and confidence of our retailers.

This positive message was reinforced at the Enterprise North Canterbury Business Awards. The awards showcase the strength of our local businesses and the level of entries this year was impressive. Waimakariri can boast some talented and dedicated people. As a supporter of our local businesses, I always enjoy opportunities to chat to our local business people who make a valuable contribution to our local economy.

The sunny weather made for a great opening of the lawn bowls season for many of our bowling clubs around the electorate. Members of the Kaiapoi Riverside Bowling launched the season with some energetic bowls and a delicious tea, and it was good to catch up with some of the faces I have seen at my over 65s coffee mornings.

The growth of the electorate was a key part of informal discussions I had with Woodend residents at the Woodend Community Association AGM. With planning well underway for the new Ravenswood commercial development, I found it valuable to get an update on the project and to chat to local residents.

There’s no doubt community-led groups like residents’ associations play a valuable role in promoting the wellbeing of our areas and we couldn’t do without them. Attending the recent Kaiapoi and Rangiora Community Service Awards was a reminder of just how many people are working hard for the betterment of our communities, across all aspects of life. Well done to all of you!

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