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The summer break will be a distant memory for many of our families who are adjusting to back-to-school routines and costs. Ahead of the holidays, my family and I made the decision to enjoy a Waimak staycation instead of going away - and what a wonderful time we had. From beaches to rivers, walks to cycleways and dining out to having a punt, Waimakariri truly has it all. No holiday is complete without a swim at Ashley Gorge to cool off after walking the loop track and a visit to one of Oxford’s eateries. Oxford is a great destination for people from all over Canterbury looking to enjoy a day out.

In January, I appreciated receiving an invitation from Oxford Area School’s Justin Thompson, who is on the board of the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand and an organiser of this year’s event, to stand with our communities to commemorate the Holocaust, and all genocides across the world, at the Peace Bell in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. The event, which took place last weekend, marked the 74th year since the end of the Holocaust and World War 2. It was a poignant reminder of the need to respect our differences, condemn intolerance and safeguard the liberties which we as New Zealanders value so highly.

Oxford students will be invited to hear the inspirational story of Northcote MP Dan Bidois next month when students from our local schools will be invited to hear how this former school drop-out became a Member of Parliament. I’ve invited Dan to the Waimakariri for this special opportunity to share his motivational story with our students. If you are a student and would like to attend, please check with the school for details.

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