The News North Canterbury - Looking forward to another year as MP

Columns
Friday, October 2, 2015

Just over a year ago, on election night, I together with my family and a dedicated support team gathered to await the results after a very busy campaign.

I was truly humbled to be elected as your Member of Parliament with a record majority.

Soon after, I stood in Parliament delivering my maiden speech, feeling honoured and privileged to be doing so.

In that speech, I said I would never take my election for granted, and this statement is something I have, and will continue to stand by.

Over the past 12 months I have strived to work hard for this electorate.

Just getting around the electorate is no small feat. The Kaikoura Electorate is the fourth largest general seat, covering 21,000 square kilometres in often challenging terrain, from boat-access-only D'Urville Island right down to the most rural metal roads of North Canterbury.

Within this area are urban centres, rural farming towns, high country stations and remote coastal settlements.

Every kilometre I have travelled has been worth it.

I have often been heartened to see strong, united communities where hardworking locals - often in volunteer roles - make things happen.

I have also been lucky enough to be invited to attend, or speak at, many wonderful community occasions, from opening a vet clinic in Culverden to an awards night at the Amberley Fire Brigade gold star award to the opening of Wairau Hospital's new MRI machine.

There have been a number highlights during the year, and a particular highlight for me was hosting the Prime Minister in the Electorate.

There have also been challenges, most notably the drought which affected a huge chunk of this electorate and looks set to do so again this summer.

I was proud to see how our farmers and growers cope in these adverse conditions and will continue to offer them my support.

It has been my pleasure to represent the agriculture industry's best interests within this government as deputy-Chair of the Primary Production Select Committee, a member of the Agricultural Caucus Committee and the Rural Broadband Initiative working group.

I am also on the Social Services Select Committee, the Regional Development Caucus Committee, the Education Caucus Committee and the Bluegreens (National's advisory group on environmental issues).

I am lucky enough to be supported by both very experienced and new staff, whose combined expertise and skills have been instrumental to a successful first year.

Here's to another great year for the Kaikoura electorate. I am proud and honoured to represent you.