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Out and About

It was my pleasure to attend Anzac Day Commemorations in Whanganui and Stratford. I have been attending Anzac services since I was a little girl. I was honored to speak at Stratford Civil Service to acknowledge those who fought and died, those who fought and lived, and those who loved them. We remember them. 

I hosted Paul Goldsmith in Whanganui – it was a full day of economic and regional development, arts, culture and heritage. We visited Pacific Helmets, NZ Glass, Article, NZ International Commercial Pilots Academy, Whanganui Chamber of Commerce, Whanganui Velodrome, E-Haus, and the Whanganui Air Service and Air Ambulance.

International Firefighters Day was in May and I had a memorable time with Gary Ward and team at Whanganui Fire Station. Our fire and emergency services are more than firefighters. I learned from our Whanganui F&E NZ that they are emergency civil, accident and medical response, search and rescue, hazardous and fire response - good sorts for all sorts of responses. These men and women are often the underrated and unspoken heroes in our community.

The inaugural "Light your bikes" in May twinkled the night streets where family, friends, and a flash-lit fancy-dressed fleet of bikes danced down towards our awa and along. It was a sparkling May evening. Click here to watch a short video I made.

I attended the march with our Whanganui nurses in support of our NZ and local nurses on International Nurses Day and every other day. Our nurses do a great job and the Government should settle the nurses' pay negotiations as soon as possible.

I attended the graduation of nine young pilots from the NZ International Commercial Pilot Academy in Whanganui and had the privilege of presenting and congratulating the graduates with their certificates in aviation. It's a fantastic institution which took flight in Whanganui in 2017 under the leadership of Phil Bedford (CEO), supported by Whanganui District Council Holdings Ltd.

Hospice is an invaluable palliative care and caring service for many at home and inpatients. Our lovely Valda Brechmanis, Volunteer Services Manager, gave me a tour of the Hospice care facility sharing all that Hospice services provide. It's important to to value those nurses and staff who give such service to comfort those in need.

It was great to celebrate 30 years of the remarkable TSB Community Trust and their service and contributions which many in Taranaki have benefited from over the decades including those in the northern part of our Whanganui electorate. In 2017 the TSB Community Trust distributed $11 million among 670 Taranaki organisations. The funding is targeted to improve the wellbeing of young people and whanau. The TSB Community Trust is investing in the future of Taranaki for our children and grandchildren. It was a real treat to be there for The Modern Maori Quartet (MMQ) performance.

MPs Jonathan Young, Barbara Kuriger, and I visited Todd Energy Oil & Gas sites in North and South Taranaki. It was an insightful fact-based education and observation of what really goes on. It’s always great to talk with those who understand the facts and reality of industry.

I also paid a visit to Tutaki Youth Inc in Stratford. The team at Tutaki are creative and dynamic in their approach to assisting young people and their families to have positive life outcomes. I popped into the Lion's Den Gym and Fitness Centre and was impressed by their range of purpose built equipment.

House happenings

Health and Safety at Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading and is now at Select Committee. Click here to learn more about it.

I have been travelling around the country with Maori Affairs Select Committee hearings and a highlight for me was our visit to Pariahaka. After having attended Parihaka on 9 June 2017 for the Parihaka-Crown Reconciliation Ceremony it was most special to speak in the House a few months ago in support of the Parihaka Reconciliation Bill - Te Pire Haeata ki Parihaka - the Deed of Recognition and Relationship agreement upon which the Crown and Parihaka agree to reconcile their relationship. I reflected upon the powerful poignancy and poignantly powerful experience while harkening and sharing in the House the words of Tim Finn’s Song for Parihaka.

“….I know Te Whiti will never be defeated,
And even at the darkest hour,
His presence will remain.
I'll sing for you a song of Parihaka…
One day you'll know the truth…
They gather still, the clouds of Taranaki,
His children's children wearing the white plume…
I'll sing for you a song of Parihaka,
Come to Parihaka,
Weep for my lost brother,
The spirit of nonviolence,
Has come to fill the silence,
Come to Parihaka

The first reading of the Bill was a significant milestone for the Crown, Parihaka, Taranaki, and Aotearoa NZ as a nation. We ought to be reminded of the history of our community and what it was founded on.

Keep in touch, and until next time – Mā te wā

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