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Out and About

Royal Visit

For me, the highlight of Prince Harry and Meghan’s New Zealand visit was ensuring that this group of 4 young women St Johns Ambulance 1st responders met Prince Harry. And they did. I was delighted to step back & observe their delight in meeting & chatting with the prince (after staying with & guiding them to his attention). Here we are after their lovely memorable encounter (& me witnessing their excitement).

Whanganui Festival Of Cultures

It was great to be at the Whanganui Festival of Cultures. In Whanganui, there are people living here from an esitmated 30 different ethnic groups. I appreciate that as a city we recognise and celebrate culture.

Click here to watch a short video I made.

Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Awards

The Taranaki Regional Council has a sterling reputation for its approach to working with people and caring for the environment. I had the pleasure of attending the Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Awards that recognised and celebrated the achievement of businesses and individuals in their effort to work sustainably. You can read more about award winners here.

Special mention must go to Roger Pearce from Waitotara winner of Environmental Leadership in Land Management and Stratford Demonstration Farm Society (Inc) winner of Environmental Leadership in Dairy Farming.

TRC Chair David McLeod, TRC Councilor Neil Walker & Roger Pearce - Waitotara Valley farmer awardee for enviro-leadership land management.

Plumber Dan Duck Race

I appreciate that Whanganui is a community-minded place and the Plumber Dan Duck Race is an example of this. This is a fun family event – it’s based on the traditional game of pooh sticks, and most of us will remember the childhood joy of ‘racing’ two sticks down the river – and it raises needed funds for Jigsaw, an organization that works to support our local families. This year $14,200 was raised. Here is the news article in case you’d like to read more.

Silver Ferns Constellation Cup Match

I’m a huge fan of sport! I played representative netball in my younger days. Now I am an avid spectator and so enjoyed being able to support the Silver Ferns in their win against Australia Diamonds in the Constellation Cup. It was great to be back in the sporting fold and re-connecting - Dame Lois Muir, NetballNZ Jen Wylie CEO, Board members Lesley Murdoch (former NZhockey & cricket & broadcaster), Bernice Mene (former Silver Fern capt), President Bev Douglas, NZ coach Noeline Taurua, snr player Maria Folau, Shannon Courtney (event manager) NZRFU Steve Tew.


Poverty Bay 138 A & P show

Hon Anne Tolley MP for East Coast had a stand at Poverty Bay A & P show. Myself and fellow MPs Hon Nathan Guy MP for Otaki, Lawrence Yule MP for Tukituki and MP Brett Hudson went along in support. It was a fun event with all the familiar things of an A & P show. I particularly enjoyed chatting with folk and checking out the home industry entries.

Stratford Sale Yards

I spent a morning at Stratford Sale Yards, connecting with local farmers and hearing their views on what’s happening in the farming sector. M.Bovis continues to be a concern, and understandably so. I was able to share that I triggered that MPI to disclose the origin and identification of infected stock and farms. I attended a farmers meeting in June and at that stage MPI withheld this info under privacy laws. I challenged Minister O’Connor on this as containment of the disease is a greater priority. This featured in one of my Whanganui Chronicle columns. Read it here.

While at the Sale Yards I met up with Margret Young – MP Jonathon Young’s mum. We shared memories of her Taranaki youth, farming, family and political days of when her husband, Venn Young was MP for Waitotara.


Mental Health Awareness

“Let Nature in” was the theme for Mental Health Awareness week.  I appreciate the natural beauty of Aotearoa and throughout my life, the Whanganui River has been constant and given me a source of sanctuary. I take the opportunity to be in nature where I can and in Parliament this can be in the Zen garden which I discovered during my first week at Parliament and that my office overlooks.

Here's a video I made in my garden and in it I share what is important for my mental wellness – the sanctuary of the Whanganui Awa.

Maori Tourism Portfolio

I spent some time in Queenstown attending the NZ Hospitality Awards and visiting with tourism operators listening and learning about their issues and concerns in NZ's largest growth economy sector. Issues facing Queenstown and surrounding districts are balancing resident vs tourist interests, infrastructure, cost disbursement, and freedom campers.

While in Queenstown I made the most of some tourism experiences – had to find out first-hand what tourists will experience. My thanks to Richard Lauder CE of ‘Real Journeys’ and Brett McKenzie GM of kJet a Ngai Tahu Tourism operator.


The Real Journey’s Experience is a cruise on steamship TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Station for a beautiful dinner. It is a first-class tourism experience.

The kJet jet boat ride starts on Lake Wakatipu onto Karatau River and up to Shotover River. I will remember it!

Maori Women’s Welfare League Conference

I represented the National Party at Maori Women’s Welfare League Conference in Gisborne. It was a time of good discussion and a celebration of achievement – especially fitting as this year is the 125th anniversary of the Suffrage movement. Maori women today continue in to advocate for their whanau and tamariki – just as those who have gone before.  Check out their website for more info.

I saw this sign driving into Gisborne and had to stop and take picture of this timeless message – do the work, get the treats.

River City Market

Come and see me at Whanganui River City Market – I have a regular stand and welcome you to stop by for a chat.

Have your say

Simon Bridges has launched ‘Have your say – rural NZ’ click on the link below to have your say about how things are going in the rural sector. There are five questions and it takes a few minutes.

Maori Affairs Select Committee

Visit to Maori Television Studios

I continue to enjoy being a member of Maori Affairs Select Committee. We recently visited Maori Television Studios in Auckland. I was impressed with the high standard of professionalism.

To stay up to date with work of MASC you can follow our Facebook page.

House Happenings

Whanganui Rebus Visits Parliament

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting, greeting and welcoming Whanganui Rebus to Parliament. Had a chat about the coming and going, to-ing & fro-ing on a daily basis in this buzzy🐝 busy place of a hive!


Te wiki o te reo Maori

Te Reo is dear to my heart. Click here to watch a video I made about being confident in speaking te reo every day.

Speaking in the House

I am really enjoying speaking in the House. Recently I have spoken on:

  • Maritime Powers Extension Bill (click here to watch the video)
  • Military Justice Legislation Amendment Bill (click here to watch the video)

Private Members Bills

My Health and Safety At Work (Volunteer Associations) Amendment Bill is currently before Select Committee. Click here to check its progress.

My Family Proceedings (Paternity Orders and Parentage Tests) Amendment Bill is still in the Ballot.

Until next time.

Harete Hipango
Member of Parliament for Whanganui

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