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Life is a balancing act. In my new and current role as a politician I have learnt is full and uncompromising on our time and energy, trying to navigate and balance the importance of priorities to Parliament, the House, the Party, our electorate, our communities, our families and selves. I am also a mother to three adult children and for the recent recess (ie a break from parliamentary duties at Parliament) I prioritised family and my eldest daughter Paparangi (26) who lives in Sydney, contributing to our Trans-Tasman relationships working and living in Australia. Out visit was just before ANZAC Day and as we travelled we were ever-mindful of the significant bond between our two nations and the ANZAC camaraderie that is preserved and ever-relevant.

Papa competed for the first time this month/year at the Australian Surfboat Lifesaving National Championships in Perth for her Sydney Palm Beach Surfboat Club. No less that two strokes from the finish line to have the surf waters literally sucked out from under then – a “backwash” it’s called. No water left to oar, while tow crews at least a boat length behind catching and riding the next wave surfing in passing the front-rowers. Left waterless and gold-less. That is competition. And that too is the turbulence and currency o life. It isn’t all that we wish, plan and hope for despite all the effort, hard word, credibility, integrity, skill, top performance, polls and rankings. However, the belief, vision, determination and discipline to remain dedicated and hard-working is what makes all the difference. I have learnt this before entering politics and it remains ever so relevant.

Sunday May 13 is Mother’s Day. Reading between and along the lines you will have gauged that my responsibility as a mother has been my main priority. Raising my children to be caring, decent and constructively contributing citizens to be and give the best they can of themselves has been one of the most significant satisfactions in my life. I am grateful to my own mother who was selfless and worked tirelessly all her live. I send my warm wishes for a special day to celebrate motherhood on Sunday, May 13 – to all women who are mothers, mother-in-waiting, mothers who cherish and care for others biological children as if they are our own. Mothering is modelling nurturing, caring for and cherishing in a selfless manner, putting the priority of our child/ren first and foremost, it is about the life-line of love, care, nurture and cherish. As a mother, we have the most significant space in our communities (along with positive male role-models also) to shape and prepare out children responsibly with care, opportunity, optimism and love for their lives and future. And the relevance and importance of our men-folk to also do the same. Our children benefit from the balance of positive and nurturing role-models giving consistently the best of ourselves for and to our children. Treasure our children and one another. Go well – Kia ora

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