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We did it Clutha, but the battle is not yet over against Covid-19.

As we prepare to enter alert level three, give yourself and each other a pat on the back.

Who’d have thought a month ago we would have been entering a one in a lifetime

lockdown (we hope) to protect our most vulnerable.

It hasn’t been easy and there is still huge amounts of uncertainty out there.

People in our community have lost their jobs, their livelihoods, their businesses and others have struggled to pay bills, keep a roof over their head and just make it through.

What is truly amazing though is the support that has been offered to those of us in need during this time.

Take The Crescent Bar and Grill, for example, offering meals on wheels to those who were most at risk.

At one point they were shut down by the Ministry of Business and Employment and asked to cease this service.

This meals on wheels service was vital to Kaitangata over lockdown, even more so than it is any other day of the year.

Allowing our elderly and most at risk a way of accessing food without having to get to the supermarket was one of the most significant ways we could protect them.

This was a classic example of officials in Wellington not understanding how rural businesses and communities function.

After making phone calls over two days, common sense prevailed and a solution was found.

Kai is a wonderful community and we are lucky to have businesses like The Crescent Bar and Grill providing a critical service in times of need.

There were many instances of people needing help in lockdown, all which I did my best to assist.

In the first two weeks alone my offices and I dealt with more than 500 enquires, which is normally what I would receive in two months.

Most people I was able to help, sending them in the right direction or helping them to get what they need.

Now, while we begin to look forward again towards alert level three, we need to remember to not let our guard down.

The battle against Covid-19 is still far from over.

We are lucky here in Clutha though as we will fair far better than some, as we have a very diverse local economy with a large part related to the primary sector.

Our primary sector, what has been and always will be the backbone of our county has continued to keep our economy going in these tough times.

As our other industries start to prepare to head back to work we get ready to enter stage two of the fight against Covid-19.

Normal life is still a long way away but together we will get through this.

If you still have questions or need help in any way, don’t hesitate to drop me a line at hamish.walkermp@parliament.govt.nz.

Keep up the good work Clutha.

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