Happy holidays. With less than a week till Christmas, you have to wonder where the year has gone. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support in 2019, for opening your doors and sharing your thoughts with me. I’ve had a busy year, continuing to fight for Lumsden, my KiwiSaver bill becoming law and some great wins with Immigration. I couldn’t have done it without the amazing National Party members we have here in Clutha-Southland. I’m already looking forward to working hard for you in 2020. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas with friends and family. I know on-farm it is hard to take a break, but you deserve it, so put your feet up! Have a safe and enjoyable New Year and I’ll see you out and about next year.
A & P Show season continues, and I was lucky enough to open the South Otago A & P Show at the end of November. I also attended the Tokomairiro Show in the weekend. Again, a massive thanks to the dedicated National Party members who did a great job at the stall who travelled from far and wide. Two great shows bringing the communities together.
I was extremely humbled and actually quite embarrassed that I was a nominee for the New Zealand Herald’s People's Choice edition of Our Heroes 2019. I was thrilled however to learn last week that our very own Blair Vining took out the honour. Blair was an absolute Southland legend who fought tooth and nail for better cancer care. He has left a lasting legacy that all New Zealanders will be able to benefit from should they be faced with the demon of cancer. Getting the Parliamentary Rugby team down to play his side earlier this year was a highlight for me.
It was a fun day out in Balclutha at the annual Santa Parade. I took a bag of lollies along the parade and told every kid they were only allowed two lollies. Kids are brought up well in South Otago as no one took more than two! It’s always heart-warming to see how excited the kids are to see Santa at this time of year. The next day I rode in style for the Gore Santa Parade with Mayor Tracy Hicks and Mark Patterson.
After a father was forced to break the law and drive at illegal speeds out of worry for the survival of his wife and their unborn child after finding out basic drugs were not available at the Lumsden maternal and child hub. After getting OIA documents I raised this story during the week. I am pleased to report my advocacy has resulted in the hub to be stocked with Entonox.
Queenstown has a new tourist attraction, which Mayor Jim Boult and I opened earlier this week – Richard’s Historic Walks. If you want to find out about Queenstown's remarkable history, you need to check it out.
I hosted MP for Northcote Dan Bidois in Gore and Winton, visiting the Pakeke Lions and attending Super Blues.