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How good is it to see people in our towns again?

I’ve been in Gore a couple of days this week and will be again next week and it is so great to see people out and about again.

I was honoured to be recently announced as National’s Spokesperson for Forestry, Spokesperson for Land Information and Associate Spokesperson for Tourism.

All of these sectors need strong teams to get them through the battle ahead, and I will work hard to be an advocate for those in the industries.

As the election looms closer, just over three months away, this will be my last column in The Ensign as we enter the regulation period before the election.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your ongoing support for the last almost three years.

Thank you for all of the messages, advice, phone calls, letters, drop-ins - the list goes on, and I couldn’t have done it without you all.

It has been an honour to serve as the Member of Parliament for Clutha-Southland.

We’ve had some big battles, from fighting to save the Lumsden Maternity Centre, which National has announced it will reinstate full services if elected this year, through to advocating for farmers against copious amounts of crazy rules and regulations that add cost for no reason.

It was pleasing to have part of the proposed water policy released last week with dramatic changes which show the Government has listened to us all.

I’ve also fought to save the Gore Racecourse, when it was proposed to lose its thoroughbred meets, starting a petition which more than 1000 of you signed.

It was a privilege to be the MP for Clutha-Southland being a part of such a wonderful community after the February floods.

In the eight days following the floods, I travelled the equivalent of Cape Reinga to Bluff and back, visiting affected areas across the electorate.

Until next time, thanks for the ongoing support and a reminder my office is always open if you need assistance in any way.

I look forward to working with you all in the future.

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