Another Beach Hop is in the books and it was terrific to see Thames and Whangamata filled with classic cars and caravans, Elvis and Betty Boop impersonators, and visitors from across the country. Noddy Watts and his team did a fantastic job to get the festival back on its traditional schedule after last year’s delayed event.
It would have been great to welcome some of our Australian neighbours over for the event, but the Government continually delays the establishment of a trans-Tasman bubble. The tourism sector has been doing it tough for over a year and the Government isn’t helping the situation by shifting the goal posts. We also have many families who remain separated and are desperate to be reunited. The National Party’s petition to open the trans-Tasman bubble has been well-received by New Zealanders. Hopefully on 6 April we will get a firm starting date, rather than another announcement of an announcement.
In other news, it was great to be a part of the opening of the Whangamata Bowling Club’s new all-weather carpet green. This will be a great asset to the club, Thames Valley Bowls and the wider community. The club has spent the past couple of years fundraising and I am sure that they can’t wait to get out on the green and start bowling.
On the other side of the electorate, the Seabird Coast hosted the historic signing of the Ngati Paoa Deed of Settlement at Wharekawa Marae. A formal apology was given on behalf of the Crown and there was an acknowledgment of Ngati Paoa’s patience, tenacity and goodwill. While the history can’t be changed, this apology and signing marks a momentous positive step for Ngati Paoa’s future.
Finally, I continue to host community meetings around the electorate. Thanks to those who attended the meetings at Katikati and Whangamata. Next up are Paeroa and Coromandel.
Tuesday 27 April, 7pm, St Johns Meeting Room, Belmont Road, Paeroa
Wednesday 28 April, 7pm, St Johns Meeting Room, Tiki Road, Coromandel
To contact to me or my office, please don't hesitate to call 0800 550 300.