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Ruapehu Bulletin  08 April 2020

We are living in one of the most extraordinary times in modern New Zealand. I have confidence the decisions made to date by the Government are, for the most part, the right ones.

We can argue the timing and the magnitude of them, but we must remember Covid-19 is very much a moving target. Now is not the time for political point scoring either, and it is good to see the Government and Opposition working well together to achieve the best outcomes for New Zealanders.

I was delighted that the Government's initial decision not to allow community newspapers to publish

and deliver during the lockdown period was essentially reversed last week after a submission went before the cross-party Special Select Committee, which is chaired by National Party leader, Simon Bridges.

Community newspapers are now permitted to operate if they meet certain conditions - one of them being if they "serve a need for hard to reach rural communities, with reduced connectivity,,.

It's great that under the new guidelines this paper - our own Ruapehu Bulletin - and the District Monitor are up and running again and providing an exceptional service to their wider communities in these uncertain times. Reassuring to know the system works too!

My offices are operating remotely

with all staff working from home. We are fielding plenty of enquiries about essential services, wage subsidy abuse and applications, people stranded overseas and even foreigners stranded in New Zealand, amongst other things. We are continuing to provide a service to our Rangitikei constituents and I'm proud to report it's working pretty well.

One more thing - the Special Select Committee I mentioned earlier sits via video link on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 10am - 12.30pm. It's great viewing. You can catch all the action on Freeview 31, Sky 86, Vodafone 86 and on Parliament's Facebook Page or website. Or you can listen in on National Radio.

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