McKelvie recalls his meeting with the Queen

McKelvie recalls his meeting with the Queen

Ruapehu Bulletin, King Country Ohakune    14 September 2022

Local MP Ian McKelvie reflects on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

I think it's fair to say the entire world was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday 8 September. A truly remarkable woman and I am sure the most famous and recognised person in the world. And for good reason. The United Kingdom and the Commonwealth's longest reigning monarch lived a life symbolised by grace and servitude.

When she was born there was never an expectation the young Elizabeth would be Queen.

The circumstances of her uncle's abdication and subsequently her father's early death, resulted in the second Elizabethan age and the record 70-year realm of a Queen who gave an extraordinary lifetime of service. Like me, and most New Zealanders, Queen Elizabeth is the only Head of State we have known. Now we welcome King Charles III and the Carolean age. Long live the King! I was fortunate to meet the Queen when I travelled to England in 1999 as the manager of an Australasian Polo team to play against England in the Coronation Cup at Windsor Great Park. She was impressive and it felt very special at the time to meet her even more poignant now.

On a different note it was great to host Nicola Grigg in the electorate a couple of weeks ago for what was her first-ever visit to the mighty Rangitikei. Nicola is the Member of Parliament for Selwyn, another heartland rural and provincial seat. She was new to Parliament in 2020 and is currently National's spokesperson for Rural Communities, Women, Land Information, Animal Welfare and Associate Agriculture.

We had a busy day, which began with a tour of the Feilding sale yards always action-packed on a Friday morning. We also caught up with a few locals and businesses doing great things in our region including Erica van Reenan, managing director of AgFirst, and Duncan Thomas, business manager at H&T Agrinomics. Their broad industry knowledge and perspective, along with their innovative ideas to progress current issues and concerns was inspiring. Donald McNally and Paulette at Carbon Harvest showed us around their exciting algae production operation too, which has huge commercial potential.

It's always good to show off a taste of what's great in Rangitikei to one of my colleagues.