Central District Times

Columns
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The House is in recess now until the end of April and I am enjoying the opportunity to get out and about in the electorate.

I particularly enjoy the part of my job that brings me into contact with the people and communities that make up our region a region that represents heartland rural and provincial New Zealand.

Farming is a cyclical business that experiences peaks and troughs and farmers have become adept at managing their enterprises to accommodate these shifts. But it is much more difficult to work around a regulatory framework that discourages development and is unnecessarily complicated.
This Government is working hard to ensure that businesses are encouraged to grow not held back by unnecessary compliance costs. Our proposed amendments to the Resource Management Act will provide more certainty, timeliness and cost-effectiveness.

At the same time, further progress in rolling out the rural broadband initiative will improve mobile coverage and broadband connectivity in many areas. These are just two examples of our vision to free up businesses and allow them to get on with what they're good at.

This Government recognises the importance of regions such as Rangitikei. Our business growth agenda is all about building a stronger economy that's based on exports, investments and savings.

This will help create more jobs, raise incomes and provide the essential services that we all need.

Of course the towns that serve our agricultural heartland are vital too, and we are fortunate to be supported by numerous thriving towns in our region. I have visited every one of them this year and look forward to more travelling around over the next few weeks.

It's hard to believe that we're already a third of the way through the year and winter is just around the corner. Certainly the recent rain has been a blessing to many.

Highlights for me so far would definitely include the recent Central Districts' Field Days, which I think were the best ever; the Marton Harvest Fair, especially Aaron Akkerman's 732.5kg pumpkin; my visit to Young at Heart in Feilding, which is an outstanding little family unit for parents and children that's run by Mel Boerboom; Hosting Education Minister Hekia Parata in the Rangitikei and taking her to a truly thriving Rangitikei College; and of course, the Savile Cup.

We are indeed fortunate to live in such a caring, progressive and productive region.