Last week was a particularly busy one in Parliament.
There was plenty of work for the Primary Production Select Committee with three bills to consider, including the ACVM Bill (the Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Medicines Bill), the Geographical Indicators (Wines and Spirits) Bill and the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Amendment Bill 2015.
On Thursday we met with representatives from the Deer Farmers Association in Parliament who briefed us on their Industry.
Chairman Andy McFarlane and chief executive Dan Coup were able to share the industry's encouraging success story. Both velvet and Cervena (their meat brand) are performing very well. I have no doubt that much of this success can be attributed to the association which provides effective leadership and representation while inspiring growth and supporting sustainability.
The Law and Order Select Committee is doing some work around the use of firearms in crime in New Zealand. This will be very interesting. It is not about revisiting the ownership of firearms by law abiding New Zealand citizens.
I represented Minister Guy at the inaugural Auckland Environmental Awards. This was a very well attended event and was won by the Kidd family who are sheep and beef farmers from Helensville. They will go on to the national showcase event in Waitangi where of course they will come up against our own regional winners - the Hopkins and Price families.
On Friday Sue and I attended the 100th birthday celebrations of Brian de Lautour. It was a great occasion to honour a remarkable man who was a fit as can be and who with his two brothers served the country in World War II. Only two years ago he travelled to Casino to recognise the anniversary of that battle.
Later we attended the launch function for the Manawatu Racing Club's Sires Produce Stakes at sponsors Courtesy Ford premises in JFK drive. This is New Zealand's Premier 2 year-old race and is the big event in horse racing in our region. Rain dampened the racing somewhat on Saturday, nevertheless it was a successful day for racing in our region.
The final event for the weekend was the opening of the National Secondary Schools' Volleyball Competition in Palmerston North.
It was a great sight to see all the competitors seated for the opening ceremony.