Coromandel Chronicle December 2015

Columns
Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 has been a busy and full year for me both here in the electorate and in Wellington at Parliament. I’m always surprised that December rolls around so quickly and that the time for sharing festive joy arrives so promptly.

It’s the time of year we take stock, share time with family and friends and for some it’s a time to enjoy a classic kiwi summer holiday. For others it’s the busiest time of year. The Coromandel is acknowledged as New Zealander’s favourite summer holiday destination and rightly so. Soon we will be welcoming tens of thousands of visitors to the Peninsula. That means unlimited opportunities to showcase all that is great about our region to a much wider than usual audience and I know our business community are looking forward to what should be a bumper summer season. But it’s also the busiest time of year for all our volunteer emergency and community service organisations. I want to take this opportunity in advance to thank all volunteers for the work and effort they will be putting in over the summer months. Speaking of summer, weather forecasters are predicting that the already strong El Nino conditions of spring will continue over summer and into autumn. This will be good for those wanting a holiday at the beach but challenging for farmers.

During El Nino New Zealand tends to experience stronger or more frequent winds from the west in summer, leading to drier conditions in the north and east.  Its important Coromandel Peninsula farmers plan carefully now for potential drought conditions in March, April and into May next year.

Recently I announced the selection of the Coromandel Youth MP Veronica Manning as the Coromandel representative for Youth Parliament 2016.

Veronica is a Year 12 Thames High School student and exudes great passion for the Coromandel. Her selection speech showed she understands the issues confronting us and is in touch with her generation.

Applicants for the role presented a speech to a selection panel. I was impressed with the high quality of applications received and how passionate young people are to represent their community at Youth Parliament 2016.

For me personally it’s a key opportunity as the Member of Parliament for Coromandel to learn more about the important issues affecting our young people today as well as their aspirations and ideas for the future.

I know Veronica will be a very effective representative as the voice and face of Coromandel youth.

Finally I want to wish you and your family a very happy and safe Christmas. 2016 will be upon us before we know it and I’m looking forward to the opportunities the New Year will bring for the Peninsula and our wider region.
ENDS