Plains Profile - February 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016

I’ve been busy in and around the electorate over the summer and have been back at work since early January.

Some much welcome rain bought smiles to farmers faces and there has been plenty of sunshine for those visiting or enjoying holidays in our region.

Business folk are telling me they have had a good summer season and this year has been better than last.

In March we will have the final referendum about whether we change our flag. People on the Plains and generally across the Coromandel have strong views and they like to express them. I was pleased in the first referendum that Coromandel had the highest North Island voter turnout at 57.48% while the national average was 48%. We all have our own views on whether the flag should be changed or not. That’s why it’s really important everyone get involved in the discussion and vote. This is the first time in our history we as voters have had a chance to have a say in which flag we should have. I think it’s unlikely we will get such an opportunity again for at least a generation or more.

We have to consider the two flags side by side, about which one represents us as a nation now and into the future. If you didn’t vote in the first referendum I seriously urge you to do so in the final decision.

Even with a few wet days, it has been more than obvious that higher than usual numbers of visitors have holidayed and enjoyed the Coromandel during the Christmas and New Year period. Nationwide the tourism sector has been catering for its biggest summer yet after significant spring growth - international arrivals were up over 11 per cent for November.

For farmers though the rain has alleviated immediate concerns although we have two potentially dry months ahead.  The countryside is relatively green so the scary scenarios that were facing farmers in November haven’t eventuated.

I’m looking forward to a busy 2016 and continuing to work hard both here in the electorate and in Wellington.

Best wishes to you and yours for the year ahead.

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Tel: 07 868 3529