An honour and a privilege

The 2023 General Election is almost upon us and soon you will get to choose on 14 October who you would like to represent the Port Waikato electorate in the 54th Parliament.

There are quite a few candidates standing from various parties, and hopefully you have had the opportunity to hear from us at one of the local ‘meet the candidates’ events.

These commenced with a debate at Pukekohe High School (pictured), an event run by the students for the students, and it was wonderful to see so many young people in attendance, including students from neighbouring schools.

The calibre of questions was extraordinarily high, and it is heart-warming to know young people do care very passionately about the economy, the environment, our healthcare and education systems, and law and order.

For those of you that have reached the voting age in the last three years, I encourage you to vote on 14 October. It is your democratic right to have your voice heard. Learn about the candidates and what their values are. See how their beliefs align with yours.

For me, this will be my fourth election. I was selected as the National Party candidate for what was then the Hunua electorate in 2014. The boundaries were redrawn for the 2020 election and we became the Port Waikato electorate.

While the boundaries and the name have changed over the years and the people I’ve represented have come and gone, my passion for the job remains unchanged. It is an honour I hold dear and a real privilege to serve you as your elected MP.

We have seen some tough times recently – the Covid pandemic, several major floods, and the current cost-of-living crisis. There are some huge challenges ahead – repairing the divisions and inequities in our society, getting more people back into work and children into school, sorting out our justice system and our healthcare crisis.

Being an MP carries enormous responsibility, but it is also incredibly rewarding.

This will be my last column as the MP for Port Waikato for the 53rd Parliament. Here’s to the next column as your MP for the 54th Parliament. Thank you.