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Horowhenua Chronicle - 2021-07-23

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Public holiday a star turn

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Nga mihi o Matariki, te tau hou Maori! Happy Matariki! We’re delivering on our pre-election commitment and New Zealand will celebrate Matariki as a public holiday from June 24, 2022. The calendar date for the Matariki public holiday will shift each year to align with the maramataka (Ma¯ori lunar calendar) and will always fall on a Friday. To give certainty to communities and businesses, we have announced Matariki dates for the next 30 years. These dates can be found at www.beehive. govt.nz It was a privilege to attend Matariki celebrations at Lake Horowhenua led by Muau¯poko with karakia, waiata, blessings and remembering those who have passed. I also went along to the night lights in Foxton where there was a fantastic turnout with people braving the cold to see landmarks like the windmill and water tower lit up. Another Mataraki event was held at Living Plus MASH Trust, with clients and staff putting on a “stars in their eyes” show, which was a lot of fun. There were many other Matariki celebrations throughout the O¯ taki electorate, I hope you were able to get along to some of these. There is some fantastic work happening in our northern area from Ka¯inga Ora. I had the opportunity to view three of the new builds that are almost ready for people in our community to move in to. Ka¯inga Ora have partnered up with the students at WelTec who, as part of their learning, build these beautiful warm and dry houses together. This is just the beginning! Ka¯inga Ora have plans for more new builds and some retro spec houses by the end of this year. One of the issues I campaigned on and continue to advocate really strongly for is a train service from Waikanae through to Levin and beyond. Our announcement on July 8 that a business case for further network improvements will look at supporting more commuter services across the region and potentially extend the electrification of rail north of Waikanae to Levin. We will also replace signals at Ohau ¯ and Manakau and fully replace bridges 30A and 30B (both north of Waikanae). This will lower carbon emissions while delivering on our promise to get rail back on track, hears the voices and needs of the O¯ taki electorate and will support our economic recovery with the creation of more jobs. A reminder that our office is open, 106 Oxford St, Levin. We are open Monday to Friday 10am-3pm. Please pop in if you need assistance and a reminder we are here to support all the O¯ taki electorate, regardless of political views and affiliations.

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