Second term ‘back to business as usual’
It is an absolute privilege and an honour to be able to write this column as your reelected Kaiko¯ura Electorate MP for a second term.
I firstly wish to thank everyone who supported me during this campaign and on election night, from those who chose to vote for me, to my fantastic team and of course my family.
It is with gratitude that I acknowledge the significant margin of votes by which I was elected - gratitude that people have recognised how proud I am of this electorate and how hard I have worked for it, and that I intend to continue building on that work as your representative.
Although at the time of writing we are still waiting to find out what will be happening in Parliament, my job is clear: To carry on doing what I have been, which is representing the Kaiko¯ura Electorate as best I can for the next three years.
For me, this campaign was very different to that of 2014, in part due to the earthquake. While last time I was able to focus almost solely on campaigning, this year I juggled that with my normal constituent work, as well as earthquake-related work. The sheer distance between both ends of our electorate was made more difficult by the need to travel on
the alternative highway which ate up a lot of time, and I know this is something all the Kaiko¯ura candidates had to cope with.
Still, my team and I made that trip as often as possible and I really enjoyed meeting so many of you during this time. I look forward to seeing many again during the next three years.
Since the election, it has been heartening to be approached by the Kaiko¯ura Green Party candidate, Dr Richard McCubbin, who has personally offered me his congratulations. Richard was a very worthy candidate, he ran a good campaign, and I greatly appreciate the time he’s taken to make contact with me.
Now, for me it’s back to business as usual. I intend to continue advocating for the earthquake rebuild, which is something that has taken up much of my time during the past ten months.
I amso proud of the phenomenal work that is being done on our coastal transport links and the sheer scale of the obstacles we have overcome as an electorate. Our work is not done, but we have come an incredibly long way. Despite these challenges our economy is in fantastic shape, and its continued growth, in a sustainable manner, is another important focus for me. It is with a great deal of pleasure that I look forward to once again representing the communities of this diverse, hardworking and beautiful electorate as your MP.
Kaikoura MPStuart Smith with his family, from left, Hugo, Fenella, Julie and Louis.