Sec­ond term ‘back to busi­ness as usual’

Kaikoura Star - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - STU­ART SMITH, KAIK­OURA MP

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

COL­UMN:

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.

PHOTO: RICKY WIL­SON/STUFF

Kaik­oura MPS­tu­art Smith with his fam­ily, from left, Hugo, Fenella, Julie and Louis.

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