MP’s life del­i­cate bal­anc­ing act

South Taranaki Star - - FRONT PAGE - HARETE HIPANGO

Life is a bal­anc­ing act. In my new and cur­rent role as a politi­cian I have learnt is full and un­com­pro­mis­ing on our time and en­ergy, try­ing to nav­i­gate and balance the im­por­tance of pri­or­i­ties to Par­lia­ment, the House, the Party, our elec­torate, our com­mu­ni­ties, our fam­i­lies and selves.

I am also a mother to three adult chil­dren and for the re­cent re­cess (ie a break from par­lia­men­tary du­ties at Par­lia­ment) I pri­ori­tised fam­ily and my el­dest daugh­ter Pa­parangi (26) who lives in Syd­ney, con­tribut­ing to our trans-Tas­man re­la­tion­ships work­ing and liv­ing in Aus­tralia.

Our visit was just be­fore An­zac Day and as we trav­elled we were ever-mind­ful of the sig­nif­i­cant bond be­tween our two na­tions and the An­zac ca­ma­raderie that is pre­served and ever-rel­e­vant.

Papa com­peted for the first time this month/year at the Aus­tralian Surf­boat Life­sav­ing Na­tional Cham­pi­onships in Perth for her Syd­ney Palm

Beach Surf­boat Club.

No less than two strokes from the fin­ish line to have the surf wa­ters were lit­er­ally sucked out from un­der them – a ‘‘back­wash’’ it’s called. No wa­ter left to oar, while two crews at least a boat length be­hind catch­ing and rid­ing the next wave surf­ing in pass­ing the front-row­ers, left wa­ter­less and gold-less. That is com­pe­ti­tion.

And that too is the tur­bu­lence and cur­rency of life. It isn’t all that we wish, plan and hope for de­spite all the ef­fort, hard work, cred­i­bil­ity, in­tegrity, skill, top per­for­mance, polls and rank­ings.

How­ever, the be­lief, vi­sion, de­ter­mi­na­tion and dis­ci­pline to re­main ded­i­cated and hard­work­ing is what makes all the dif­fer­ence. I have learnt this be­fore en­ter­ing pol­i­tics and it re­mains ever so rel­e­vant.

Sun­day May 13 is Mother’s Day. Read­ing be­tween and along the lines you will have gauged that my re­spon­si­bil­ity as a mother has been my main pri­or­ity.

Rais­ing my chil­dren to be car­ing, de­cent and con­struc­tively con­tribut­ing cit­i­zens to be and give the best they can of them­selves has been one of the most sig­nif­i­cant sat­is­fac­tions in my life. I am grate­ful to my own mother who was self­less and worked tire­lessly all her life.

I send my warm wishes for a spe­cial day to cel­e­brate mother­hood on Sun­day, May 13 to all women who are moth­ers, moth­ers-in-wait­ing, moth­ers who cher­ish and care for oth­ers bi­o­log­i­cal chil­dren as if they are our own.

Moth­er­ing is mod­el­ling nur­tur­ing, car­ing for and cher­ish­ing in a self­less man­ner, put­ting the pri­or­ity of our child/ ren first and fore­most. It is not about blood-line, it is about the life-line of love, care, nur­ture and cher­ish.

As a mother, we have the most sig­nif­i­cant space in our com­mu­ni­ties (along with pos­i­tive male role-mod­els also) to shape and pre­pare our chil­dren re­spon­si­bly with care, op­por­tu­nity, op­ti­mism and love for their lives and fu­ture. And the rel­e­vance and im­por­tance of our men-folk to also do the same. Our chil­dren ben­e­fit from the balance of pos­i­tive and nur­tur­ing role-mod­els giv­ing con­sis­tently the best of our­selves for and to our chil­dren.

Trea­sure our chil­dren and one an­other. Go well – Kia ora.

CATHER­INE GROOENESTEIN

Harete Hipango is the MP for Whanganui.

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