Matt King

Pleasure and Privilege

by Matt King, Member of Parliament for Northland

One of the pleasures, in fact, privileges, of being an MP, is attending community events. These events give me the opportunity to mix with the community and get valuable feedback that I can and do take to Wellington.

Two recent events are prime examples, one I could attend and one I couldn’t, but both were positive stories about Kaipara.

The first was the one I could attend, the swearing-in of the new Kaipara District Council at a powhiri last month at the Dargaville Town Hall. When I say new, the council was, in fact, a mix of the new and the experienced and that is the way it should be. It is what Kaipara needs. After a tumultuous and fractious period in politics, Kaipara is settling down for a period of much-needed continuity. Mayor Jason Smith returns, deservedly so in my opinion — as do five of the former council. That and the election of three new councillors with new perspectives is a good result for the district. A district, incidentally, that is growing faster than any other in the North Island. In my view, Kaipara has elected the council it deserves and needs at this time.

The other event, which I couldn’t attend, was the official opening of the new Mangawhai Fire Station.

The Mangawhai Volunteer Fire Brigade has a long and illustrious history of service to the community, and it was a real pleasure and privilege for me to meet on an earlier occasion the current volunteer brigade and many past members.

It has been an epic journey by local volunteers and community to get to that point of a new station. However, get to it they did. I applaud that, and I am encouraged by it.

The fire station, which is state-of-the-art, will serve the Mangawhai community for many years to come.

My congratulations to all involved. Thanks, guys — you do us proud.