I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. I hope you are able to take a break and enjoy the company of those nearest and dearest to you and recharge your batteries for the year ahead.
I always know summer is on the way once Labour Weekend has been and gone. Let’s hope we have more settled weather and less of those strong winds as we move towards the end of the year.
It has been a busy time in the Selwyn electorate with lots of local events being held. There are many more events planned over the next month or so as we head towards Christmas, so it is a great time to get out and enjoy what is happening in your local community.
The year is racing by and it will be Christmas before we know it! As the weather warms up, the number of events happening around Selwyn also seems to increase. Events on around our district during October include Selwyn’s Artweek, the Akaroa French Fest, the Ellesmere A and P show and the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Brigade’s 50th Jubilee.
Once again our region was hit hard by some extreme weather during the storm of 10th/11th September. If you need any advice or assistance with issues relating to storm damage at your property, please contact my office.
Spring is definitely in the air with all of the daffodils and lambs making their appearances within the past few weeks. Here in Selwyn, a lot has been happening, including the start of work on the rebuild of Halswell School.
Local body elections are coming up on the 12th of October and I strongly encourage you all to find out about the candidates and make sure you have your say by voting for the Councillors that you want to represent you for the next three years.
I hope you had a relaxing time if you were able to take a break at home or away during the July school holidays. It is hard to believe we are well over halfway through the year now already.
Funding for new buildings at Sheffield School I was pleased to learn that the Education Ministry has allocated $146,000 in extra funding to Sheffield Contributing School as part of the Government’s $10 million Schools Property Guide Programme.
The Schools Property Guide Programme is in place to provide schools with funding to increase their non-classroom space - such as libraries, administrative facilities and multipurpose spaces - in line with the increases in the number of students they have.
The programme has provided funding to approximately 500 schools in the past 13 years.
I hope you are all managing to avoid winter illnesses and keeping yourselves warm during the bleak weather. My thoughts are with those of you affected by the recent flooding in our region, particularly in Leeston and Motukarara. If you need any additional support in helping you deal with the aftermath of this event, please do contact my office for advice.
This month’s newsletter has somewhat of an environmental flavour as there are lots of positive things happening around Selwyn and nationally that I would like to share with you.
Key points from Budget 2013 This year’s Budget confirms that we are on the right track as a country. The Budget is about effectively using public money and investing wisely in programmes to improve people’s lives and help grow the economy.
Good news on the economy The Government is well-placed to meet our two key fiscal targets – to get back to surplus by 2014/15 and to bring net core Crown debt back down to no higher than 20 per cent of GDP by 2020.
Economic growth is the highest in five years – almost the same as Australia and higher than almost every other developed country. Our economy is forecast to grow between 2 and 3 per cent a year over the next four years.
Wages are growing, cost of living increases have been modest, and interest rates are at 50-year lows.
Well the days are definitely getting shorter and there is a bite in the air so we have to acknowledge that summer is now well and truly behind us.
New figures out confirm that Selwyn is the fastest growing region in New Zealand. Our population is expanding rapidly and employment growth in our district was the strongest in New Zealand, with 1,200 new jobs created in Selwyn last year. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for here in Selwyn. However, this growth also brings challenges as well as opportunities.