MP’s message: The end of a tough year 

Barbara Kuriger

MP for Taranaki King Country

The year 2022 has been a difficult one for many of our families and businesses.

For the past two years, as we have experienced the phases and stages of Covid-19, we hope each new year will be easier than the one before.

This year we have seen the opening of the borders. Many families have been reunited and travel has been reinstated so we can again be part of the global scene.

Tourism is picking up, but it is still a difficult time for businesses in tourism and hospitality to keep businesses open to pre-Covid levels due to limited staffing and the ongoing effects of people off work due to Covid and its variants.

Through this tough time we have continued to rely heavily, as a country, on the food and fibre sector to keep our economy flowing.

It needs to be said that we should all be thankful not only for our own food, but for the benefits we all receive from these industries, which equate to about $9000 per person.

My biggest hope for 2023 is that our children will attend school regularly.

As the song goes ‘children are our future’ and regularly attending school will help secure their futures with knowledge and skills to help them on life’s path

I hope that businesses can find the staff they need to undertake their businesses as the stress of keeping things going without enough people is mounting and people are more stressed than I have ever seen.

I would like to see society get back to the basics of supporting one another.

Being through such a tough time has tended to exacerbate stress levels and appears to have made people more aggressive towards each other, which is not how we Kiwis are naturally wired.

It would be good to think families who wish to be together at Christmas, will be able to be together. That Christmas is a peaceful and safe family time and not overly commercialised.

The environmental conversation recently is focused on whether we decide to have a real tree or an imported plastic one.

I have an aversion to waste and not being a Christmas tree person myself, I won’t be having a tree. Instead I’ll be putting my favourite reusable wreath with three red candles on my coffee table.

It is great to share food but hopefully everyone will ensure to keep food waste to a minimum.

With food waste one of our biggest emitters of methane, along with the fact that food is at record prices, it makes no sense for families to be using hard earned funds to buy food that will be binned.

All the best for Christmas and New Year.

My only wish is that 2023 will be better year for us all.

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