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Say ‘No’ to violence against women

The last few weeks have been busy in Manurewa (South Auckland). I have been visiting lots of businesses and meeting with locals.

Some businesses are reporting improved conditions on last year, others say things are much the same, while a few are reporting a harder struggle. Globally, we can expect a few more bumps ahead and these could well impact on New Zealand.

The National-led government will continue to work to lift long-term economic growth for Kiwi families.

I have really enjoyed going to Diwali celebrations. The Festival of Lights is a big event in Manurewa and it was fantastic to see the community at the many events in the area. The vibrant atmosphere, enthusiasm of all those involved, the cheerful music and intricate dances were entertaining.

Thanks to Radio Tarana, I had an opportunity to have a chat on air and wish you all “Diwali Mubarak.” I was privileged to be welcomed into some family homes to share in their Diwali celebrations.

I also participated in the E-Day observance earlier this month, raising awareness of the benefits of recycling old computers, television sets and other electronic or e-waste, and disposing them in an environmentally sound way.

I helped people at the Manurewa-Manukau collection depot in the old Manukau City Council Car Park. By midday, over 300 cars had called in to drop off an assortment of unwanted electronic items. It was great to be involved with this initiative, and by the end of the afternoon over 900 tonnes of e-waste had been collected from 53 sites all over New Zealand.

I recently visited the Gurdwara in Manurewa. I always enjoy meeting with the Priest and the Sikh community to share a meal and discuss local issues.

White Ribbon Day was celebrated on November 25.

This is a campaign to raise awareness of violence against women and any violence within the home. It gives us a chance to reinforce the message that as a society, we do not condone violence against women. Each year there are more than 3500 convictions recorded against men for assaults on women. Police deal with more than 70,000 family violence calls a year and half of all murders in New Zealand are due to family violence.

I took the opportunity to wear a white ribbon and send the message that I am opposed to any violence within a family.

It is great to hear from the community that people think National is doing a great job. This was reinforced with the results from the Mana by-election, where Labour’s stronghold and majority were slashed significantly. It was great to be part of the team helping Hekia Parata in her campaign.

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