While National Party politicians have had a strong showing in Tararua, last week it was the turn of a Labour Minister and Attorney-General David Parker to visit.
Parker, who is the Minister for the Environment and Trade and Export Growth, was accompanied by Labour's Wairarapa candidate Kieran McAnulty.
McAnulty said the visit, which started in Waipawa, was not so much about campaigning for the election but being a Member of Parliament and providing the opportunity for the mayor and councillors to talk about Tararua District to the minister.
A wide range of issues were covered including climate change, farm regulatory plans and fresh water, with Mayor Tracey Collis opening the discussion by saying all four towns in Tararua were growing and this was exciting for the district.
This led to effects of building the new Manawatū-Tararua highway, with McAnulty saying Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency intended that 60 per cent of the workforce would be local.
"People look at this as a roading project but I see it as a connection project," he said.
The subject of planting pine trees on arable farmland and the Resource Management Act were then raised.
Parker said the political settings on these issues weren't quite right.
"The government intended to standardise forestry. It's about ecology but social and economic issues need to be part of that.
"People should not have to have an RMA consent to plant trees. This is a planning function that should be restored to local councils."
Parker spoke of the environmental damage being caused to coastal areas through forestry.
"In Wairoa and Mahia it is tragic the amount of debris that is being washed up on beaches. It shows the difference between good farming practises and bad forestry practises.
"The piles of debris lying on the banks of streams is unbelievable."
The possibility of harnessing the strong winds parts of the district received for wind power was also raised.
Parker said wind power was a lot cheaper now that is was even 10 years ago and the government had committed $70 million to a feasibility study into it.
Collis said Tararua farmers, as huge agricultural producers, were ecologically minded and looked after the environment.
"There's nothing better than flying over our district and seeing all the planted waterways."
What was more challenging for the district was that when weather bombs hit it was imperative to keep the districts roads open.
Earlier council's strategy and development manager Peter Wimsett said storm damage cost the district between $2 million and $5 million and much of that was on Route 52.
McAnulty asked Collis what was happening in terms of the district's tourism industry.
"We've focused on domestic tourism and that's paying off. particularly at Pukaha Mt Bruce and Tui Brewery," Collis said.
Parker said this was a tremendous testament to New Zealand's free market private enterprise.
He went on to talk about New Zealand's response to Covid-19.
"Covid has shown that we have a very cohesive society with a lot of social connectivity.
"New Zealand had the fastest lockdown and highest uptake of the wage subsidy which minimised the damage to the economy."
McAnulty said when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the district people came up to her to thank her for the steps the goverment had taken over lockdown.
Parker said New Zealand did have the advantage of having a few more weeks to prepare for Covid-19.
"We also had the advantage of strong trading links with China and we were getting the message from a huge diaspora of Chinese families in New Zealand to take Covid-19 seriously."
Earlier talk of Tui Brewery prompted Collis to make good on a promise to McAnulty that should government funding be provided for work on Route 52 she would shout him a beer. She then delivered on that promise, presenting him with a pack of specially labelled beers.