We're full steam ahead this year, with the Government already delivering on its promises.
We're taking action on climate change, ensuring that our lowest-income people receiving benefits will be able to earn more through work before their benefit payments are affected, and period products will be free in all schools. And while we're delivering on our promises, the Government accounts remain in good shape.
The recent shift in alert levels is also a reminder about constant vigilance. I've been pleased with the number of people I've seen using the Covid-19 tracing app recently. We all need to be using the app and have Bluetooth enabled.
If you can't use the app, you can keep a diary or download the Covid Tracer booklet. Fast and effective tracing has proven that it is one of the best ways for us to respond to the virus.
The Covid-19 vaccines are also being strategically rolled out across New Zealand. The first people to be vaccinated are the health professionals at the forefront of the rollout, followed by border workers.
Despite being in the midst of a global pandemic, February in Palmerston North has been a fun month. There's been the Regional Theatre Awards, the Papaioea Festival of the Arts, Lunar New Year, and one of my personal favourites - the Roslyn Wacky Water Day, a brainchild of REACH Roslyn. Plus the Festival of Cultures is on this week.
Next month we have the Rural Games, which is always an exciting and fun-filled occasion. Make sure you get down to Te Marae o Hine / The Square to experience it all.
I've also got a number of events planned this year to ensure I'm accessible to you all.
Coffee and Politics will kick-start at Cafe Royale in April. I'll be launching Palmy Pop-ups in March. And I'm at the Albert Street Markets once a month. Your opinions and experiences matter so check my Facebook page for general updates, and dates and times of events.
Our city is big on talent and big on heart. We're a city that rises to every challenge, while keeping our kindness and empathy intact. We're a diverse bunch who thrive on innovation and getting the job done, while ensuring we take time out to celebrate our successes along the way.
• Tangi Utikere is the MP for Palmerston North.