Merry Christmas.

No matter what you're doing or how you're celebrating I hope you have a happy and safe time.

For me some of the best traditions are not the presents or gifts, but about family and all the personal traditions we build over the years.

As a 30-something year old I still make marshmallow balls with my sister Louise, even though we've eaten so many we've actually gone off them. Then there's my partner Clarke and his 100 per cent wool reindeer jersey, which he still wears in the heat of the Gisborne sun.


Because of dad's job as a policeman Christmas sometimes had to be delayed in our household so I've always been really aware that there's lots of Kiwis who don't get the luxury of down time on the day.

Our emergency service staff, women's refuge workers, doctors and nurses - you all do an amazing job – and I thank you for it. I know we'll take a moment in our day to think about them, as well as everyone they're looking after and those who don't have close family to celebrate the day with.

I've already been given the only thing I asked for –a bottle of sleep and relaxation - so thanks Taita Central School.

Take care, enjoy a politics free holiday!