When I made the decision to contest the Rangitikei seat in May 2011, a few of my friends told me they thought I wouldn't like what I found when I got to Parliament. Well, I can safely say, for the most part they were wrong.
I have met and worked alongside many wonderful MPs, from both sides of the House. I was privileged to work under an outstanding Prime Minister in Sir John Key and for all too short a time, Bill English. I also played a part in helping a highly competent Government leave New Zealand in great shape following last year's election.
As we adjusted to the Opposition benches after Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens stitched together a coalition, I again found myself fortunate to be part of a great team of talented people, led by the experienced and talented Simon Bridges.
I was also given a couple of portfolios that are real areas of interest for me - Fishing and Racing - as we build our policy platform for the 2020 election.
I understand this sideshow may have caused doubt even amongst some of our most ardent supporters. However it's important to remember it was created by a previous member of the National Caucus, and it was clearly an attempt to undermine our leadership team and the significant work we are doing as a strong, effective and united Opposition team.
The other vital factor I encountered on entering National Politics was a strong and loyal electorate full of great people who have helped me to effectively represent Rangitikei in Wellington, while at the same time enabling me to offer support for constituents here - whether that's assistance with an ACC claim; celebrating outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations in our region; or visiting a local school.
I am humbled by the support and advice (often unsolicited!) I receive, and the flow of information about what's going on in and around this vast electorate. Left or right doesn't matter - we all want the best for our little part of the world.
I appreciate some people may feel annoyed and even somewhat affronted by events over recent weeks, which National Party leader Simon Bridges, deputy Paula Bennett and President Peter Goodfellow have had to deal with - unfortunately very publicly.
I understand this sideshow may have caused doubt even among some of our most ardent supporters. However, it's important to remember it was created by a previous member of the National caucus, and it was clearly an attempt to undermine our leadership team and the significant work we are doing as a strong, effective and united Opposition team.
The worst aspect of this whole saga is that the expelled member of our caucus was previously a trusted parliamentary whip, which makes the betrayal of our party and members of Parliament even more treacherous.
Party whips are traditionally the keeper of all secrets; they know stuff about their parliamentary colleagues that no one else does; they have a job which to be effective demands complete trust, integrity and confidence.
I said at the start that I have enjoyed most of my time as the MP for Rangitikei. The past month has probably been the most difficult for me - I certainly didn't come here to play personality politics.
I entered national politics following a successful nine-year run as the Mayor of Manawatu, with a strong will to serve the people and interests of our region at a local and also a national level.
I was born and bred in the Rangitikei and I am passionate about our proud history and promising future.