What a centenary. I thank everyone who helped make Te Waru o Noema a success.
The celebration of 100 years of Tahupōtiki's vision, provided a fantastic example of the level of positivity people united by values, belief and whānau can create.
From the kitchens, kapa haka and wānanga to the self-created activities of the Rangatahi Village – Mōrehu pride made for a truly amazing programme.
It was during Te Waru o Noema, I announced my Youth MP for Te Tai Hauāuru; Taylor Renata Nikora. I am certain Taylor will represent his whānau and the issues faced by our region's rangatahi Māori well in the 2019 Youth Parliament.
More on his experiences, in the weeks to come.
With Te Waru o Noema having a clear focus on inspiring the next generation to boldly take the Rātana faith into the future, it was exciting to host Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and my Labour Māori Caucus colleagues, so they could witness this inspiration in action.
The Prime Minister's gifts included her own Bible, and $3.6 million for the development of 60 sections of housing. A beautiful koha that will help our people to shelter their whānau and shape their own future.
The relationship sealed between T.W. Rātana and then Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage in 1936, will also be highlighted next year, when Whanganui hosts the Labour Party Conference for 2019.
It will be an amazing opportunity for our city to have the issues faced by our community seen first-hand by the Party, our Ministers, MPs, volunteer army and the media that follow - and to highlight our regional successes, innovation and wairua in similar fashion.
From our legendary karaoke night to Jacinda's Leader's speech, there is always plenty of public thought-provoking kaupapa and fun to be part of – so be sure to join in. As Dunedin discovered this year, it's a fantastic atmosphere.
Dunedin's three-day-long event was capped by the announcement of 600 new teaching staff across Aotearoa.
These invaluable Learning Support Coordinators will be advocates for our rangatahi, working alongside parents - as their one point of contact - to see children discover, learn and grow.
Gifting tamariki without special needs more time with teachers and kids with additional learning needs, more time with dedicated support staff.
From the classroom to the boardroom to the marae, genuine partnerships such as these are key to our future as a country.
Look after each other whānau.