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The year is fast coming to a close. Like many of us, you may be making final preparations for Christmas, a holiday, or both. Whether a big party, or a quiet, reflective time, with a large group or small, I hope you have a wonderful festive season and an enjoyable and relaxing holiday. The backdrop to our Christmas this year is coloured somewhat with the recent tragic events at Whakaari/White Island. Our hearts and thoughts remain with the people and families affected. And with the brave men and women, those in uniform and those not, who worked to rescue and comfort those affected, and  to recover the bodies of those killed. Kia kaha.

Whatever your plans, I wish you an enjoyable and relaxing break. Here’s hoping for a great summer for us to enjoy. If you’re travelling, take extra care and have a safe trip. If you’re working over the holiday season, thank you. I hope you too get the chance for a decent, relaxing break over the year ahead. And here’s hoping it proves to be a great year. Whatever your hopes (or New Year’s resolutions) for the year ahead I wish you every success in realising them.

We’re a small country that prides itself on the ability to offer real opportunities for people to get ahead and to achieve their dreams. Regrettably, reality has not necessarily been living up to the hype recently. In many ways it can feel like we’re living our part in some failed experiment. We need to recapture both the aspiration and the ability for people to get ahead.
With the right approach we can be the greatest place in the world to live, work and raise a family.

Merry Christmas!

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