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Published in: City Soapbox Column, Hamilton News

I hope you had a relaxing Christmas holiday and, as I did, enjoyed spending time with family and friends in perfect summer conditions.

During the break I managed a bit of fishing, biking, coastal and mountain walks, along with following some great cricket by the Blacks Caps, and I feel refreshed and raring to tackle all that 2015 has in store. Weren’t the pohutukawas stunning this year! What a fabulous country (and region) we live in.

The end of 2014 saw some changes in the Hamilton West electorate office. Betty Blair retired after six years of loyal service as my Electorate Agent and Office Manager. Initially in her career with the Parliamentary Service, Betty worked for Hon. Simon Upton, followed by Tony Steel MP and Shane Ardern MP. At all times she provided wonderful support and assistance to a huge number of constituents and local organisations. Thank you and best wishes for your well-deserved retirement, Betty.

Brigit Brant is now Office Manager and primary Electorate Agent in my electorate office, and we are very pleased to welcome two new staff members to the team. Valarie Langley is a part-time electorate agent assisting Brigit with constituent casework, while Anne-Marie Case-Miller has accepted a part-time media and communications role.

Usually Brigit and Valarie will be the first contacts for constituents who seek my help, especially when I am in Wellington, or on Parliamentary duties in other parts of the country. They are able to investigate your concerns and issues, as well as provide information, advice and advocacy. You will be in excellent hands, and you may contact all our team by telephone, or by email: macindoe.office@parliament.govt.nz .

Where appropriate, my agents will arrange appointments for those who need to see me. I run regular constituent clinics, often in my caravan on Saturdays. Please do give my agents as much information as possible prior to those appointments to ensure that useful background research and work may be undertaken.

I was delighted to attend the opening of the new playground at Hamilton’s Lake Rotoroa just before Christmas. It has proven very popular with families over the holidays, and it’s a great new local attraction.

Hamilton City Council staff are now redeveloping Minogue Park playground, and invite community input on the types of equipment and playground activity children would like to see at this park. You may have your say at www.hamilton.govt.nz/minogueplayground.

Congratulations to all our 2015 school leaders, and best wishes to everyone for the year ahead. Do take extra care driving near our schools when the new term commences with all those excited little ones who will be starting school.

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