125 years ago a small, one roomed building in a small county town was built for 213 pounds. 125 years later, I’m proud to be here to help celebrate 125 years of quality education at this school which is at the heart of the community.
Many people are attending from far and wide and I would like to welcome you all back ‘home’ to Tirau.
For some this will be their first time back to the district in many years while others have chosen to stay and bring up further generations within the community.
The Education Act of 1877 made schooling free, secular and compulsory in New Zealand.
Schools are often the hub of communities such as Tirau.
I know the benefits of being a part of a small rural school with all three of my children spending their primary years as part of the Karapiro School community.
The school is the heart of the community. A real hub. It’s what keeps the community together.
In 2010 I attended the 125th Jubilee of my own children’s school at Karapiro and I’m sure there will be some real similarities between the two schools over the years. And some similar stories to tell over this weekend.
Galas, Calf Clubs, community meetings, agricultural clubs and much more. Tirau School was where members of the community will have come to meet up, catch up, celebrate. It was where parents met, lifelong friendships were established and children learnt and played.
In principal Hamish Fenmore’s words, “Tirau School is a unique little school in a unique location surrounded by an ever thriving township.”
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this very special event and I hope you enjoy your weekend.
It is a pleasure to be here to open the 69th annual conference of the New Zealand Rhododendron Association.
As the Member of Parliament for Taupo I often feel incredibly privileged to be able to attend events around the region, especially ones such as this where I inevitably end up learning many new things. Tonight, I am sure to boost my gardening knowledge, especially when it comes to your beloved Rhododendron.
That being said, in preparation for joining you this evening I have done a little research. I now know that the Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepa, and l have learnt that in that country it is eaten and enjoyed for its sour taste. I have to admit I’m in no rush to sample that but willing to give it a try if it’s on the menu here tonight.
I’ve also been told that members of the New Zealand Rhododendron Association love Rhododendron blooms because of their versatility and potential to flower from June right through to November. The Rhododendron really does sound like the perfect flora to me!
We have over 180 delegates here from around the country, and I believe we even have a few delegates from Brazil. I would like to welcome you all here to the beautiful Great Lake Taupo region.
Taupo is the perfect place to spend four days catching up with old friends and making new ones whilst on garden visits around this wonderful town. We have great facilities, a beautiful town and friendly people that will no doubt make your stay unforgettable.
You will get to experience Rhododendrons in both country gardens and town gardens, taking in the Waipahihi Reserve and plantings at Whakamoenga Point.
The views from both areas are spectacular and I urge you to not forget your cameras.
For those taking part in the special bus tour on Friday you get to visit Huka Lodge, one of the World’s top lodges, and their Garden of National Significance.
After speaking to some of you this evening I have realised that the beautiful bright flowers of the many species of Rhododendron reflect the personalities of many of the members here tonight.
I hope your stay in Taupo is as vibrant as New Zealand Rhododendron hybrids such as Rubicon, Felicity fair, Bonnie Doon and College Pink.
Enjoy your evening, enjoy your conference and I wish you all the best for growing the finest blooms in the future.
Louise updates us on visits from Government Ministers in the Taupo Electorate as well as upcoming events where you can share your views with your MP. She also discusses theNgati Haua Claims Settlement Bill and Ngati Koroki Kahukura Claims Settlement Bill which she was proud to speak on in the House.