It is a real honour to stand here today as the Member of Parliament for Taupo and see Taupo receive accreditation as an International Safe District.
I’d like to acknowledge Dr Caroline Coggan, director of Safe Communities Foundation NZ and Mayor Rick Cooper. I’d like to thank the Representatives here from the World Health Organisation, Lakes District Health Board, ACC and the Police. It is wonderful for Taupo to be recognised on this scale.
The Taupo District Council has done a lot of fantastic work towards this accreditation from setting up learn to swim classes, REAP and teaching our young children road safety.
The recent Segways gifted to Police also show Taupo’s dedication to keeping our community safer.
In my maiden speech in Parliament, 18 months ago I talked about law and order and creating safer communities, and it is a real privilege to represent a town that puts so much time and energy into creating a safe environment for everyone.
As an MP I take a lot of inspiration from the Taupo community. Taupo residents are always willing to lend a hand and get behind important causes. From sporting events like the Cycle Challenge and the Great Lake Relay to the recent ERUPT Arts and cultural festival you know it is going to be a success with the power of the Taupo community behind it.
Throughout NZ and the world Taupo is regarded as a great travel destination, and this accreditation only boosts our image. It is great to know that we are recognised as a safe destination for national and international tourists.
This accreditation is an acknowledgement to everyone that has a passion for making Taupo a great place to live and visit. I would also like to acknowledge the police for their continued hard work. Your presence in and around Taupo does not go unnoticed.
This is a great accolade for Taupo and I congratulate the Council on their hard work in gaining this accreditation, congratulations.