Tēnā koutou katoa,
February has brought mostly beautiful weather for many places around the country, and I hope you have enjoyed the long days and warm evenings. The heat however, can cause it to get very dry in some regions. Our thoughts are with all those affected by the Nelson fires, including the many ethnic communities who have settled in the area. The strength of a community is so powerful at a time like this.
As the communities in the Nelson area come together to support each other, it is timely to remember that communities can find strength through meaningful celebrations. On 13 February, we joined members of our Chinese communities to celebrate Chinese New Year in Parliament. I valued the opportunity to meet so many of you. On behalf of the Office, I extend through here, and in my recent video(external link), our best wishes for a happy and prosperous Year of the Pig.
We also observed International Mother Language Day(external link) on 21 February. This day recognises that language is an important way for communities to retain their culture.
In March, we look forward to celebrating Race Relations Day. This year the theme is Our People, Our Cultures, Our Languages. Look out for celebrations near you, including the Race Unity Speech Awards in schools around the country.
Ngā mihi nui,