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MP opens the door to more community engagement

Wairarapa MP Mike Butterick opened his new Masterton electorate office at 6 Lincoln Street yesterday, with the help of mayors from the Masterton, Tararua, and Carterton District Councils, and the acting mayor of South Wairarapa, along with a small crowd of well-wishers.

The Wairarapa electorate – which stretches from the Remutakas to central Hawke’s Bay – is classified by Parliament as ‘very large’ and, as such, means Butterick has five local staff whose role is to support constituents.

“Whether or not people voted for me,” Butterick says, “one of my roles as the MP for this electorate is to listen to constituents, advocate for them, and help solve their problems if I can.”

Since becoming Wairarapa’s MP in October last year, he’s already clocked up 200,000 kilometres driving around his electorate to listen to constituents.

After 30 years as a sheep and beef farmer, Butterick says he misses farm work and his dogs – “this is the first year since I was 14 years old that I’ve been without a pup” – but is proud to be able to give back to provincial and rural New Zealand.

The new office was fitted out by Wairarapa-based builders and suppliers. The walls display locally made art. And wool carpet, in the form of a new tile product from Wools of New Zealand, covers the floors.

Butterick’s electorate office will be open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. In addition, drop-in sessions will be held weekly in Dannevirke and Waipukurau, and monthly in Pahiatua, Eketāhuna, Carterton, Greytown, Featherston, and Martinborough. The dates and times of these will be shared online. Appointments can be made by arrangement at other times.

“Bob Francis, a local legend and Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year, has thrown down a gauntlet,” Butterick said as he opened the doors to his new office. “Bob always put his community first. I strongly believe in devolving decisions to local communities and supporting them to succeed. I’d like to pick up Bob’s gauntlet.”


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