By AMANDA BOWES
Associate Primary Industries Minister Louise Upston immersed herself in the sights and sounds of the Hawarden A&P Show recently.
As a guest of Hurunui Mayor, Winton Dalley, Ms Upston arrived mid morning and talked with industry leaders and the public in the Earthquake Recovery Hub tent.
She then accompanied Mayoress Jean Dalley to look at the flowers, home produce, fruit and vegetables, along with other show highlights.
Despite the cold day, Ms Upston got in the thick of it when the ASB Supreme Sheep of the Show was being judged and presented the winners with their ribbons.
Lunch in the President’s tent followed and she then took part in the Grand Parade and addressed the crowd during the official speeches.
Mayor Dalley says prior to the show, Ms Upston had been invited to address farmers whose properties had sustained major damage in the November earthquakes. The date for her visit coincided with the Hawarden Show, so the two were combined.
She had visited in January, not long after the Parliamentary re-shuffle, to see first hand and gain an understanding of the tremendous damage done to farms in the Waiau, Cheviot and Inland Road areas.
The second visit, on March 18 was to meet a larger group of farmers to come to an understanding between the Minister and the landowners that the Government is prepared to work with them to find solutions.
The meeting took place in Hawarden later in the afternoon, after the Grand Parade, where around 15 farmers turned up to engage with Ms Upston.
Her visit provided an opportunity to discuss potential innovative solutions for the future use of the damaged land by working with different government departments, says Mayor Dalley.