Now my holiday is over I'm busy taking stock of what the year will hold - and it's getting underway with a hiss and a roar.
I've been approached by Anadarko New Zealand with regard to the award of two adjoining petroleum exploration permits in the Pegasus Basin, southeast of the Wairarapa.
I have a strong interest in Anadarko's activities in the area and will be meeting representatives soon to discuss the company's plans and ask some questions.
I'm hoping Anadarko will seize upon the opportunity of using Port Marlborough's Shakespeare Bay as a base while exploratory tests and studies are being carried out at sea. In this event the company will do comprehensive examinations of the area to build a detailed picture of the nature of the reserves.
I want to see Anadarko using our port and possibly taking on local people, building trusting relationships with the community and as such, operating as a truly global citizen.
I believe the community holds the highest expectations that Anadarko will prove to be the type of global citizen we want in our wider region, one that respects our need for environmental integrity alongside economic growth.
The company has been actively engaged in New Zealand since 2008, has established an office in Wellington and advanced exploratory programmes in deep-water Taranaki and the Canterbury Basin where they expect to test-drill two or three exploratory prospects in 2013-14.
I have previously met with Anadarko's Asia Pacific manager in Wellington, and the next meeting will include representatives from the Marlborough District Council and the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce executive. We will be ensuring Anadarko representatives also meet with all other stakeholders in the region within the coming weeks.
On another serious note, we will all be participating in the 2013 census on March 5. We are all legally obligated to complete a census form, and this year there is the option of completing it online.
The census will involve the delivery and collection of forms for an estimated 4.6 million people and 1.8 million dwellings. Statistics New Zealand will recruit about 7500 temporary field staff before next month to complete the job.
I can be contacted by constituents about the 2013 census and have access to all available information in order to help answer your queries.
Among the most commonly asked questions are those regarding privacy. No other organisation, including the New Zealand police, Immigration New Zealand or Inland Revenue can obtain information from the census that identifies an individual.
If you decide to complete your census form online it will be secure. Statistics New Zealand is committed to providing a secure environment for visitors to the online census forms website. All completed forms are transmitted to Statistics NZ using encryption to prevent unauthorised access.
The last census was cancelled due to the Christchurch earthquakes and their probable impact on the reliability of the results. The census will give the Government a clear understanding of where people have moved to following the quakes and help with the reformation of electoral boundaries. Under the MMP voting system all electorates need to be made up of about the same population.
So, it's another big year coming up and as we get closer to census day I'll be answering more commonly asked questions regarding census right here.
- The Marlborough Express