Kiwis head to the polls to elect new MPs
‘‘It’s been tough getting oxygen when you are a minor party.
‘‘It’s supposed to be a contest of ideas but when the mainstream media ignore you, it makes it tougher.’’
Following the election Simmons as the co-leader is keen to build on the growing membership of the party.
On election day, he will cast his vote and then go fishing.
Labour’s Ala’ Al-Bustanji has had no issues talking policy in the National stronghold.
‘‘National is only strong amongst the people who voted,’’ he said.
The significant number of around 20,000 voters who didn’t take part in the election process worried him.
‘‘If you add them to the 13,000 who voted against the National candidate last election, you really have to question how strong is it really?’’ Outdoors Party
After nine years of National he’s getting the feeling there was a groundswell for change.
‘‘Election night will tell me if I am right as the voters will decide.
‘‘But people are losing their hope in government, it’s sad and I hope it will change.’’
In a large geographic electorate the common theme centred around housing affordability for young people and the rental market.
The impacts on lifestyle with the growth of Cambridge was a dominant talking point and the lack of infrastructure.
A third bridge across the Wai-
‘‘It's supposed to be a contest of ideas but when the mainstream media ignore you, it makes it tougher.’’ Alan Simmons
kato and the future direction of the town were to the fore of discussions.
Policing remains an issue with Cambridge residents ‘‘having a sense of insecurity’’ deserted when the police station closed in 2015.
On election day Al-Bustanji plans to be among the labour supporters assisting people get to the polling booth.
Al-Bustanji has no immediate plans post-election.
If the result doesn’t go his way he would continue working for Labour in the lead up to the next election.
National’s incumbent MP Louise Upston is finding this election harder than others.
It’s not so much about her opponents but her work as a Government minister.
Her duties as the Corrections Minister continue and she is having to spend time out of the electorate, in Wellington.
She remains confident she will retain the Taupo seat and has no ‘‘plan B’’.
Discussions across the electorate have been consistent around water quality, tax, and the growth in the economy,
‘‘There has been a lot of interest in the family package and what it means to them.’’
Taupo electorate candidates Alan Simmons (Outdoors Party), Ala’ Al-Bustanji (Labour) and Louise Upston (National) at a recent meet the candidates forum.