Ki­wis head to the polls to elect new MPs

Cambridge Edition - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE BAIN

‘‘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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.