MPs aim to im­prove lives of their vot­ers

Cambridge Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

When first-time MP Tim van de Molen sits down to write his maiden speech, pro­mot­ing Waikato as a re­gional leader will fig­ure highly in the words he’ll de­liv­ery to par­lia­ment.

‘‘My pas­sion is the pri­mary sec­tor. The Waikato is go­ing through a pe­riod of growth and well poised to take ad­van­tage of that growth. I’m keen to make sure we can cap­i­talise on that growth.’’

The 2013 young farmer of the year was the clear win­ner of the Waikato elec­torate fol­low­ing re­sults from Satur­day’s gen­eral elec­tion re­sults.

In his first run in an elec­tion cam­paign, he recorded a whop­ping ma­jor­ity of 13,933 votes over his near­est ri­val, Labour party’s Brooke Loader.

‘‘We had a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back dur­ing the cam­paign. We spent a lot of time try­ing to un­der­stand what was im­por­tant to peo­ple and I think that re­flected in the re­sults. It was great to get a clear man­date from the elec­torate.’’

Van de Molen will be in Welling­ton this week, working through the in­duc­tion process for new MPs.

‘‘Af­ter that I’ll be back in the elec­torate, there’s of­fices and staff to or­gan­ise and then it’s a mater of wait­ing to see what the gov­ern­ment looks like.’’

He did not want to share any thoughts about coali­tion part­ners, but like ev­ery­one, was keen to see it worked through quickly.

Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta cruised to vic­tory with 12,070 votes com­pared to first-time Ma¯ori Party can­di­date Rahui Papa, who re­ceived 4619.

There was an­tic­i­pa­tion of a tighter race af­ter Ma¯ori King Tuheitia showed sup­port for the Ma¯ori Party and Papa.

‘‘I’ve been clear in this elec­tion about the is­sues that Labour would seek to im­ple­ment to im­prove the lives of wha¯nau that I rep­re­sent. And they’ve heard that mes­sage, and they’ve spo­ken, and they’ve re­turned me back to Par­lia­ment for three years,’’ Mahuta said.

She said Ma¯ori Party had to take some re­spon­si­bil­ity for its poor re­sult.

‘‘So I think we’re ex­pect­ing fairly neg­a­tive com­ments from the Ma¯ori Party, be­cause ef­fec­tively what Ta­mati Cof­fey has achieved in Wa­iariki, which is win­ning that seat and un­seat­ing a min­is­ter, has been a huge blow to sup­port­ers of the Ma¯ori Party.

‘‘The out­come has demon­strated that peo­ple were re­ally clear when they went to the polling booth about what they were vot­ing for.

‘‘Their lives have not im­proved, they wanted a change, and they have con­fi­dence in the lead­er­ship that pro­vide on their be­half, on the is­sues that mat­ter.’’

As for Papa, he learnt a big les­son in his short taste of pol­i­tics.

‘‘The big­gest learn­ing curve is that peo­ple think I’m too hum­ble and I agree.

‘‘I need to be a bit more ag­gres­sive.’’

Papa re­signed as chair­man of Waikato-Tainui ex­ec­u­tive arm Te Arataura and was un­sure what his next move would be.

First-time Na­tional MP Tim van de Molen and Labour Party’s Nanaia Mahuta.

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