MPs aim to improve lives of their voters
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.