MARK PAT­TER­SON

Clutha Leader - - OUT & ABOUT -

What an elec­tion cam­paign!

It seems to be tak­ing a se­ries of breath­tak­ing turns on a daily ba­sis, both lo­cally and na­tion­ally.

For­tu­nately for the vot­ers of Clutha-South­land, New Zealand First has been an oa­sis of calm and com­mon sense firmly be­hind a leader of vast ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ad­di­tion­ally, in my­self as a lo­cal can­di­date, I amim­mersed in my com­mu­nity, a ca­reer farmer with a strong record of pub­lic ser­vice both in lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tions and na­tion­ally ex­pe­ri­enced in ad­vo­cat­ing on be­half of the red meat sec­tor.

New Zealand First un­der­stands re­gions like Clutha South­land and has a pol­icy plat­form to match.

We un­der­stand that re­gions like ours create the wealth of this coun­try, but that money is be­ing sucked up to Auck­land by the bil­lions via a huge Welling­ton bu­reau­cracy.

Our flag­ship pol­icy for re­gional New Zealand is to re­turn the GST from in­ter­na­tional tourist ex­pen­di­ture straight back to the re­gion in which it was gen­er­ated.

For Clutha South­land this is a game changer.

Last year that spend­ing fig­ure was $2.49 bil­lion, mean­ing $324m in GST re­ceipts would have been re­turned to our lo­cal coun­cils which are groan­ing un­der the pres­sure of fund­ing in­fra­struc­ture re­quire­ments off tiny ratepayer bases.

New Zealand First will be prop­erly re­sourc­ing our health ser­vices.

It is to­tally un­ac­cept­able to have pa­tients go­ing blind on wait­ing lists, prostate can­cer suf­fer­ers wait­ing seven months for treat­ment, or to have many of our ru­ral health cen­tres fac­ing an un­cer­tain fu­ture.

And you shouldn’t have to at­tempt to com­mit sui­cide be­fore you qual­ify to get ac­cess to men­tal health ser­vices.

I see a great need to lift the level of de­bate around our wa­ter

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