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