Au­thor of­fers ad­vice to young vot­ers

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - LAWRENCE GULLERY

Au­thor and so­cial com­men­ta­tor Gordon McLauch­lan is throw­ing his sup­port be­hind the Green Party af­ter read­ing its agri­cul­tural pol­icy.

‘‘It is for­ward-look­ing and aims to change farm­ing and re­gional towns in New Zealand for the bet­ter by coax­ing and with in­cen­tives not by edict,’’ he told the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle this week.

McLauch­lan is the for­mer ed­i­tor of the Mata­mata Record and also worked for the Te Aroha News for a short time.

He lives in Auck­land but has a few friends in the Waikato, in­clud­ing Greens’ Waikato can­di­date Philippa Steven­son.

The au­thor of of best sellers, The Pas­sion­less Peo­ple and The Farm­ing of New Zealand, pre­sented at a public meet­ing hosted by the Green Party and Steven­son in Tama­here, in the south of the Waikato elec­torate.

Over his life­time, he’d seen some dra­matic and de­sir­able ad­vances in hu­man rights from cam­paigns against ho­mo­pho­bia to racism and pa­tro­n­is­ing an­tifem­i­nism, he told the meet­ing.

‘‘But in that same time I’ve also seen the aban­don­ment of the hu­man right for peo­ple to have a de­cent home and an ad­e­quate in­come,’’ McLauch­lan said.

Home own­er­ship was once a fun­da­men­tal right en­dorsed by the Na­tional Party but had now been aban­doned by both the ma­jor par­ties, he told the au­di­ence.

‘‘That’s not progress, it’s re­gres­sion to the 19th cen­tury.’’

Speak­ing this week, McLauch­lan said he did not ‘‘have a tribal men­tal­ity’’ when it came to vot­ing. He had never tra­di­tion­ally sup­ported any party.

‘‘The main par­ties have shifted ground so much they are un­recog­nis­able from their an­tecedents. When I was young the Na­tional Party was a very ef­fi­cient and car­ing gov­ern­ment dur­ing the 1960s. Keith Holyoake was the best PM in my time.

‘‘If you want to check the tone of his min­is­ters, have a look at Jack Mar­shall’s maiden speech to the House in 1947. It makes An­drew Lit­tle sound like the al­tright.’’

McLauch­lan said his ad­vice to Do you have a ques­tion you would like to put to any of the po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates in the Waikato elec­torate? Please send in your thoughts to reporter Rexine Hawes: rexine.hawes@fair­fax­me­ You can also share your views on our Neigh­ page. young vot­ers was to take time to read party poli­cies, con­sider them se­ri­ously, and then look at the peo­ple in­volved.

‘‘We have a third-term min­istry, and they are al­ways tired and ar­ro­gant no mat­ter which party, that does noth­ing un­til it has a prob­lem it can’t wrig­gle away from.’’

He sug­gested suicides and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence as two ex­am­ples, as well as child poverty and home­less­ness.

‘‘These prob­lems are not easy to fix, so think about which par­ties have the most dar­ing and in­clu­sive poli­cies. I’m im­pressed by the young en­thu­si­as­tic women in the Greens, op­ti­mists who re­ally want to re­build New Zealand as a com­mu­nity.’’


Au­thor and so­cial com­men­ta­tor Gordon McLauch­lan and can­di­date Philippa Steven­son.

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