Can­di­dates face vot­ers

South Waikato News - - ELECTION 2011 -

Just three can­di­dates were present at the meet­ing hosted by Grey Power at the Cam­bridge Bap­tist Church.

While New Zealand First and National made apolo­gies for their ab­sences, Act sent its Waikato can­di­date Robin Boom who used his time to push for a party vote.

The can­di­dates were first given five min­utes each to speak and then they were asked ques­tions by the 35 peo­ple who at­tended.

Green’s Taupo can­di­date Zane Mc­carthy spoke of Green’s three main is­sues – kids, rivers and jobs.

The Green party would raise the min­i­mum wage to $ 15 an hour, which Mr Mc­carthy said would raise $175 mil­lion in in­creased rev­enue. Mr Mc­carthy’s speech was full of facts and fig­ures about chil­dren liv­ing be­low the poverty line, the num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing on a ben­e­fit and the like.

When it came time for ques­tions, Mr Mc­carthy gave the Greens’ stance on is­sues, such as their in­crease in in­come tax and their en­dea- vour to get more peo­ple to think about cli­mate change.

He was asked what the Greens were go­ing to do for a sin­gle in­come cou­ple with no de­pen­dants and a few years away from re­tire­ment.

Mr Mc­carthy couldn’t of­fer an an­swer then and there but said he would take the wo­man’s de­tails and check for her.

Labour’s Taupo can­di­date Frances Camp­bell used some of her time to crit­i­cise the National Govern­ment and some of its new poli­cies.

‘‘I think our chil­dren and our grand­chil­dren will end up pay­ing for [John] Key’s short­term poli­cies,’’ Mrs Camp­bell said, adding that rein­tro­duc­ing a youth rate at $10.40 an hour was not the way to go.

Labour’s cap­i­tal gains tax pol­icy drew a bit of crit­i­cism from a cou­ple of peo­ple, one who said it was flawed if a cou­ple that owned two prop­er­ties sep­a­rated and sub­se­quently had one prop­erty each.

An­other wanted to know what the time-frame for cap­i­tal gains tax-re­lated is­sues was be­cause she did not feel it pro­moted small busi­ness own­ers grow­ing their busi­ness.

Mrs Camp­bell was un­able to an­swer the ques­tion but said she would find that out as soon as pos­si­ble.

Per­haps the strong­est com­ment from Mrs Camp­bell was when she was asked if Labour won the elec­tion would the party keep the National Stan­dards sys­tem in schools.

‘‘ No,’’ she said firmly, ‘‘ be­cause 95 per cent of prin­ci­pals dis­agree with it.’’

National can­di­date and cur­rent Taupo MP Louise Upston held a meet- the- can­di­date meet­ing of her own on Sun­day as she was un­able to at­tend the Grey Power meet­ing the week­end be­fore.

‘‘The past three years have flown by,’’ Mrs Upston said to the 10 peo­ple who came to dis­cuss their is­sues.

‘‘ I can’t think of an­other term that has been marred by so many dis­as­ters,’’ she said, men­tion­ing the Christchurch earth­quakes, the Pike River mine ex­plo­sions, the Rena ship dis­as­ter and Maui gas line break­age, among oth­ers.

Mrs Upston out­lined some achieve­ments of the National Govern­ment’s cur­rent term, such as in­creases in front­line doc­tors and nurses and the 130,000 homes that are now in­su­lated thanks to National’s home in­su­la­tion scheme.

She also ad­dressed some of the new poli­cies, in­clud­ing the wel­fare sys­tem changes, new in­fra­struc­ture plans and the roll- out of ul­tra- fast broad­band.

Is­sues raised by the pub­lic in­cluded youth un­em­ploy­ment, wel­fare ben­e­fits, stu­dent loans and cli­mate change, all of which Mrs Upston ap­peared to have an­swers for.

At the close, Mrs Upston spoke of how she had en­joyed the past three years and ‘‘would love to con­tinue to do the job if you see fit’’.

South Waikato News will fea­ture Taupo Elec­torate can­di­dates stand­ing in the elec­torate.

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