Candidates face voters
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.