Time to shine a light on the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum

One month from to­day South Waikato res­i­dents will get the chance to vote in the coun­try’s gen­eral elec­tion. In the first of a se­ries of four, South Waikato News hits the streets of Toko­roa to find out what colour res­i­dents are choos­ing and why.

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Those root­ing for blue or red in this year’s gen­eral elec­tion are ‘‘sheep be­ing led to the slaugh­ter house’’, ac­cord­ing to Barry Wil­son.

He will be pen­cilling in the Greens on Septem­ber 20 be­cause their poli­cies are about ‘‘ pro­tect­ing the coun­try’’, he said.

Judg­ing by his pas­sion­ate stance you would never guess that he was once a staunch Labour sup­porter.

But he said the ri­valry between the na­tion’s two lead­ing par­ties has turned in to a dog fight that he wants noth­ing to do with.

‘‘I don’t like Na­tional at the best of times and I don’t like Labour any­more ei­ther.

‘‘All they’re do­ing is look­ing af­ter their own pock­ets.’’

South Waikato News asked Wil­son what the district’s main is­sues were to which he re­sponded:

‘‘[ The new gov­ern­ment] needs to look at the bloody coun­cil to start with. Some of the things they’re do­ing are stupid.

‘‘ They tried to stop that bloody Gull sta­tion com­ing here.’’

He said the gov­ern­ment needed to step in and ad­dress the ac­cu­mu­lat­ing is­sues faced by ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties on the de­cline such as Toko­roa.

Re­sponse from can­di­dates in the Taupo Elec­torate Louise Up­ston – Na­tional

– The Na­tional Gov­ern­ment has im­ple­mented lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­forms that are all about get­ting coun­cils to fo­cus on their core ser­vices, en­sur­ing stronger gover­nance, im­proved ef­fi­ciency and more re­spon­si­ble man­age­ment.

– The lo­cal gov­ern­ment amend­ment bill in­cludes im­prove­ments to the devel­op­ment con­tri­bu­tions regime and re­quires lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to care­fully man­age com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture.

– This Gov­ern­ment’s busi­ness growth agenda is all about build­ing a more pro­duc­tive and com­pet­i­tive econ­omy by en­cour­ag­ing all re­gions to achieve their po­ten­tial. It fo­cuses on the six key driv­ers busi­nesses need to thrive: cap­i­tal mar­kets, in­fra­struc­ture, skills, ex­port mar­kets, in­no­va­tion and nat­u­ral re­sources.

– One of the big­gest op­por­tu­ni­ties fac­ing the South Waikato will be the com­ple­tion of the Waikato Ex­press­way which will re­duce the travel from Bom­bay Hills to Ti­rau by 35 min­utes but more im­por­tantly South Waikato towns will be the first ones mo­torists will reach af­ter leav­ing Auck­land. I’m keen to work with the South Waikato District Coun­cil to en­sure our towns make the most of this op­por­tu­nity. Jamie Strange – Labour

– Labour will put the money in to lift our re­gions to their full po­ten­tial and im­prove the lives of families be­cause it is the right thing to do. Labour will: De­velop re­gional growth plans

Make an in­vest­ment of at least $200 mil­lion over four years in a re­gional devel­op­ment fund for pro­jects that cre­ate jobs and growth.

Sup­port manufacturing in the re­gions through the re­search and devel­op­ment tax credit, ac­cel­er­ated de­pre­ci­a­tion and our mon­e­tary pol­icy up­grade.

Ap­point a min­is­ter of re­gional devel­op­ment at Cabi­net level

– Labour’s vi­sion for lo­cal gov­ern­ment is to en­sure it is re­spon­sive and ac­count­able to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. Labour will: Re­store the right of cit­i­zens to have the fi­nal say by way of a ref­er­en­dum on whether their coun­cil is in­cluded in any pro­posed amal­ga­ma­tion.

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