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.
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.