Up­ston wins Taupo¯ seat com­fort­ably

South Waikato News - - Your Local News - ROBERT STEVEN

Louise Up­ston has re­tained her Taupo¯ elec­torate seat, with a com­fort­able 12,994 lead on Labour can­di­date Ala’ Al-bus­tanji.

Up­ston said she was re­ally pleased with the elec­tion re­sult, in which Na­tional re­ceived 46 per cent of party votes.

‘‘It ba­si­cally says nearly one in two New Zealan­ders thinks we’re do­ing the right thing and are con­fi­dent in our plan for the coun­try.’’

The Na­tional Party MP, who lives in Cam­bridge, watched the elec­tion re­sults un­fold at Sun­court Ho­tel in Taupo¯ with about 45 friends, fam­ily and sup­port­ers.

Up­ston re­ceived 63 per cent of elec­torate votes, with 21,757 votes.

She said the Taupo¯ elec­torate cam­paign had been re­spect­ful, with no per­sonal at­tacks.

‘‘It meant the cam­paign could be on the is­sues,’’ she said.

‘‘I only had two or three hoard­ings dam­aged.

Up­ston said Ma¯ ori Party’s Te Ururoa Flavell, who lost his Wa­iariki elec­torate seat to Labour’s Ta­mati Cof­fey, would be missed.

‘‘I re­ally en­joyed work­ing with Te Ururoa and I think he was a great MP.’’

Al-bus­tanji watched the elec­tion un­fold at his Taupo¯ home with 25 friends and sup­port­ers.

The Jor­dan-born con­ve­nience store-owner re­ceived 8763 votes, to Up­ston’s 21,757 votes.

‘‘This has been a safe seat for Na­tional for three terms,’’ Al­bus­tanji said.

He said he was happy to have re­duced the mar­gin be­tween Up­ston and a Labour can­di­date, hav­ing re­ceived 25 per cent of elec­torate votes.

In 2014, Labour’s Taupo¯ elec­torate can­di­date Jamie Strange re­ceived 21 per cent.

In 2011, Frances Camp­bell, stand­ing for Labour, re­ceived 20 per cent of elec­torate votes.

Al-bus­tanji said he’d learnt a lot on the cam­paign trail.

‘‘There have been a lot of peo­ple en­cour­ag­ing me.

‘‘Even those who are not go­ing to give me their vote are say­ing, ‘We’re proud of you for stand­ing and rais­ing those is­sues’.’’

Both Up­ston and Al-bus­tanji said hous­ing was a ma­jor is­sue raised by vot­ers.

‘‘Peo­ple were want­ing more houses to be built, so there’s more af­ford­able hous­ing in the mar­ket,’’ Up­ston said.

Al-bus­tanji said ex­pen­sive rents in Toko­roa, Taupo¯ and Tu­rangi were a big prob­lem, too.

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