Op­po­si­tion a ‘‘learn­ing curve’’ for King

The Bay Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - JENNY LING

North­land Na­tional MP Matt King is de­ter­mined to fight for the re­gion de­spite his party be­com­ing the op­po­si­tion.

King says he’s taken in his stride the news of Win­ston Peters’ de­ci­sion to team up with Labour af­ter weeks of ne­go­ti­at­ing. Be­ing on the op­po­si­tion will be ‘‘a learn­ing curve’’, he says. ‘‘It will make me a bet­ter, more rounded politi­cian in the long term. I’m tak­ing the pos­i­tive out of it.’’

King says he will ‘‘en­cour­age the new Govern­ment to honour the cur­rent in­fra­struc­ture projects that we’ve started’’ in­clud­ing up­grad­ing bridges, broad­band, and the mo­tor­way ex­ten­sion from Auck­land to Wark­worth. But he is con­cerned how things will pan out, and it’s likely some big projects Na­tional were un­der­tak­ing, will now be shelved.

‘‘I am con­cerned about the fu­ture di­rec­tion of the coun­try, and where we’re headed. It’s a big un­known. What they [Labour] sig­nalled in their cam­paign was not good. For ex­am­ple, your average truck driver or fac­tory worker is go­ing to lose their $1000 tax cuts. That money will be used to pay for free ed­u­ca­tion for stu­dents.’’

King, from Okai­hau, is a farmer, busi­ness owner and for­mer de­tec­tive and fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tor. The first-time Na­tional can- di­date took the North­land seat off NZ First leader Win­ston Peters in the September 23 gen­eral elec­tion with 15,240 votes - a 1386 ma­jor­ity.

King con­grat­u­lated Jacinda Ardern, and recog­nised Bill English ‘‘who ran such a good cam­paign’’. The Na­tional list MP says it will be in­ter­est­ing hav­ing 56 MPs in op­po­si­tion, which will be ‘‘the strong­est op­po­si­tion the coun­try has ever seen’’.

‘‘We’ve got some se­ri­ous tal­ent. They [the Govern­ment] are go­ing to be held to ac­count. Na­tional has left them with a very healthy, pos­i­tive, suc­cess­ful coun­try. We have had quite a sus­tained pe­riod of growth and suc­cess, low in­ter­est rates, low in­fla­tion and im­prov­ing growth.’’

King’s new of­fice is set to open mid Novem­ber at the for­mer Lu­mino Den­tist build­ing on Kerik­eri Rd. King says he will fight to get a good deal for North­land. ‘‘I’m 100 per cent com­mit­ted to the job. I’m mo­ti­vated and hun­gry, and I’ve worked so hard to get here.’’

North­land MP Matt King is pos­i­tive about his party’s op­po­si­tion role.

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