Government mirrors local vote
Many Waiheke and Great Barrier Island residents are celebrating the new Labour-new Zealand First government being formed.
The make-up of the new government mirrors the voting patterns of residents on the two small islands in the Hauraki Gulf.
Labour would have won the elections if Waiheke and Great Barrier residents had their way.
Preliminary results showed 41 per cent on Waiheke and 42 per cent on Great Barrier voted Labour, while only 33 per cent on Waiheke and 28 per cent on Great Barrier gave National their party vote.
On Waiheke, the Greens won 14 per cent of the vote and New Zealand First gained seven per cent.
Former Green list MP Denise Roche, who lives on Waiheke, is pleased to see the Greens in government for the first time, with four ministerial roles outside Cabinet
‘‘A majority of New Zealanders signalled that they want to improve their environment, deal with increasing poverty and address climate change and many people on Waiheke had the same priorities. This change of government means these issues will be taken seriously.
‘‘I would expect to see some traction around the housing crisis and an increase in the minimum wage,’’ Roche said.
New Zealand First MPS have been ’’working well’’ with Green MPS and she expects this will continue.
Waiheke resident Colin Beardon organised a meeting on Changing the Government in June, because ’’government policies were hurting the island in so many ways’’.
‘‘It was not only our environment that was being damaged, it was families too,’’ he said.
Beardon hopes the new government will introduce subsidised loans for housing trusts to build affordable housing, health sector reforms ‘‘to improve our poor record with children and young people’’, and an end to reforms of the Resource Management Act that ‘‘only suit developers’’.
The Labour and New Zealand First coalition will have 55 seats, with eight Green MPS offering support through a confidence and supply arrangement.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is set to be deputy Prime Minister.
National will form a formidable opposition, with 56 seats in the 120-strong parliament.