Govern­ment mir­rors lo­cal vote

Waiheke Marketplace - - Front Page - ROSE DAVIS

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.

Na­tional MP Nikki Kaye posed with Labour’s new Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern on Wai­heke last year. DIANA WOR­THY/STUFF

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