Labour men hit the street

17:00, May 27 2014
Cunliffe and papakura locals
CAMPAIGN TRAIL: Labour leader David Cunliffe and candidate Jerome Mika speak to Damian and Kylie Poto in Papakura Town Centre.

Labour leader David Cunliffe faced a whole spectrum of personalities when he went walkabout in Papakura town centre on Monday.

There were the jokers who mentioned the latest polls with a smirk and the eye-rollers who rushed by with nothing but criticism for his policies.

Then there were those like Damian Poto who wanted to know how young people like himself can get out of the rut they're in - jobless and with hope diminishing.

"It's good that he's out here talking to people," Poto says.

"I've been doing a polytech course in physical education but there's no jobs for young people.

"It's really hard being out here on a low income. I don't think most people realise how hard it is."


The party leader didn't go into specifics about how Labour would help people like Poto, instead lending an ear and reassuring him that a Labour Government would listen and be behind him.

Cunliffe was shown around town by the party's candidate for Papakura, Jerome Mika, and a group of Labour staff members.

Mika knows there's an uphill battle for the electorate ahead of him but he believes the recent issues plaguing sitting MP Judith Collins have "left some of the soft Tory voters unhappy".

"She's not dealing with the community.

"I've been out knocking on doors and the issue that keeps coming up is housing affordability.

"We have a couple of ways of combating this, either a capital gains tax or the Kiwibuild scheme where we will build 100,000 houses over 10 years."

During the walkabout the pair also talked to business owners including Ray Parker who owns Ray's Gym in Selwyn Arcade.

"What we're finding is that areas like Takanini and Karaka are growing and we need to decide whether we work with them or compete against them," Parker told Cunliffe.

"I think there's enough for all of us to get on and make the whole area better."

Cunliffe says one of the policies he will bring would aim to create an advisory panel about how small business runs.

"We're going to bring in small business owners from each area of the country to help guide us on the policies that will help them.

"Every year we are going to go through the regulations and take an axe to anything unnecessary."

Cunliffe says his plan to use Kiwisaver to keep interest rates down will also help businesses by making it more affordable for them to borrow money to expand.

"Our currency is currently 15 per cent overvalued and we need to get it down to make it more profitable for our exporters."

Papakura Courier