Conservative spurred by National's 'arrogance'

VALUES MAN: Picton man Howard Hudson is the Conservative Party’s Kaikoura electorate candidate.
VALUES MAN: Picton man Howard Hudson is the Conservative Party’s Kaikoura electorate candidate.

The National Party's dumping of longtime Kaikoura MP Colin King was one of the prompts that led Picton man Howard Hudson to stand for the Conservative Party in this year's election.

Another was his brother, Neville Hudson, joining the party and standing as the party's candidate in the south Auckland seat of Hunua.

Hudson said yesterday he had become interested in politics while living near Washington DC.

His brother had introduced him to the Conservative Party, and as he read its policies, they reverberated with him, he said. "They were looking for someone for Kaikoura and I thought this was my opportunity to step up and serve the people of Kaikoura and give back to the community I have thoroughly enjoyed living in these past six years."

Hudson is an air force sergeant, and trains recruits. He lives in Picton, where his wife, Sheira Hudson runs the Atlantis backpackers.

He had done some doorknocking, and there was quite a bit of support, Hudson said, particularly from the elderly who liked to hear people talking about values.

Policies that were attractive to the Kaikoura electorate included abolishing the emissions trading system because it penalised farmers who should be supported instead, and paying no tax on the first $20,000 of income earned each year.

Moving the navy to Shakespeare Bay near Picton would also be pushed for, Hudson said. Auckland housing prices were hurting military families, and there would be synergies between the navy and air force base at Woodbourne.

National Party members, particularly in the southern part of the Kaikoura electorate, were disgusted at the "arrogance" of the party "just dumping" three-term MP Colin King, Hudson said.

"They had voted for him. He'd served three terms and then abruptly the National Party dumped him. It was one of the primary reasons I decided to contest Kaikoura."

National and Labour had shown "deliberate arrogance" towards voters by ignoring referendum results, he said. The Conservative Party's policy was to implement any referendum result with more than 67 per cent of the vote.

The changes in New Zealand from when he left 17 years ago to when he returned six years ago had tied up small businesses in particular with compliance issues, he said, as the Government tried to "make the place safer for everybody at the cost of making us all less productive and efficient".

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig will visit Blenheim on August 11 to attend a fundraising dinner at the Bamboo Garden, Hudson said.

The Marlborough Express