South Taranaki Star
Stratford is the heartland of New Zealand and the lifeblood of the country, according to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
He was speaking at the Stratford Positive Ageing Group forum last week.
Well-received by his 150-strong audience, Mr Peters spoke on key issues including the retirement age, the boy-racer car-crushing policy and the dependence of community groups on older-generation volunteers.
He told the gathering that New Zealand desperately needs the industry in surrounding Taranaki.
"I always find Stratford and places like it interesting," he says.
"Stratford and places like it are the lifeblood of the country."
The New Zealand currency is at least 15 percent over-valued, says Mr Peters.
"If this region wasn't producing as much as it is, this country would be so much poorer than it already is."
He was again cheered while talking about the importance of superannuation.
"Superannuation is 4.7 per cent of GDP, which isn't high and it's not unaffordable."
He was again supported for saying it is a direct injection back into the local economy.
Calling superannuitants victims of the state, Mr Peters says it's important not to raise the retirement age.
"If the elderly in this country pulled out, this country would collapse overnight."
Mr Peters spoke on other NZ First key issues such as free doctors visits before enjoying a lunch with the gathering.