Timaru man sure to fly flag for Labour

Last updated 05:00 01/04/2014
steve gibson
KEEN CONTENDER: Timaru man Steve Gibson is the Labour Party candidate for Rangitata in this year's election.

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Timaru man Steve Gibson will fly the flag for the Labour Party in the Rangitata electorate in this year's election.

The 47-year-old is certain to be confirmed as the party's candidate at the local electorate committee meeting next week.

Gibson said he was a "relatively new" member of the party, but had always voted Labour.

"I've always had a strong interest in social justice and equal rights. There were hundreds of thousands who didn't vote in the last election, because their needs are not being served," he said.

Gibson spent about a decade overseas in a variety of roles, but returned to Timaru in 2008. Since 2009, he has been involved as an independent energy efficiency consultant for several home insulation providers.

"The local service providers have been doing great work, but we really need to do more to improve the quality of our housing stock," he said.

Gibson said he was "Timaru born and bred". He believed affordable housing, power prices and the state of the environment were three key issues for the electorate.

"Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, but there are some farming practices which are letting the rest of the side down, and need to change. We've spent enough time reading reports, now is the time to start doing something about it. I want to see an improvement of rivers and waterways so that the next generation can enjoy them," he said.

Labour Party Rangitata electorate chairman Glen Cameron said he was impressed with Gibson's credentials. Although Gibson was the only formal applicant as a candidate by the March 28 deadline, Cameron said there had been a "couple of strong prospects from Christchurch" who had also expressed interest.

"The party vote is what wins the general election, but we're out there to win this seat," Cameron said.

National MP Jo Goodhew won the seat by 8112 votes in 2008 and 6537 votes in 2011. She will stand again this year.

The general election will be held on September 20.

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- The Timaru Herald

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