Jobs, transport and housing key issues for Ōtaki Electorate
Access to good jobs, transport and quality housing are on the minds of locals leading into this month's general election.
Talking to some of the eligible voters on the streets of Levin, Ōtaki and Paraparaumu revealed that although agriculture is one of the main industries in the area, locals want their MP to focus on more than just farming.
People working in Levin's town centre want the Ōtaki electorate to become a destination rather than a pit stop.
According to young voters, the Ōtaki electorate offered more to older generations.
* Labour candidate for Otaki has no desire to be on party list
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Tradesman Rhyce Deverill said he wanted to see more for youth.
"More to keep them entertained and away from drugs, alcohol and crime."
Voters at the Ōtaki budgeting family service felt the small town was overlooked by politicians in favour of developing economic areas in the electorate, Levin and Paraparaumu.
One voter, Mercia Temara-Kairimu, joked she only knew what her MP looked like from seeing the side of his car.
They said the Kāpiti Expressway had opened up the Kāpiti Coast to Wellington, but lesser populated areas were yet to benefit.
National MP Nathan Guy has held the seat for nearly a decade – his winning margin growing about three per cent in each election since 2008.
The Electoral Commission estimates 94.51 per cent of eligible voters in the electorate are enrolled to vote in the 2017 New Zealand general election.
Rob McCann, Labour Party: White Ribbon Campaign Manager
Our electorate deserves an MP who actually lives here and is in touch with the issues facing real Kiwis. The current MP doesn't live here, owns 21 properties and says it's not a housing crisis, it's a housing boom.
You can't get much more out of touch than that. A change of government now seems highly likely and having a Labour MP adds significantly extra value for Kāpiti/Horowhenua. I live here and will work hard on your behalf.
Sam Ferguson, Green Party: IT Management Consultant
This election I am campaigning for the Greens because of the strong stance on poverty, water quality, and climate change. I am asking local people to vote for the Green Party because that will ensure our awesome candidates can keep the focus on these important issues.
Born and bred in Paraparaumu, and now living at Waitarere Beach, I am seeing the impact of these important issues and I know the Green Party can provide real leadership to address them.
Nathan Guy, National Party: MP for Otaki and Minister for Primary Industries, Minister of Civil Defence
I'm proud to represent Kāpiti and Horowhenua, and over the last few years we've made amazing progress. I've successfully lobbied for massive roading improvements including the Kāpiti Expressway, Transmission Gully and the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway. I
ve strongly pushed for Ultra-fast Broadband locally which is now being rolled out, and for a dedicated path for cyclists and pedestrians alongside the new expressway. I will keep pushing for more social services in the region, especially local health care.
Wayne Grattan, ACT Party: Business Owner
I have been an Ōtaki electorate resident and business owner for 20 years. Standing for ACT because of concern over the increase in regulations that reduce personal choice and responsibility while increasing taxes and bureaucracy. These rules also make it difficult to operate a business and employ people despite jobs being seen as positive for communities.
I support ACT's policies including ELOC bill and ask that Ōtaki voters give their Party Vote to ACT.
Romuald Rudzki, New Zealand First: Founder and Director of the NZ School of Export
NZ First understands we must put our own interests before multi-national corporates,or foreign asset and property buyers. We oppose the neoliberal economic model including the TPP.
We do support free trade that doesn't compromise NZ's best interests. NZ First has economic policies to boost NZ's productivity. NZ's economy should not need to rely on immigration and we should not need to increase taxes to give all Kiwis a fair go. Party Vote NZ First.
There is also an independent candidate standing, and a TOP Party candidate.