Roading and health priority for Dean in fifth term as MP
Roading, which had proven a major struggle for councils in her electorate, and health services will be top priorities for National's Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean, elected to her fifth term in Parliament on Saturday night.
Dean secured the electorate in a convincing victory, though her huge 2014 margin of 16,668 over Labour was reduced by more than 5000.
Roading had been one of the biggest problem areas for the councils making up the geographically vast electorate, she said.
Feedback from southern mayors had been that the Government's current funding approach regarding roading as not working and she wanted a review of the system, she said..
"It is a tough part of local government. I've had a lot of feedback from the mayors and they are not happy with the local road funding formula."
"They see it as not being equitable. I don't think we need another funding formula, I would like to have a review."
Dean added she wanted to continue bringing modern healthcare practices through in the electorate, which meant more medical care at homes and medical advice over the phone.
"It is a better way of delivering medicine. It's far better for an older person to have consultation via telemedicine or their GP service. It's far better for somebody with a chronic condition to be treated at home by a clinician who has been upskilled to provide those services.
"There is a difference between a focus on hospital beds rather than health outcomes. I know there is a huge amount of enthusiasm about this but also a fear of what the future might look like," she said.
Dean said she would continue to "work behind the scenes" with Waitaki District Health Services and the Ministry of Health.
Dean polled 22,308 of the total 38,851 electorate votes cast for the electorate. Labour candidate Zelie Allan, who had to deal with personal tragedy - the unexpected death of her brother on Friday - as the election ran its course, received 10,795 votes, and NZ First candidate Alex Familton received 2246 votes.