Greypower Election Debate

Otaki farmer and National MP Nathan Guy — away for the day

Guy absent — smaller parties get look in 

The non-appearance of sitting Otaki MP Nathan Guy (National) gave minor parties more speaking time at the Greypower-organised election debate in Paraparaumu.

And some of the strongest applause came for the NZ First candidate when he referred to the Party’s promise of three free dental visits each year for over 65’s.

Dr Romuald Rudzi (“UK-born with Polish ancestry”), of NZ First, said he wanted “to stop the rot”. He said it broke his heart to sell all the things which made New Zealand so good being destroyed.
Guy, the Minister for Primary Industries, was at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Otaki Labour candidate, Rob McCann

His Labour challenger Rob McCann ”acknowledged” Guy with a pair of gumboots, held up a picture of his party leader Jacinda Ardern then went straight to the

recurrent labour theme in the election: the problems many Otaki people face with housing, whether buying or renting.

ACT man backs Guy

However ACT’s Otaki candidate, business owner Wayne Grattan praised Nathan Guy’s work for the electorate, saying the National government had been good for New Zealand. Grattan said he wanted supporters to give ACT their party vote.

Grattan referred to ACT’s sole MP David Seymour and his plans to bring in special pay rates for outstanding teachers.

Grattan also claimed Seymour was leading in his Epsom electorates and Act’s polling suggested they would bring in four MP’s. (However independent polls suggested ACT would not manage more than one MP).

Greens stress social equality and housing

Green candidate Sam Ferguson said his party would focus on housing and poverty, lower taxes for lower-income groups, water quality and climate change.

Ferguson said housing access was a problem from Otaki north while access to public transport was more of a problem along the Kapiti coast.

Some of the topics from the question-and-answer:

  • Dropping GST on food: all candidates said a living wage or higher minimum wage was better.
  • David Seymour’s End of Life choice Bill (which will come back to the new parliament.)
    Labour and Green- support for the first reading; NZ First- referendum.
  • The Trans=pacific partnership Trade Bill.
    NZ First’s Dr Rudksi was utterly opposed, noting his business –background at the head of the NZ Export Institute: “More money to corporations”.
    Labour’s McCann was adamantly against while the Green’s Sam Ferguson said the TPP would undermine democracy.
    ACT’s Wayne Grattan, who runs a cool-store exporting business, said what counted with overseas trade was the ability to enforce business agreements
  • Labour’s McCann was clapped over his support for the Kapiti health centre petition (18,000 signatures so far). He said he would advocate for proper 24 hour care in the electorate.
  • ACTs Grattan said access to primary health care should be 24/7.

A question about bringing in capital punishment- death penalty for people dealing with “meth” met a resounding No.

NZ First’s Dr Rudski said the real criminals were the people behind the dealers.