Housing the hottest topic
By Jeremy Smith
Cold and unaffordable housing was the hottest topic in Kapiti’s first pre-election meeting on Wednesday evening.
The debate featured the National and Labour candidates for the two Kapiti electorates – Mana and Otaki.
The four men were Labour’s Mana MP Kris Fa’afoi and his national challenger, Porirua businessman and former city councillor Euon Morrell, and Otaki MP and cabinet minister Nathan Guy and Labour challenger Rob McCann.
Housing, health and highways
The Labour candidates focused on their proposed housing package but also health services including mental health and the proposed Kapiti health centre.
The national candidates stressed the government’s nine-year record including delivery of the Kapiti expressway and the work on Transmission Gully plus the Pekapeka- Otaki expressway.
Nathan Guy said the Kapiti route had come in under time and under budget.
Nathan Guy: Whose fault is poor housing?
But the clash of the evening came when National’s Euon Morrell described Housing New Zealand as one of the worst landlords in New Zealand.
Morrell said a Masterton housing scheme could be a blueprint for social housing. He said some Porirua state houses were past fixing, partly due to the activities of people living in them.
McCann’s sharp reply:”You are blaming people for living in crappy homes”.
And McCann received applause when he congratulated Kapiti Coast District Council for holding on to its social housing.
McCann who started his speech with a cardboard cut-out of Labour leader Jacinda Ardern referred to a young mother who would have to take her newborn back to a house with holes in the wall and black mould in the ceiling. He said she had been told to wash her baby in the kitchen.
Health priorities and the local petition
McCann also said Labour had a health priority, saying the health board’s budget was effectively $2.3 billion under-spent.
Nathan Guy was asked about the 17,000 signature petition for improved Kapiti health services. He said Kapiti needed more services and the DHB would then need to do a full needs-analysis. But Guy said the world-wide shortage of medical staff would be a constraint on providing additional services at the Kapiti health centre.
Grey Power is hosting a series of ‘Meet the Candidate Meetings’ Please note the dates below. These are open to the Public so we would be delighted to see any friends, family and neighbours that you would like to bring along. ALL WELCOME
MEET THE NZ GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES
Tuesday 29th August – 10.00 am
Waikanae Community Centre (ex Senior Citizens Hall)
Over the Elizabeth St. Railway crossing, turn first left pass Memorial Hall, turn right past tennis courts- hall on right. Plenty of parking
Thursday 31st August – 10.00 am
Otaki Senior Citizens Hall
Turn off the Main Road at the roundabout by the BP station, then down Mill Rd, to Otaki Village.
Turn left at a small roundabout into Aotaki St. turn left at Sander Tie Factory, turn left into Rangatira St. Hall is on right hand side of Street.
Friday 1st September – 10.00 am
Weka Road – Raumati Beach
Off State Highway 1 into Raumati Road turn right into Weka Road just past rose garden, before shops
Monday 4th September – 10.00 am
Ocean Road Community Centre: Senior Citizens Hall
Ocean Road, Paraparaumu Beach
Enter Kapiti Road off the expressway travel towards the beach turn left at the small roundabout.