Goff visits Kapiti

Labour Leader says ‘No’ twice to locals — no asset sales and no expressway

By Alan Tristram

Kapiti Coast residents  who packed a meeting room  at Southwards Museum at Paraparaumu gave a warm welcome to Labour Leader Phil Goff’s promise that Labour would kill off assets sales and the Kapiti Expressway if it takes power.

The Labour leader looked fresh, trim and unfazed despite the gruelling campaign and the unremitting bad news of Mr Key’s dominance in  opinion polls.

More than  120 attended the election meeting organised by Kapiti Grey Power and gave Mr Goff an enthusiastic and respectful reception, with no heckling.

Obviously, the Labour leader was talking to many stalwart party supporters, but there were a reasonable sprinkling of   Greypower members and the general public too.
Dropping asset sales popular

On nationwide issues, Mr Goff’s firm promise to immediately drop asset sales drew unanimous support and applause.

He said he would be writing a ‘Dear John’ letter to warn Lazards,  the Australian financial advisers on asset sales, that Labour would ‘tear up’ the agreement appointing them.

And he referred to ‘the disgrace’ of plans to pay an Australian investment bank $100 million to sell off assets New Zealanders didn’t want sold.

Labour’s stance on the Expressway, the key local issue, proved just as popular.

Mr Goff said a Labour Government could save $1.7 billion by abandoning the Kapiti Expressway plans for the next few years– and by spending just $320 million could ‘relieve pressure points’ on local roads immediately.

Questioners stress local opposition to the Expressway

Questioners also asked him for a  commitment to continue fighting the  Expressway Plans even if Labour is still in Opposition after the election.

He indicated Labour would do this and would take a balanced approach to transport, with emphasis on the railways and coastal shipping instead of concentrating solely on ‘RONS,’ Roads of National Significance — or ‘Roads of National Party Significance’ as one wag put it.

And in a wide-ranging address, Mr Goff also gave detailed attention to Labour’s superannuation and savings plans, its tax proposals, and its ideas on cutting youth unemployment and getting young people into jobs with a decent minimum wage.