“They work for you, we don’t work for them.”
These were the words of Grey Power president Jim Manu at the meet the candidates meeting last week.
He is opposed to the suggestion of some parties to lower taxes, saying they should stay where they are to pay for the things they are supposed to, like education, health and roads. “Give our tax back and you pay more. All we are asking for is fairness and the Government treats us the way we want to be treated because we put them there.”
The candidates lined up at the Wainuiomata Memorial RSA to share their plans and achievements.
National candidate Rosemarie Thomas says wastage is rampant in Government. “National stands for all New Zealanders to be given assistance on the basis of need, not because they fall into some group…”
ACT candidate Lindsay Mitchell kept it simple and spoke on one issue – the welfare system. “Nobody capable of working should be able to spend a life time on a benefit.”
Green candidate Paul Bruce wants more money to be invested in our own country and the issue of energy to be addressed so we can be sustainable. “We all must become indigenous to the land and live our lives at one with nature”.
Maori Party candidate Maraea Ropata says this is an opportunity for people to work together as partners in the Treaty of Waitangi as it was intended. “It’s 2005 and we are still in a mess”.
Labour candidate Trevor Mallard spoke mainly of his party’s policies. Labour wants to get the price of doctors’ bills down, rates rebates, more cataract operations and hip and knee replacements, give people an opportunity to pay off their student loans and buy their first house.
United Future candidate Murray Smith says his party has a partnership with Labour that is second to none, leading to a stable Government. “We believe if you have got strong families, you will have a strong country.”
Destiny NZ candidate David Knight spoke of the importance of the nuclear family, how detrimental it is if strong ties do not exist and in the increase of welfare dependency. “We exist because we believe so much in families”.
NZ First candidate Howard Levarko says his party cares about protecting the New Zealand way of life. He spoke of reduced medical costs, no further privitisation, greater recognition of volunteers, removal of income testing of long-stay care, review of driver’s licence renewal and a review of law and courts.
The Alliance candidate (for Wellington Central, not Hutt South – ed) Kane O’Connell says our country needs to be transformed so everyone benefits and spoke of public ownership of gas, water and electricity. “New Zealand is a rich country with too many poor people in it.”
Libertarianz candidate Phil Howison was the youngest of the bunch at just 19. He spoke of a society which believes that people can run their own life, and that big Government is the enemy of that. “More freedom and less Government.”
For more information on the election and voting, go to www.nzvotes.org