By Pauline Stewart.
Leader of the National Party, Chris Luxon was in Thames for a brief visit last week.
He addressed a public meeting at Thames Civic Centre and then spoke to media as a small part of his itinerary. Part of his agenda was to get an understanding of the situation firsthand on the Coromandel; and of course, outline some pertinent detail relating to his and the national party’s election strategy. He also visited the slip of SH25A.
Chris was looked after well by Thames Coromandel District Council and briefed in detail on current matter pertaining to the Peninsula. The dynamics are different for an Opposition leader.
When you aren’t the Prime Minister, you don’t have quite the same freedom, but everyone got the feeling feeling Chris was impatient to be in the driver’s seat. Who knows what the election will bring.
Water is on the table
Three waters is now rebranded to Affordable Water Reforms
TCDC is still listed as one of the Council regions not in favour of Three Waters as it has been set out. However, there seems to be those steps that just roll out because of legislation and it is clear that TCDC Council are obliged to follow all central government legislation. The heart of most concerns has been and still is around the issues of ownership and voice. Ownership is tightly connected with the value of assets owned by TCDC (on behalf of the people of the Coromandel Peninsula) and how that will be translated into the affordable water reform proposals which are now slightly different in the brokerage of power. Local regions will have a seat at the table through the mayors but how that works with the representatives who sit with the Mayors is more contentious. Representation appointed according to race or heritage and not elected on merit is not fitting for any democracy. The climate of belief on the Coromandel Peninsula will seek for there to be push back from our own TCDC councillors, I am sure.
National Party Leader - On SH 25A “There needs to be a hairy, audacious goal to get that road opened as quickly as possible. Let’s do whatever it takes to make it happen; lets bust our guts to get this road open.” It’s a big slip. Waka kotahi are the experts and the depth of the urgency There is a lot of expertise from Waka Kotahi using their e surveys with full understanding of the urgency to rapid that road.”
- On electoral alliances:
Q. If it’s not the Maori party, and it’s not the Greens who are you going to sit alongside in Parliament if you get elected?
“We have plenty of time to worry about that. It’s six months to the election. I am focussed on making sure I can articulate in a compelling vision where we want this country to go. We have got a great future, but we have to face up to some of the big challenges we have got.”
Caption: Chris Luxon with Scott Simpson in Thames on Thursday, 13 April.