EDITOR'S NOTE: We were not able to receive comparable material from each candidate as ACT has a newly-appointed candidate and the Greens wanted their press release in this issue. We will be sharing more on all our candidates, including NZ First, in later issues. The questions we asked Labour's Beryl Riley and National's Scott Simpson are just three of six put to them (the remainder
next week.) ACT and Greens will also be responding to these questions. Parties presented in alphabetical order.
Joanna Verburg is your ACT Party Candidate
I strongly believe in equality, freedom of choice and personal responsibility for everyone.
During my 25-year career in corporate banking and foreign exchange, I developed a deep understanding of the domestic and global economy, working with organisations in the public and private sectors.
A key to growing our economy is to encourage growth in exports and small businesses, not stifling our No.8 wire ingenuity as the current government is doing.
Owning a Kiwifruit and Avocado orchard in the Coromandel electorate, I have been a vocal advocate for solutions to the challenges confronting the horticulture industry.
1066 ACT Party I know what it’s like raising a child as a single parent, to be made redundant, to support someone you love through mental illness, to lose a crop following a storm, to wonder how to pay the bills; as those are some of my life experiences.
I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to effect Real Change to our economy and to enable better outcomes in education and healthcare by representing our electorate.
Beryl Riley is your Labour Party candidate.
She has been a Labour Party supporter since a teenager. “What got me interested in politics was my mother telling me she was going on strike for equal pay with her male teacher colleagues. I really resonated with that as I saw it was just plain unfair. The other deciding and inspiring influence was David Lange’s speech to the United Nations announcing to the world that New Zealand would be Nuclear Free. I then got really involved with the Labour Party around 1987 in Hawkes Bay and I became the inaugural Chair of the Women's Branch,” says Beryl.
Beryl comes with a great deal of experience in public life leadership, education, mental health, business and management.”
Q. What are the best of labour policies that will work for people of the Coromandel Peninsula?
“The Boost Apprenticeships scheme which has enabled local “tradies” to take on both young and more mature people as apprentices with a grant from government --over 12,000 people have now completed their apprenticeships since Labour came into government 6 years ago. I think this policy promotes such a great way for people in rural areas like Coromandel to ‘Earn as they Learn’ and not have to leave home and move to where polytechnics are in the cities.” “Teaching New Zealand history in all schools – Fantastic that we are teaching our children to understand our complex history – warts and all. This will do much to promote understanding and tolerance.
Inspired policies like 20 Free ECE hours from two years of age bring multiple benefits for children’s development and their education; as well as supporting young families to be able to get back into work and be able to save for their first home. Also helps get people back into the workforce with much needed skills e.g., nurses, IT specialists, teachers etc.
Free lunches in lower decile schools ensuring our children are well fed and can learn; - practical way to help beat the cycle of poverty for many families.
Bringing back the Training Incentives Scheme so people can have a second chance at getting an education - meaning people like our Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Carmel Sepuloni can train to be a teacher.
Q. What is the hardest policy to sell but one which you think we need? “Setting targets for carbon emissions in our farming sector. This is urgently needed to combat climate change and the Labour Government and Farming groups like Federated Farmers are making good headway on working out how to set targets that work well for farmers and food production, as well as for our environment. So, everyone wins.”
Q. What is it about Labour that has made the Coromandel a safe seat for national for so long? “The demographics - the Coromandel has a high percentage of retired people who tend to be more conservative than their younger counterparts living elsewhere in NZ. There is also a large population of farmers and retired farmers too who tend to vote National – although we have quite a few farmers who belong to our Coromandel Labour branch.
Actually, I am surprised that in the past our older population in the Coromandel electorate haven’t seen Labour as the natural fit for them as Labour is the party that has pledged to keep superannuation eligibility at 65 and to keep paying into the superannuation investment fund, to keep the Winter Energy payment for all over 65, to remove the payment off medicines and to allow access to retraining programmes for older people. “
Pamela Grealey is your Green Party candidate.
PRESS RELEASE: Labour Party vote down Mining Bill - Coromandel now threatened by mining.
The Labour Party has just voted down Green MP Eugenie Sage's Bill which would have protected all conservation land in New Zealand from mining.
Now, voters wanting to see the ban realised in conservation land throughout the Coromandel Electorate have just one option this election, a party vote for the Green Party.
“Labour would not even support the Mining Bill going to a Select Committee. That would have enabled the discussion to go wider by giving all Kiwis an opportunity to have their say through due process,” says Pamela Grealey, candidate for Coromandel.
"This is a slap in the face and has dealt a harsh blow to countless locals in the Coromandel Electorate who've struggled since the early 1990’s to protect our forests and coastlines from gold miners". "The Labour Party has completely lost its way on conservation. They have abandoned their pledges to ban mining in conservation land made in their 2014 and 2017 election manifestos,” says Grealey. "Now voters have only one clear choice to advance this 40-year-long campaign to protect nature. That’s by giving their party vote to the Greens and electing more Green MPs into Parliament in October. “
Scott Simpson is your National Party candidate.
He’s been involved with the National Party since his high school days. He’s fourth generation Coromandel. His great-grandparents arrived in Kuaotunu in the mid-1800s. His passion for the environment is well known and he is National’s spokesperson for the Environment, Oceans, Water and Fisheries. First elected as Coromandel MP in 2011, he’s also served as Minister of Statistics, Associate Minister of Immigration and for the Environment.
Q. What are the best of National’s policies that will work for people of the Coromandel Peninsula?
Getting our country back on track. In government we’ll be undertaking the biggest turnaround job in our nation’s history. Our immediate priorities will be fixing the economy to reduce the cost of living, restoring law and order, improving our schools and healthcare. Locally we will maintain Coromandel’s access to the $6 billion fund set up to reconstruct transport infrastructure damaged during recent floods and cyclones to enhancing long-term resilience in weather-affected regions like ours.
Q. What is the hardest policy to sell but one that you think we need?
Convincing some people that nothing is free. Governments only get money in three ways (1) taxes (2) borrowing (3) printing it. Billions of dollars of wasteful spending by the current Labour government has put our children and grandchildren’s generations in hock for what will be their entire working lives. In government we will have respect for taxpayers hard earned dollars and we won’t treat taxpayers like they are ATM machines. We’ll stop the wasteful spending.
Q. What is it about National that has made the Coromandel a safe seat for so long?
Well, it wasn’t that long ago that it was held by a Green MP so I never take support for National in the Coromandel for granted. Generally, though the values and aspirations of Coromandel people are National Party values and aspirations. Prudent, practical and positive policies. A view that the less government in people’s lives the better. A view that people’s hard work, initiative and effort should be rewarded not punished.