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Election Candidates Speak at Tokoroa

Louise Upston: National
Adrian Rurawhe: Labour
Fletcher Tabuteau: NZ First
Ala' Al-Bustanji: Labour

The first public meeting of the 2017 election candidates arranged by Grey Power and held at the Elim Church in Tokoroa took place yesterday afternoon with a substantial crowd attending. Questions put to the candidates had been pre-arranged by Grey Power, which has over 52,000 members throughout New Zealand. These questions covered a range of topics of interest to their members and the community in general.

The candidates who attended and addressed the meeting were, Louise Upston, National, the current member for Taupo, Fletcher Tabuteau a current New Zealand First list member, (4th on their list), Adrian Rurawhe, the current member for Te Tai Hauāuru and Ala’ Al-Bustanji, Labour, who is standing for the Taupo electorate.

These four had un-interrupted time to speak about the questions they had received beforehand. Mainly there were positive statements made but occasionally strong feelings were expressed about the performance of parties over the past 9 years and before.

Speaking order was decided by lot and a few points made by the 4 speakers follow.

The on-line Prattler is not in the practice of making personal comments. If you want to raise questions, please contact the individuals concerned. What follows is a brief outline of some of the statements made during the meeting.

Louise Upston: National

  • greater access to GP’s at a maximum of $18 per visit
  • establish a school of medicine
  • start the superannuation scheme in 2020 when debt has been reduced
  • lift the superannuation start age to 67 in 23 years time
  • reinforced potential land purchasers who are not New Zealanders having to prove benefits over and above New Zealanders
  • transitional housing for 3 months with wrap around services – a social investment
  • work with local councils to fast track housing
  • funding ‘digital literacy’ education
  • water-ways 90% fully swimmable by 2040 to a standard cleaner than they were during the 2nd World War
  • water bottling – a group of technical experts working on water allocation, (quantity), water exports and how that should work
  • every child having access to 2nd language skills

Adrian Rurawhe: Te Tai Hauāuru

  • housing – the affordability of new homes
  • education/technology – restore the funding to night classes and the ability to improve technical skills
  • put the word ‘free’ back into free education
  • take a royalty for bottled water at a higher rate than farming use
  • the New Zealand 100% pure brand be respected and honoured to an acceptable world-wide standard
  • continue the Cullen superannuation scheme to protect future generations and not burden them with payments – start at 65
  • know about the history of our country – build tolerance – not to have fear of each other because fear breeds contempt

Fletcher Tabuteau: New Zealand First

  • considered “1 hour a week” to be a false indicator of employment as presently measured for statistics
  • education is understanding the needs of the community
  • we don’t need a rural medical school
  • proposed that after training, doctors work for 5 years in their community – this will serve as paying off the training debt – a career investment
  • water is New Zealand ownership – policy is to stop overseas purchasers
  • embrace being good community makers

Ala’ Al-Bustanji: Labour

Ala’ focused mainly of health as the other aspects were covered by Adrian Rurawhe

  • we don’t have a healthy nation because we have to wait for many health services
  • doctor and nurse shortages require a review of primary care funding and investment in health
  • make it easier for those in need to receive attention and help
  • launch a review of mental health in the first 100 days of office
  • focus on healthy eating for children
  • equal cancer care wherever you are
  • we need diversity in New Zealand

Afternoon tea was served at the conclusion of the meeting and those attending had an opportunity to talk to candidates individually.

Grey Power is to be commended for initiating this meeting. A similar meeting is to be held in Putaruru at the Plaza Theatre, 14th September at 1:30pm – all welcome.