East Coast | #19 on the Labour list
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Since entering Parliament in 2003 I have been proud to be a strong advocate for the people and communities of the East Coast electorate. Many of the issues facing our community are unique. What we need is a local MP who is prepared to stand up and fight for these unique needs, and a Government that will support provincial New Zealand and not simply hide behind one size fits all policies from Wellington.
There is a lot at stake in this election for the communities that make up the East Coast electorate. Unemployment remains stubbornly high, and many of the services that we have come to appreciate and rely on are once again being withdrawn and centralised in the big cities. Times are tough for our families, yet while they are expected to tighten their belts, those on the highest incomes have been gifted a massive tax windfall that they didn’t need and didn’t ask for.
Provincial New Zealand provides much of our country’s wealth, and Labour understands the need to support the provinces ensuring that we have access to the same quality of education, health care, and access to government services that those who live in the big cities enjoy.
We need a government that will lay the foundations for our exporters to flourish. Labour’s tax plan and proposed changes to monetary policy does just this. Our R&D tax credit will once again support our innovative companies who are leading the world from the humble East Coast.
Our natural environment is at the heart of our economy and our community. Our lifestyle and livelihood depend on it. Rapid expansion of oil and gas exploration, which provides few if any local jobs, is not where our future lies. Without adequate consultation and environmental protections this Government’s plans to dramatically increase mining activity in our region threatens the very natural environment we rely on.
We need a mixed integrated transport system to get our products to market. Rail and coastal shipping are a pivotal part of our transport system and yet we have seen a lack of support for coastal shipping from this Government, and we are faced with the almost certain closure of the Gisborne to Napier rail line if National are elected. This will mean more trucks and more money wasted fixing roads that have been battered by the huge increase in heavy traffic.
There is so much potential amongst the diverse communities that make up the East Coast electorate. With support from central Government we can do much more to strengthen our economy and our communities.
I look forward to being part of a Labour government that puts the needs of provincial New Zealand back on Wellington’s radar, and I hope to do so proudly as the Member of Parliament for East Coast.