q5In New Zealand it’s easy to get caught up with party politics and never really learn about the people standing in your own electorate. This election I’ve tried to give every candidate (in Auckland and Wellington) a voice by asking them 5 questions. Read more about the series here.

HUNUAIncumbent (Not standing again): Paul Hutchison // National

Andrew Bayly | National
Arena Williams | Labour
Ian Cummings | Act
Jon Reeeves | NZ First
Neville Hudson | Conservatives
Huia Mitchell | Democratic



What do you think characterises the Hunua Electorate?

Hunua is a huge electorate and the communities are as diverse as the land – from the Hunua ranges, to the veggie growing country in the South and the quiet beaches bordering the Manukau harbour.

I do think we have some things in common. People here love the coastal and rural lifestyle. We believe in strong, safe communities looking after each other.

A less flattering characteristic of the area is inequality.  There are some very wealthy areas here, but also some of New Zealand’s most deprived communities. I think most people in Franklin want to do something about that.  We want to see a growing economy that lifts everyone because that means safe, prosperous and vibrant communities – which is what the Franklin area is all about.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Hunua Electorate?

Labour is focused on three things this election: work, homes, and families. I think those are the three big things that apply right across the country. New Zealanders want to be able to get a decent well-paying job in an industry with a future; afford a warm dry home; and have the freedom and support to grow and look after their families.

Labour has a positive plan built around these three key issues. We will support industries and innovation that lead to decent jobs, and encourage investment in the productive sector of the economy. We will  build 100,000 decent homes and ease the speculation on residential property. We’re also going to ensure every new family gets some support thorough our Best Start package.

The Hunua electorate used to have some of the highest home ownership rates in the country but that’s changing fast. I think that home ownership is part of a strong community that gives Franklin its character – we don’t want to be towns of renters, we want everyone to have a stake. Labour beleives that too. Unemployment and underemployment remains stubborn in some of our communities: our plan is about giving them a chance at a future.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

I have been a strong advocate for our policy to ensure all under 20 year-olds are in work, training or education.  It’s an absolute must if we care about the future of our country. Young people were hit very hard by the recession. They were often the first to lose their jobs and the last to start benefiting from the recovery (if they have at all). That has huge social implications down the track when the consequences of unemployment and disengagement are found.

I don’t think the government did enough to offer opportunities for young people to up-skill and get into the workforce during the recession.  In fact, due to caps,  some universities had to close their doors to new enrollments. That was short-sighted and that sort of thinking continues.
Labour has just announced a $183 million Youth Employment Package. That includes paying the equivalent of the dole to employers willing to offer a permanent full time job. That will save the Government money, as well as be good for employers and young people. We’ll also develop a National Careers Strategy which involves funding to ensure young people are given good advice at school.  That will make a real difference and help build strong pathways from school into decent careers.

What will you do to improve the local Hunua Community?

First, we will invest in industry and jobs in our regional economy. Labour’s economic upgrade policy is about supporting industries that provide high-paying jobs and boost exports. Labour is really about backing the regions.

We will protect our natural environment. Labour believes that the environment should be at the heart of our economic plan, not something to be exploited for it.  We will protect the core values of sustainable management in the resource management system, whilst making it easier and quicker to do things like build affordable homes.  I am also passionate about protecting our coast-line and cleaning up the Manukau Harbour.  And we have already announced funding to ensure that the Kauri disease doesn’t reach the Hunua Ranges.

We will invest in our transport infrastructure.  I will focus on the rural and regional roading that our communities need to thrive. We also need to electrify the railway to Pukekohe and build the Auckland City Rail Link.  I will be a strong advocate for both projects, because they make sense and will benefit our communities.

Why should I vote for you? 

I am mainly seeking your party vote for Labour at the next election, but I would also appreciate your vote in Hunua.  You should vote for Labour if you believe in a growing economy that benefits everyone and protects our natural environment.  In a nutshell Labour stands for work, homes and families. Decent jobs supported by strong industries, warm dry and affordable homes, and a society that supports strong families.

In Hunua, a vote for me is a signal that you care about protecting our natural environment, investing in our transport infrastructure and giving opportunities to our young people.


What do you think characterises the Hunua Electorate?

The Hunua Electorate is incredibly diverse. We have the beautiful, wild west coast beaches on the Awhitu Peninsula across to the relatively calmer waters on the east coast and incredibly rich soils in between. It is about people who have worked the land for years, even generations, through to small businesses and cafes in the towns like Beachlands, Pukekohe & Waiuku.

It has a touch of magic that other electorates lack. How many can boast they are not only huge producer of fresh vegetables, but also have an equine & farming industry? How many can boast having an operating steam railway, or the oldest pub licensed pub in the country? How many also have a wine industry? And let’s not forget the marine or agricultural equipment manufacturing and food processing industries. All this and a lot more in one jewel of an electorate.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders? Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Hunua Electorate?

The cost of living is something which affects all New Zealanders. Over the past few years we have had constant increases in the cost of food. The price of wheat based products, dairy and meat have all risen at a fast pace. The increases have not been reflected increases to wages or salaries. One way New Zealand First will help is by removing the GST off healthy food. This will help families on tight budgets to purchase more or better quality food for their children. The elderly or those on limited fixed incomes would also benefit.

Removing GST on healthy food will be a significant benefit to everyone in the Hunua Electorate. This is another example of common sense policies and why you should party vote New Zealand First.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

Having been an active committee member of a non-politically aligned transport group it is natural that I take a lot of interest in New Zealand First’s transport policy. New Zealand First recognises there are many towns lacking any sort of public transport service, or they have services so infrequent, very few people find them as a useful alternative to driving their cars. As part of the party’s transport policy, New Zealand First seeks to establish public transport in towns where there are significant populations.

Towns such as Waiuku would benefit from the policy. At present Waiuku has no real public transport whatsoever. Beachlands has a limited ferry service to Downtown Auckland. This needs upgrading and needs to have decent weekend services as well. New Zealand First would provide adequate funding to the New Zealand Transport Agency to help cover operating costs in partnership with regional councils.

New Zealand First also has launched a national programme called “Railways of National Importance”. This programme would set to increase the use of our national railway network. By moving more freight to our railways we will make roads safer, have less damage to the roading infrastructure caused by heavy goods traffic and reduce congestion by encouraging more people onto catch trains in cities and across regions.

A key project to benefit the Hunua Electorate in New Zealand First’s “Railways of National Importance” programme is the extension of the electrification from Papakura to Pukekohe so residents can use the new, smart, modern electric trains the rest of Auckland will be receiving over the next year. It will also benefit residents in Paerata and Drury as new train stations are planned in these locations as part of the proposed electrification project. The cost is fiscally neutral as much of the funding would initially come from a transfer of budgets set aside for some of the less beneficial roading projects the current Government has planned.

With better transport systems our export led country can move freight to and from our ports in a more efficient and cost effective manner. Less road congestion in cities means less will need to be spent on widening costly motorways. Our country will not need to import so much oil, and we will become a more resilient economy as the price of oil increases further in the future. Naturally, there are environmental benefits as well. It’s just more common sense New Zealand First policy.

What will you do to improve the local Hunua Community?

As a candidate who has actively promoted for better transport for the region, I will actively lobby Auckland Transport to deliver quality public transport to the region, whether it is bus, train or ferry. I would also like to ensure the district receives funding to promote this unique region to the rest of Auckland. At the moment it is a hidden jewel to the south of Auckland’s largest city, and we need to receive more benefits for being so close to it.

New Zealand First also aims to increase in the police force. Previously we have gained 1,000 extra officers on the beat for New Zealand. Farmers in the electorate are all too aware of the problems of cattle rustling. So we need more police to focus on the electorate’s rural crime. This is why it is absolutely important you party vote New Zealand First this year.

Why should I vote for you?

As a very well travelled person who has lived in England, Scotland, France and Switzerland. I have hiked the Inca trail in Peru, travelled across a large part of India and seen many things which remind me just how lucky we are here in New Zealand. I am a proud New Zealander.

I work in the advertising industry and have dozens of clients all over the electorate, the region and New Zealand. I understand the issues small and medium businesses have. I understand what is needed to create more jobs and I enjoy solving problems.

I believe our highly productive land should stay New Zealand owned so future New Zealanders can aspire to be farmers on their own farms. Not sold off to the highest overseas bidders residing in places such as Shanghai, New York, Paris or Zurich.

My campaigning for better transport has seen me working with both local and central government. I always have a vision and strive to bring the vision to reality. I remember when many said the Onehunga railway line would never be reopened. I was part of the group that proved them wrong and now is a huge success story. I was part of the group who lobbied for electrification of the Auckland railway network. I want to bring the Hunua Electorate forward with better links to the rest of Auckland.

I have strong roots to the electorate thanks to my Great Grandparents owning and operating the Sandspit motorcamp and furniture store in Waiuku. My grandparents were married in Waiuku and my mother was born in the old maternity hospital in the town. As a child I have spent many a fine, sunny, sunburnt day on the old slide in the water at the Sandspit beach.

I would like you to party vote New Zealand First this election so we can have a common sense party as part of the Government on September 20.


What do you think characterizes the Hunua Electorate?

It’s a very pleasant rural and town community mix with motorsport thrown in to the middle. The appeal is the proximity to the big City smoke, i.e. not too close and not too far. It’s the best of both worlds.

What do you think the most important issue is for New Zealanders?

Peace and affluence. To live free from violence, freedom from financial hassles, freedom to pursue what we want and choose to do.

Do you think this is the same for New Zealanders living in the Hunua Electorate?

Yes. For every freedom loving individual. For all humanity.

What is your pet piece of policy? Why?

As an ACT candidate I want everyone to keep significantly more of what they earn, i.e. very low and flat tax. Why, because less tax means less govt., i.e. less politicians, less bureaucrats and = more freedom, choice and personal responsibility. The elephant in the room (in every room) is the govt. The govt. is present everywhere taxing us, regulating us and treating us like children who need their help (by force) to make what they and their supporters believe are ‘right’ (sic) choices. What really bothers me is that most politicians believe, in principle at least, that the government has a higher claim on our lives and property than we do. They believe your money is first and foremost theirs to spend. We ought to be very concerned about that. Such thinking is the mark of a tyrant. There is nothing sensible about voting for a benevolent tyrant. I believe that in a free society the primary purpose of government is limited to protecting people and their private property from harm. What we find however is that the government has lost sight of its core business of protection, to increasingly engaging in areas and business that arguably it has no business being in at all. The govt

What will you do to improve the local Hunua Community?

As an ACT MP I will side for freedom no matter what others say and work hard to return the government to its proper purpose, i.e. protecting lives and property not plundering it.

Why should I vote for you?

Because I believe freedom is as dear to you as it is to me. We can make this election count. We can make this election a game changer. Your party vote for ACT will count and will make all the difference.

The candidates featured in this post are those who have responded. If you are a candidate in Helensville and would still like to be included, it’s not too late. Flick me an email at and I will slip you in.


About madicattt

Curator of The Things That Are Good. Sharing the things that stand out in the worlds of theatre, food, beauty and style.
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