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Upper Hutt Leader : November 23rd 2011
2 UPPER HUTT LEADER, NOVEMBER 23, 2011 NEWS 4204286AA Delivered to 21,740 Homes and Businesses throughout Upper Hutt, Stokes Valley, Manor Park and Haywards Cnr Pine Ave and Queen Street, Upper Hutt Ph 528 9654 Now available online at: www.uhleader.co.nz Our Top Ten Stories on: stuff.co.nz go to Newspapers/Upper Hutt Leader Order Photos online at: pix.ccn.co.nz The Upper Hutt Leader is published by Central Community Newspapers, a division of Fairfax New Zealand Ltd, and printed at 35 Bouverie St, Petone. The registered office of Fairfax New Zealand Ltd is 40 Boulcott St, Wellington MANAGER: Jenny Russell firstname.lastname@example.org DDI 527 2422 EDITOR: Rosemary McLennan email@example.com Ph: 528 9654 SPORTS EDITOR: ColIn Williams firstname.lastname@example.org DDI: 527 2427 NEWS: Jimmy Ness email@example.com DDI 527 2428 FOR ADVERTISING: Sandra McIver Advertising Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org DDI 527 2423 Rick Clapham Advertising Consultant email@example.com DDI 527 2424 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING: Classified: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 528 9654 Fax: 528 3021 Furious debate colours event New Face: The Conservative Party's Stephen Woodnut cut a dapper figure. Photo: COLIN WILLIAMS By COLIN WILLIAMS ' Watch this space...the Conservative Party will be making a contribution to the next government ' Stephen Woodnut Thiswasmorelikeit. . .the Meet the Candidates'' meeting, only the second and the last in the upper valley, produced a bit of the hurly burly and interjector input to liven things up. About 40 people filled the Blue Mountains Progressive Associ- ation's bush-ringed hall in Avian Cres including the late arrivers who had to enter past the first speaker -- the Greens' Tane Wood- ley -- and the other candidates all seated in a row on a squab against the front wall . . . like sitting ducks. ACT's late nominating Alwyn Courtenay joined regulars'', Mr Woodley, Labour's Chris Hipkins and National's Jonathan Fletcher, but there was also the unexpected addition of the Conservative Party's young Stephen Woodnut. A nomination for Ohariu, the elongated Woodnut cut a dapper, almost Pythonesque figure when he laid bare the problems of mod- ern society -- trying to appeal to the conservative in us all. Watch this space . . . the Con- servative Party will be making a contribution to the next govern- ment,'' he said, both reverently and optimistically. Ahead of him Mr Woodley had been well-received even when tasked to answer the marijuana'' question from a placard carrying Normal supporter a few rows back. I'd legalise it so it can be regulated, controlled and taxed. There's a lot of people in the crimi- nal justice system who don't need to be in there,'' he said. National's increasingly confi- dent Mr Fletcher proved maritime but not all at sea, in saying how his party since 2008 had both had to turn the ship around'' and then a minute later, had provided a steady hand in the ship.'' There's a long, long way to go, we are not out of the woods but we're starting to see results,'' he said. He attracted curly feedback, too, with the news of another a child death in the country a heart- felt concern. In answer to what was not really a question Mr Fletcher said jobs and the family were the important things''. That was what he was hearing. When dad has a job everyone is happy,'' he said, perhaps simplistically, as some audience murmuring turned to guffaws. Mr Fletcher also took the brunt of the Government's cutting of more than a hundred jobs in each of the Department of Conser- vation and Biosecurity New Zea- land, a major part of the econ- omy,'' the question poser said. Mr Fletcher said the bulk of these were administrative and back room,'' a view that elucidated a loud bullshit'' from an interjec- tor.Mr Courtenay was both less put upon and less animated. Obvi- ously proud of ACT policies, he knew he cut a lonely figure as he detailed his party's panaceas. He inquired if an anti-super city statement from the floor was indeed even a question, adding he did not know if the former Auck- land councils did or did not want the changes. I was just trying to stir things up,'' the questioner observed. You're better off sitting down.'' The incumbent, Chris Hipkins, self-described as an active and outspoken MP,'' stood on his record and called for re-election. He talked of the country's issues but in the context of the Hutt Valley where I grew up,'' harking back to the days when the area was a manufacturing and indus- trial base rather than the dormi- tory suburbs it largely is today. The big challenge is how do we get more jobs locally?'' Mr Hipkins said, talking of the exciting opportunities in television and film he wants to work on''. What do we want New Zealand to be like in 20 years? Anyone can talk about the next three years and promise . . .'' He was heartfelt in defending the country's welfare system and fearful of a future characterised by debt and driven by the individ- ual. People come into my office, after working all their lives, and they are embarrassed about applying for benefits because it is so stigmatised,'' when it should be seen as a hand up''. I will stand up and defend our welfare system, I think it's a good one,'' he said to warm applause. Mr Hipkins took a couple of questions, on ACC and the environment, before they started to be answered by all. The proposed asset sales proved tough going for Mr Fletcher especially, as a handful in the audience asked about this, youth rates and collective bargaining, and then sought to debate the answer, far too loudly and too forc- ibly for some. We had this three years ago with the Labour brutes here,'' one woman said of the political cut and thrust. I don't think they are a credit to you, having them here,'' she told an implacable Mr Hipkins. Things settled a bit but there was still tension in the mountain air and the gathering sense the evening was going a little belly up when the meeting chair, the asso- ciation's Brendan Dawson, closed the evening's formalities down.
November 16th 2011
November 30th 2011