An interesting and entertaining night meeting some of the candidates for the Otaki electorate.
The club is very grateful for putting themselves out there for the electorate and taking the time to come along to present to us.
It's a tough job.
Thank you Sean, Terisa, Tim
The format was each candidate was given 3 minutes to introduce themselves, after which they had to answer 5 questions, and then had 2 minutes to sum up.
Terisa is a proud Levin local and the current MP.  She is proud of what has been achieved in her term, especially confirmation of the new road to Levin and expanding the train service through to Ōtaki and Palmerston North.
Tim talked about his 4 key themes: managing the cost of living, improving health care in Kāpiti, law and order, and the road to levin.
Sean gave background including being a lawyer, travelling round the world, and involved in the New Zealand oil industry.
The Q & A
Q1: what would you do for the housing crisis, and cost of housing, challenges for retirees?
Tim: would bring tax relief for landlords. Would bring down cost of living. Would work closely with local community housing providers.
Sean: Will improve consenting process to speed up the construction of home and lower costs. Better support for hospice and not-for-profit health services,
Terisa - Labour Government has built the most houses since the 1960s. Working closely with Kāinga Ora and community housing providers. They have plans, and have costed them to deliver more houses.
Q2: Farming is mainstay of the economy. What are the opportunities for the local community?
Sean: Farmers in different countries do not have to account for their emissions. Act believes that there are more pressing needs such as health, education.
Tim: will introduce gene editing to improve crop and grass production. (Not GM).
Terisa: Her mum comes from a farming family. Wants to ensure we are farming efficiently and we are sustainable so we can continue to farm.
Q3: Would you support police getting powers to give instant fines for minor crimes such as shop lifting?
Terisa: I would ask the Police what tools they want. Crime rates have come down over the last term. She meets regularly with the Police Commander in the area.
Sean: Act have a policy of fining parents for their children's truancy. Believes that youth should experience going though a system rather than an instant fine they will ignore.
Tim: National doesn’t have a current policy on this. Crime has gone up in the last 2 years. There need to serious consequences for criminals if they commit crime. Will increase Police powers to deal with gangs.
Q4: What is the biggest issue facing the Otaki electorate?
Sean: Looking after the aged. Ensure we can fund aged care. Need to support not for profits that provide community services.
Tim: Health care in the local community. They will invest in training more doctors. Will support private health services to support public health services.
Terisa: Poverty of seniors and youth. Health. Working to improve health. Labour has scrapped chemist fees on prescriptions. Set up the Māori Health Authority: Māori die 7 years earlier than others. The Government is feeding children in schools and providing the winter energy hardship grant.
Q5: What qualifications do you have to be on the management team of the largest organisation in the country?
Tim. Military commander who has had lots of management experience, good at crisis management and proven track record of managing difficult situations.
Sean: Was on Wellington Regional Council for a term. He learned how to work with people across the political divide. Gave examples of successfully doing things on Council. Has 2 Masters degrees, and been a commercial manager.
Terisa: Has 20 years working in public service. Has Parliamentary experience. She is on 2 Select Committees. Works hard with her local constituents. Gave example of helping the Hungarian restaurant family to stay here.
Wrap up: Why should Ōtaki elect you?
Sean: I'm an ordinary Kiwi guy who values honesty and hard work.
Terisa: I'm an honest person. Will always represent your view. Proud of the serious gains she has achieved for Ōtaki and would like to continue
Tim: Acknowledged the other candidates. He really believes in becoming the local MP. Thinks National has the right plans to make New Zealand better.