The key election issue for Vincent Community Board chairman Martin McPherson was ‘‘the economy, stupid’’, echoing the phrase first spoken by US campaign strategist James Carville in 1992.
Mr McPherson was already aware of people being made redundant from businesses in the town. ‘‘That is my biggest concern,’’ he said. ‘‘People are going to be hurting.’’ There could be more challenges as applications to the government wage subsidy ran out in September, Mr McPherson said.
In Cromwell — the fruit bowl of New Zealand — who will pick all that fruit was a key issue for Cromwell Community Board chairwoman Anna Harrison. Recovery of the economy after Covid-19 was an issue for her ward as well as the country ‘‘and, in fact, the whole world’’, Mrs Harrison said.
But, closer to home, having a workforce that was able to get into the country to fill positions at vineyards and orchards would be important.
Filling seasonal positions with only New Zealanders would be hard, she said.
‘‘A lot of positions are taken up by high school students and tertiary students, but they actually can’t work the full season because of the dates that they are due back at their courses.’’ This was often an issue for the grape harvest and cherry harvest and at the end of the fruit-picking season, going into the autumn fruit, she said.
‘‘When the call has been put out in times past for New Zealanders to come and take on these types of roles, there is not usually an enormous uptake.’’
Tourism was a key issue for Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce.
Covid-19 was a chance to reevaluate the local tourism industry and look at the profile of tourists that would bring the most value to the area. ‘‘Wanaka relies heavily on the tourism industry but I think we have an opportunity now, rather than having high-volume, low-value visitors, that we probably need less volume and higher-value visitors.’’
A business-friendly government was a key issue for Teviot Valley Community Board chairman Raymond Gunn. Primary industries were sometimes ‘‘swamped by rules and regulations’’ that made it ‘‘pretty tough’’ to do business, he said.
Orchards needed to know in about October or November if they would have access to overseas workers from countries such as Vanuatu on the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme for their cherry and stonefruit seasons.
Mr Gunn also questioned how the Provincial Growth Fund was allocating money for shovel-ready projects. He was waiting to hear about several applications, including redevelopment of the Roxburgh Community Pool and the Teviot Valley Rest Home, ‘‘that are really struggling to get funding’’. ‘‘I feel Central Otago is missing out.’’
Business was also a key issue for Maniototo Community Board chairman Robert Hazlett. The Maniototo was a rural area with sheep, beef and dairy farming.
‘‘Wool prices are right down, venison prices are down, dairy is not that flash, beef and lamb are only average.’’ That would mean there was less money for retailers and contractors, he said. ‘‘If the farmers aren’t going to get enough for their wool and their meat, they are not going to be spending money in a rural area.’’
Changes to electoral boundaries have effectively cut Central Otago in half. Clutha-Southland has been renamed Southland and Clyde, Alexandra, Roxburgh and the rest of the Teviot Valley are now within this boundary. The rest of Central Otago and the Lakes District are in Waitaki. Boundaries for the southern Maori electorate, Te Tai Tonga, which encompasses all of the South Island, remain the same.
Confirmed candidates so far in the Waitaki electorate are:
– Sean Beamish, of Lake Hawea (Act New Zealand)
– Incumbent Jacqui Dean, of Oamaru (National)
– Dr Sampsa Kiuru, of Clyde (Green Party)
– Anthony Odering, of Dunedin (New Zealand First)
– Liam Wairepo, of Dunedin (Labour)
Confirmed candidates so far in the Southland electorate are:
– Victoria Hoskins-Bonham (NZ Outdoors Party)
– Dave Kennedy, of Invercargill (Green Party)
– Jon Mitchell, of Queenstown (Labour)
– Joseph Mooney, of Queenstown (National)
– Joel Rowlands, of Queenstown (The Opportunities Party)
– Judith Terrill, of Invercargill (One Party)
TE TAI TONGA
Te Tai Tonga is the Maori electorate for all of the South Island as well as Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands and parts of the North Island.
Confirmed candidates so far in the Te Tai Tonga electorate are:
– Takuta Ferris, of Ngai Tahu, Ngati Kuia, Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Porou (Maori Party)
– Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati (Green Party)
– Incumbent Rino Tirikatene, of Ngai Tahu and Nati Hine (Labour Party)