The three Cs were New Zealander’s biggest concerns, Act list MP Mark Cameron told a meeting in Alexandra last week.
About 30 people, most of whom had had the opportunity to vote many times, heard the cost of living, crime and cogovernance were the biggest issues for voters.
Along with the party’s candidate for Rangitikei, Andrew Hoggard, Mr Cameron outlined Act’s plans to help farmers, reduce truancy and stop dividing people based on their ethnicity.
Mr Hoggard said he had been president of Federated Farmers and on the board for nine years.
He thought that was enough time away from his family and farm but was now standing for Parliament.
He said some time last year he found himself looking at a world map wondering where else he could go.
In the end he decided the best option was to make New Zealand better.
‘‘Everywhere I look at every sector I just see stuff that’s broken and the challenge is how on earth do we fix some of this stuff?’’
Confidence was the fourth C for the rural sector, he said.
He had been farming all his life.
In the last year he had the opportunity to buy the last of his parents’ farm and had been hesitant looking at interest rates.
‘‘I didn’t have the confidence for that continual investment simply because of interest rates, where the country is as an economy, where commodity prices are going.’’
For the rural sector emissions pricing, freshwater reform (the national environmental standards for freshwater) and resource management reform were the biggest concerns.
The reform of the Resource Management Act was ‘‘Three Waters on steroids’’ and would have the biggest negative impact on farmers and anyone wanting to do anything in this country, he said.
Co-governance and centralisation were the key problems with what was proposed.
There would be a lack of accountability at a local level. Additionally there were nebulous terms which made it hard to understand the outcomes that were being sought.
It was hard to measure the life force of a water way.
‘‘We need simple measures, not spiritual concepts.’’ As audience members highlighted their concerns about subjects ranging from emissions to education to increasing pay for members of Parliament to attract better candidates, Mr Cameron encouraged them to vote.
‘‘Governments don’t win elections, they lose them. ‘‘If you don’t like them, be rid of them, whether it is local or national government.’’ Mr Hoggard agreed.
‘‘I think in this country we don’t take enough responsibility [for voting]. ‘‘We take voting for granted.’’