National will strive to protect its gains

SHARE

While newly elected Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker is disappointed with the new coalition government, he believes National will be in a strong position to protect the gains made over the past nine years.

“I’m naturally disappointed – we put a lot of work into the campaign,” he said.

He said National leader Bill English had held the strongest mandate to lead New Zealand but congratulated the new coalition government comprising Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens.

“That’s MMP – anything is possible,” he said.

National might have been defeated in the coalition numbers game but Mr Walker said it would be a formidable opposition, as it would hold 56 seats in Parliament.

“We will be a strong opposition,” he said.

Not only did National hold 56 seats, it also had an experienced line-up of MPs.

Mr Walker said he was determined to work hard in Wellington on behalf of Clutha-Southland residents.

National would be working during the term to make sure the gains made during the party’s nine-year reign were not lost.

New Zealand First’s only South Island list MP, Clutha-Southland resident Mark Patterson, who farms near Lawrence, is looking forward to working in the newly established Labour-NZ First-Greens coalition.

Mark Patterson

“It was clearly the best deal on offer,” he said.

Mr Patterson believed the deal would benefit the regions in areas such as

regional development and healthcare.

The vast majority of policies New Zealand First campaigned on would be delivered, he said.

While he was always going to be busy being the only New Zealand First MP in the South Island, the new government configuration could make him even busier, he said.

Hokonui Runanga youth worker Terry Stott said Jacinda Ardern’s rise to power came too early, as she was not experienced enough.

“I just think she’s got the trainer wheels on,” Mr Stott said.

“She needed to be in opposition for three years.”

GoRetail spokesman Ivan van de Water said the retail group would be positive as always and take on all the challenges that came its way.

“That is the nature of retailing.”

Federated Farmers said in a media statement it was ready to engage and work with the new coalition government.

Federated Farmers believed there was room for opportunity for its members, the wider primary sector and all New Zealanders, national president Katie Milne said.

“We congratulate new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the coalition partners on finding a consensus to lead the country,” Ms Milne said.

“Federated Farmers is looking forward to getting around the table and talking about the issues which affect our members and farmers,” she said.