Greens pledge biggest campaign yet

Gareth Hughes and Dr Elizabeth Kerekere formally open 2017 general election campaign at Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club.

Gareth Hughes and Dr Elizabeth Kerekere formally open 2017 general election campaign at Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club.

ON THE CAMPAIGN HUSTINGS: Gareth Hughes and Dr Elizabeth Kerekere have launched the Green Party general election campaigns for the East Coast and Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorates. Picture by Paul Rickard

GREEN MP and East Coast candidate Gareth Hughes is pledging to field the party’s biggest and best-funded campaign in the electorate with a team of door knockers, regular phone calling of potential voters and a budget of $10,000.

Mr Hughes and the Green candidate for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, formally opened their 2017 general election campaign at Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club last night to 80 or 90 enthusiastic party members or supporters.

“We are on the verge of history," Mr Hughes said.

“We could be changing the Government.’’

Mr Hughes said the Greens would double their East Coast campaign budget from 2014 to $10,000 this year. He had already received one-off donations of $1500 and $1000.

National were always well funded, and tThe Greens had a lot of passion, he said.

“But it’s not enough.’’

The two candidates, both born in Gisborne, reiterated their links to the local community.

Mr Hughes said he had been on Kaiti Hill earlier that day. He envisaged a future visit to Kaiti Hill where the sights would include waterways safe to swim in, added value exports leaving the port, a freight train in operation, more employment, houses with solar panels, and native trees in abundance.

New Zealand politicians lacked vision, he said. The problems facing the country included increasing pollution, electricity costs, child poverty, housing costs and methamphetamine addiction.

People were living in cars when State houses were empty.

The only things not increasing were Maui dolphin numbers in areas where the Government was allowing oil drilling.

Mr Hughes asked the audience to support him if they shared his values.

“Come door-knocking with me. We want to appeal to thousand of voters with regular door-knocking. It won’t happen by itself. We need your help.’’

Dr Kerekere said 34,000 eligible voters did not vote in Ikaroa-Rawhiti in 2014.

That was a larger number than Labour’s majority when Meka Whaitiri retained the seat.

Dr Kerekere attributed the numbers non-voting to disillusionment.

The Green Party had a memorandum of understanding with Labour, and the Greens would bring passion and would say what needed to be said.

“I am just that sort of person,’’ she said.

She said she was a strong person and experienced at running organisations.

Dr Kerekere said the Greens received only one percent of media coverage during the last election. There was no coverage of the party in Maori politics.

“I will put the Greens into the Ikaroa-Rawhiti conversation.’’

Mr Hughes was high on the Green Party list and would bring a Gisborne voice to Parliament.

Dr Kerekere said her regular visits in her vast electorate to Hawke’s Bay, Wairapapa and Wellington showed her commitment.

“This election is crucial for our people. We have a vision," she said. I fear for my country if we don’t change the Government."

GREEN MP and East Coast candidate Gareth Hughes is pledging to field the party’s biggest and best-funded campaign in the electorate with a team of door knockers, regular phone calling of potential voters and a budget of $10,000.

Mr Hughes and the Green candidate for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, formally opened their 2017 general election campaign at Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club last night to 80 or 90 enthusiastic party members or supporters.

“We are on the verge of history," Mr Hughes said.

“We could be changing the Government.’’

Mr Hughes said the Greens would double their East Coast campaign budget from 2014 to $10,000 this year. He had already received one-off donations of $1500 and $1000.

National were always well funded, and tThe Greens had a lot of passion, he said.

“But it’s not enough.’’

The two candidates, both born in Gisborne, reiterated their links to the local community.

Mr Hughes said he had been on Kaiti Hill earlier that day. He envisaged a future visit to Kaiti Hill where the sights would include waterways safe to swim in, added value exports leaving the port, a freight train in operation, more employment, houses with solar panels, and native trees in abundance.

New Zealand politicians lacked vision, he said. The problems facing the country included increasing pollution, electricity costs, child poverty, housing costs and methamphetamine addiction.

People were living in cars when State houses were empty.

The only things not increasing were Maui dolphin numbers in areas where the Government was allowing oil drilling.

Mr Hughes asked the audience to support him if they shared his values.

“Come door-knocking with me. We want to appeal to thousand of voters with regular door-knocking. It won’t happen by itself. We need your help.’’

Dr Kerekere said 34,000 eligible voters did not vote in Ikaroa-Rawhiti in 2014.

That was a larger number than Labour’s majority when Meka Whaitiri retained the seat.

Dr Kerekere attributed the numbers non-voting to disillusionment.

The Green Party had a memorandum of understanding with Labour, and the Greens would bring passion and would say what needed to be said.

“I am just that sort of person,’’ she said.

She said she was a strong person and experienced at running organisations.

Dr Kerekere said the Greens received only one percent of media coverage during the last election. There was no coverage of the party in Maori politics.

“I will put the Greens into the Ikaroa-Rawhiti conversation.’’

Mr Hughes was high on the Green Party list and would bring a Gisborne voice to Parliament.

Dr Kerekere said her regular visits in her vast electorate to Hawke’s Bay, Wairapapa and Wellington showed her commitment.

“This election is crucial for our people. We have a vision," she said. I fear for my country if we don’t change the Government."

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Elizabeth Kerekere - 7 months ago
Kia ora! Just a quick clarification - of the 34,000 voters in Ikaroa-Rawhiti, 12,000 did not vote in 2011 which is higher than all the Labour candidate votes. This election there is no need for strategic voting for those who are not happy with the current regime. Because of the MOU with Labour, a party vote for the Greens will help change the government!

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