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Stoddart-Smith urges Pakuranga to vote local for their new MP

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

As a historically blue electorate, Pakuranga could find itself backing an opposition party after the election. The political sands look set to shift with National down 3 percentage points to 39% in the latest Colmar Brunton poll and Labour holding steady at 43%. This election will be gripping as the endorphins set in for Labour, while overall National are coming down off a nearly 9 year adrenalin rush of a Sir John Key led government.

Carrie Stoddart-Smith (Pakuranga Candidate) says, "This election is about coalition forming. Electorate seats and party votes matter for the minor parties, while it is the party vote that matters for the major parties. The party vote puts the major parties in a position to form the coalition with the support parties it prefers."

"However, coalitions depend on minor parties winning seats to avoid wasted votes that fall below the 5% threshold. Neither National nor Labour will be able to form a government without support partners."

She says, "I’ve been sceptical of tactical and strategic voting in the past. A bit of a purist, I suppose. But as a first-time candidate in a hotly contested election, it has become apparent just how important strategic voting is to getting the coalition you want. Voting along party lines in the electorate seat will not secure coalition possibilities."

This election presents a unique opportunity for Pakuranga to say ‘we want a voice no matter who is in government’ but Stoddart-Smith is concerned about the tendency to gift seats in what are considered safe party electorates.

She says, "This election is too important. We must have a strong and independent voice. We must advocate for greater priority of Pakuranga on the government agenda if we want better transport solutions, if we want better law and order provisions, if we want greater healthcare, if we want thriving local businesses and families being able to meet their needs, if we want dedicated environmental protections. We cannot afford to gift our seat, just to have our priorities back benched."

Stoddart-Smith insists, "To be truly representative of our community, our MP must be local - they must live and breathe our collective aspirations. And only a local who has influence in their party can deliver a strong voice for our electorate. I am the safe

option. We have the flexibility in our party to work with whichever party is in the position to form a government after the election for the benefit of our electorate."

"We have achieved much in our relationship accord with the National Party. We were able to achieve outcomes important to Māori. But we were also able to achieve a number of outcomes that supported all New Zealander’s. For instance, we introduced the free prescriptions and GP visits for all children under 13 years old, and we want to extend that to all children under 18 and for all people aged over 60 years old. We secured a $25 increase to all benefits, the first increase of its kind in 43 years, and we want to see further cost of living adjustments to ensure our old people and families are not left deciding whether to pay the rent, eat, or be warm. We put the Housing First initiative on the government table and through our advocacy, the National Party is campaigning to invest more in this initiative because it works. This is a commitment we fully support. We also increased ECE hours from 20 to 30 hours per week so all children could benefit from the advantages of an early childhood education," she says.

Stoddart-Smith is campaigning for the electorate seat vote to be the MP for Pakuranga. Under our MMP system, voters can do this and still give their party vote to the party of their choice. She adds, "But I’d absolutely welcome two ticks for sure!"

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