INDEPENDENT NEWS

Upton-On-Line: Another day, another debate

Published: Thu 25 Nov 1999 10:36 AM
Best question from John Campbell: Is Labour just National 'lite', or National 'low tar'?
Understatement of the night: member of the expert panel, Finlay MacDonald who said "I wouldn't call myself the average punter".
Projection of the evening: John Campbell to Jane Young, 'you should be a politician'.
Most incisive observation from Jenny Shipley: Helen Clark is constantly hand-wringing about the bottom of the heap and yet Labour is not proposing to change the benefit system one bit.
Most little commented upon fact that Mrs Shipley had to remind everybody of: for the first time in a decade the number of solo mothers on the DBP has come down this year.
Campaign diary:
Yesterday upton-on-line travelled to Alexandra and went for a ride in a jet boat down then back up the mighty and bloated Clutha River.
He was reassured by the driver who told him that if we hit a submerged log we would just bounce clean off it. Before leaving, assembled reporters had advised, hopefully, that they'd have a much better story if the boat didn't return.
The most enduring impression gained was the astonishing way these flood-damaged and weary people had picked themselves up and got back to work. But it is a community that has completely lost confidence in waiting 10 to 15 years to see if 'river flushing' can remove the silt that's clogging their gorge. They want Contact Energy to talk turkey and they won't be letting the government forget that it built the dam in the first place.
Meetings were held at the local district council. It was an unnerving experience as one's feet were constantly glued to the floor (the sodden carpet had been removed, leaving a bubble-gum like surface below).
An hour's car ride through strangely green, but ravaged countryside brought upton-on-line to Queenstown and Mayor Warren Cooper, who could be seen on the Kawerau river bridge, dressed casually in black and midnight grey, talking animatedly into a cell phone and looking like a Cabaret owner.
Upton-on-line was impressed by the way locals, while driving across the bridge, would wind their window down and express their views on various topics, with expletives undeleted, to an avuncular mayor who lapped it up.
This was real politics in a town where there are literally not enough workers to go round.
ends

Next in New Zealand politics

Expert Group Appointed To Lead New Zealand’s Future Health System
By: New Zealand Government
Kiwis Overseas Must Be Allowed To Vote Next Year
By: Green Party
Keeping our Police safe to keep our communities safe
By: New Zealand Government
Power bill changes bring fairness to charges
By: New Zealand Government
Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
By: New Zealand Government
Highest jump in weekly benefit numbers since first lockdown
By: Child Poverty Action Group
Bay Of Plenty District Health Board Chair Sharon Shea Appointed Co-Chair Of The Māori Health Authority
By: Bay of Plenty District Health Board
Senior Doctors Call For Strong Clinical Voice To Lead Health Reforms
By: Association of Salaried Medical Specialists
NZMA Welcomes Health System Board Appointments
By: NZMA
Improving The Safety And Capability Of Frontline Police
By: New Zealand Police
Increasing Dangers Of Current Policing Recognised - Police Association
By: NZ Police Association
Govt Finally Sees Sense On Armed Response Teams
By: New Zealand National Party
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media