Campaign newsletter

Click here for a newsletter about what we’ve been doing, and what we’re going to be doing in the next week or two.

Rangitīkei Labour campaign update

I’ll aim to get a newsletter out every couple of weeks from now until the election.

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Tweeting our new tax policy


People saying that Labour’s tax rate of 36% will lead to rorts. But the trust rate will go to 36% too.

And the company tax rate is already 28% ie. 5 percentage points lower than the current top tax rate and trust rate (currently 33%).

In any case, thanks to imputation system, company tax is in effect only a withholding tax for NZ tax resident shareholders.

So thanks to alignment of trust and income tax rates (retained under Labour’s plan) and imputation, incentive for rorts is decreased.

Long story short: Labour’s tax plan is sound policy, and will not create incentives for rorts.

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It’s about work

The Manawatu Standard ran a big article today about the local election races, between Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway and the current mayor in Palmerston North, and me and the incumbent National MP in Rangitīkei.


If you click on the image, you’ll get a bigger version of the article.

Manawatu Standard, 21 June 2014, p. 15.

Posted in NZ Politics, Rangitikei 2014, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Getting about Rangitīkei

Rangitīkei is a huge electorate. It takes about three and a half hours to drive from Himitangi Beach in the bottom corner, to Taumarunui at the top end.

So we’ve come up with a plan to make it just a bit easier.


Russell Air!

The only downside is the cost….

If you can help with the costs of my plane campaign, that would be great! Even small donations help. $10 here, $20 there, and pretty soon you’re talking about a tank of petrol to get me up to Taumarunui. By car.

I’ve got details of how to make a donation here: Donate to my campaign.

Please do consider it. It would make a real difference to me and my team.

Many thanks to my Canvassing Manager’s clever son for working on the plane.

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Tourism and the regions

Darien Fenton, our Tourism spokesperson, and I were given a guided tour of The Coach House Museum in Feilding yesterday, together with a discussion of tourism and the regions. Paul Gibson from the museum, and Dean Manley and Denise Andrews from the Feilding Information Centre, were very generous with their time and knowledge.

Dean Manley, Darien Fenton and Paul Gibson in The Coach House Museum

Dean Manley, Darien Fenton and Paul Gibson in The Coach House Museum

When it comes to tourism in the regions, then it’s putting together a package of activities that matters. Plenty of people are keen to get off the Auckland / Rotorua / Taupo route, and tour through regional areas and rural towns. It’s often just a matter of letting them know what can be done. Dean Manley had some interesting suggestions about how central government could help, from helping to develop apps onto which regions and towns could load information, to helping with developing capability. He saw it as a matter of providing co-ordination, rather than just piling money in.

And it would make a difference. Tourism jobs are often low paid, but they are better than no jobs. Then there’s the money that tourists spend in small towns, buying food and going to cafes and other attractions, all helping to support work for people living in the towns.

I took Darien to see the NZ Motor Caravan Association Park in Marton. I find this organisation fascinating. Groups of people who enjoy motorhome tourism will travel from place to place, camping over in some places, and in others, staying at campgrounds and parks owned by the association. Like other tourists, they bring money into small towns. It’s just a matter of attracting them. Marton has been quite fortunate in this regard: the NZMCA owns a park there, and it’s often full of motorhomes, each of them bring an economic benefit to the town.

Darien at the NZMCA Park in Marton

Darien at the NZMCA Park in Marton

As for The Coach House Museum in Feilding, it’s a delight! There’s plenty to see there, all well organised and well cared for. It’s a very professionally run museum, with a commitment to local history, and to a broader history of transport and farming machinery in New Zealand. I recommend it.

At The Coach House Museum, with Darien Fenton.  Colour - we haz it.

At The Coach House Museum, with Darien Fenton. Colour – we haz it.

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Coal face campaigning

There’s a nice write-up about my campaign, and my values and ideas in the Feilding Herald and the Rangitikei Mail today.

Issues open on doorsteps, p. 4


(If you click on the picture, you should get a version that’s big enough to read on-screen.)

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Mataroa and my family

Mataroa is a tiny settlement just north of Taihape, about 5km off State Highway 1. I called in there today, just to have a look, because my grandfather grew up there in the last decade of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th.

I thought that I might be able to find traces of my family in the cemetery, and as I was making my way towards it, I met a local farmer, Dave Coogan. I asked Dave if there were any Murphy headstones in the cemetery, but he said there were none. But he advised me to go and call on Barry Cleaver, just down the road, who knew a lot of local history.

So I did. And what a good thing that turned out to be. Continue reading

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