Delivering world-class infrastructure to Kāpiti was the hot topic of discussion at the recent Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce’s Business Debate ahead of next month’s General Election.
The 2020 Business debate featured six candidates for both Mana and Ētaki Electorates. Each answered a series of five questions, ranging from electrification of rail from Waikanae to Ētaki, to support for Kāpiti Airport and the Expressway to Levin.
Jacinda Thorn, Chair of the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce says the capacity crowd was informed and engaged with the candidates.
“The 2020 General Election is so different to other campaigns, due to Covid-19 restrictions. We were pleased to see so many people come along to hear how candidates for both electorates in Kāpiti would work for and represent our community,” says Ms Thorn.
Candidates included Bernard Long – Green, Terisa Ngobi – Labour, Tim Costley – National and Wayne Grattan – ACT for Ōtaki, and Barbara Edmonds – Labour and Jo Hayes – National for Mana. The Business debate was chaired by Jane Stevenson.
All Candidates supported the Expressway between Ōtaki, and Levin, but only Mr Costley, and Mr Grattan committed to getting it underway before the current start date of 2025.
Ms Thorn says the last piece of the Expressway puzzle is crucial for the region. “As Tim Costley pointed out, it’s incredibly difficult to get through Ōtaki, during the weekend. The new Government needs to place this road of significance at the top of its priority list. We hope all candidates on the panel understood the urgency for completing the Expressway.”
All candidates answered how they will vote on the two referendum topics: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control referendum and the End of Life Choice referendum, providing an insight into the personal histories of each person.
“I want to thank all of the candidates who were willing to answer these questions openly and transparently, drawing on personal experiences. As well as letting the community know their views on the topic, they also provided insight into both contentious issues,” says Ms Thorn.
Tim Costley (Nat) said he would vote No to both referenda and Terisa Ngobi (Lab) said she would vote Yes for both. Bernard Long (Grn) said he was still considering both, while Wayne Grattan (Act) said he would vote Yes to both.
The two Mana candidates took opposite views with Jo Hayes (Nat) saying she would vote No to both and Barbara Edmonds (Lab) a qualified Yes to the End of Life and is undecided on the Cannabis referendum.
Next week the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce will also publish answers to the following question, from all local candidates who wish to contribute:
What is your single most important idea for business stimulation in Kāpiti while the region responds to Covid, and other emerging adverse impacts like climate change?
For more on the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce see: www.kapitichamber.org.nz