• Video: Voters in Tukituki are frustrated and there is a mood for change, says National candidate Catherine Wedd

Video: Voters in Tukituki are frustrated and there is a mood for change, says National candidate Catherine Wedd

There is a mood for change in Hawke’s Bay, with many locals frustrated by the cost of living, crime and wasteful government spending, says National Party Tukituki candidate Catherine Wedd.

Wedd is running against the incumbent MP and Labour candidate Anna Lorck. The next MP for Tukituki is expected to be one of the two of them. Other candidates are ACT’s Rob Douglas; Nick Ratcliffe of the Green Party; Michael Ngahuka of Vision New Zealand; Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party candidate Romana Manning; New Zealand Loyal’s Rob Hulman; Allister Tosh of the Future Youth Party; Independent Melanie Petrowski; and Michael Ponk.

In an interview with Hawke’s Bay App today, Wedd said she has been running a strong “ground campaign” which included door-knocking and meeting thousands of people.

“We are certainly feeling a mood for change. People are really frustrated, obviously with the cost of living and really feeling hardship out there at the moment, but also the crime that's coming up at the doors a lot.

“People are really wanting to restore law and order, but education and health are another two big strong issues where people feel that there's a lot of wasteful spending, but they're just not seeing the outcomes.”

“Particularly for provincial New Zealand here in Hawke's Bay, we want to see better outcomes.”

She says people are, in particular, feeling the cost of living squeeze, but that crime is also high on the agenda.

“There's certainly a mood for change, but people are really feeling the cost of living at the moment. They really want to strengthen the economy.”

“That has been pretty much the number one issue that I'm coming across on the doors, but also the crime. I mean, just this week there was another ram raid in Clive at the dairy there. I went and visited them and then a few people around the community there and people are really fearful at the moment.”

“It is scary out there and we need to make sure that we've got safer communities and so there is a real drive from people wanting to see that we are restoring law and order.”

Asked why she thought she could beat Lorck, Wedd said she felt she had a lot of support.

“I think people really want to see a National government in there, but also I've got a lot of practical and commercial experience, which I think that I bring to Tukituki.”

“Obviously, I've worked in the horticulture sector as head of marketing for Bostock New Zealand, but also on the board of New Zealand Apples and Pears. We've seen billions of dollars of damage done to our horticulture sector following the cyclone. We really need someone standing up for our primary industries and our exporters here to make sure that they have got the support that they need to grow back our economy here.”

Wedd, who is at 23 on the National Party list and therefore will probably go to Parliament even if not elected, says she plans to represent everyone in Tukituki.

“One of my main focuses will be ensuring that I'm really present here on the ground and that I am really representing our constituents and the people of Tukituki, that's going to be really, really important to me.”

“I'll always be here for the people of Tukituki, so I'll make sure that I'm out and about as much as possible around our electorate.”

While she is happy to be high on the National list, she is focused on being the MP for Tukituki.

“I'm very, very driven to be an electorate MP, and I want to be the MP for Tukituki, representing our constituents. And so I hope that people will put their confidence in me to work really, really hard for our region and make sure that we are getting things done.”