By: Gurbir Singh
With battle for parliament ending in days, Hamilton witnessed another day of intense campaigning with the visit of the National Party leader, Judith Collins to the city yesterday.
Collins’ visit here was to bolster and make a last ditch attempt to influence the still indecisive voters to place their two valuable ticks on National party. And, judging from Collins’ own remarks subsequently, the crowd of supporters were “full to the brim with enthusiasm.”
National party leader’s visit came on the heels of Labour leader Jacinda Ardern’s visit to the city on Monday.
National MPs, David Bennett and Tim Macindoe are in the political fray again to retain their seats which they have nurtured over the years.
When NewsViews on Monday asked PM Ardern how optimistic she was that at least one MP (from Labour) would be elected from Hamilton, she said “I’m optimistic because of the hard work our candidates are doing, so it’s not just about people showing up to say ‘hello’, its about seeing the work they have done consistently.” https://www.newsviews.co.nz/selfie-crazy-fans-turn-up-in-hamilton-to-greet-campaigning-pm/
Time is not far when the election results will reveal if both Bennett and Macindoe are successful in retaining their seats which they have successfully won since 2005, and 2008 respectively .
Flanked by Hamilton National MPs, David Bennett and Tim Macindoe and Louise Upston, MP for Taupo, Judith Collins unveiled her party’s Seniors Policy in the presence of a large enthusiastic crowd of supporters at a local café.
Both Collins and Macindoe –who is the party’s spokesperson for Seniors, are assuring a National Government will create an environment where senior citizens feel safe, respected and well looked after.
“My vision is for New Zealand to be a nation where seniors are respected, feel safe and secure and quality health treatment is available in a timely manner,” Collins said while announcing the policy.
“I believe you (senior citizens) deserve respect for your contribution to New Zealand. Your sacrifices and dedicated service means current generations are able to enjoy the fruits of a modern, free and prosperous first world nation.”
In their policy, if elected to form a government, National is promising to look after seniors. Among other things, they propose and assure to implement a dementia care action plan, maintain superannuation and the Winter Energy payments, enhance the SuperGold card with discounts for vision, dental and hearing aids, and provide tax relief to deliver an extra $1000 for couples receiving the national Super.
In order to achieve their Policy, National will establish a Seniors Commissioner. “National believes seniors deserve a dedicated champion. The Seniors Commissioner will fill this role and provide strong advocacy and representation on issues effecting older people,” Collins added.
She also reaffirmed National’s commitment to maintain 65 as the age of superannuation entitlement, but would progressively raise the age of Superannuation entitlement to 67 to ensure the scheme remains sustainable for the long-term.
Those aged over 65 currently make up about 15 per cent of our total population. The number of older New Zealanders is forecast to increase by 77 percent in the next 20 years. Approximately 70,000 New Zealanders currently live with dementia and this is predicted to rise to 170,000 by 2050.
With only two days left for voting to close, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and National leader, Judith Collins will go head-to-head in TVNZ final leaders’ debate tonight.