2016 Ōhāriu fundraiser with John Key
A large number of members and friends enjoyed an evening with the Leader of the National Party, Rt Hon John Key, last week at a fundraiser for the Ōhāriu electorate.
Introducing Mr Key after the party leader had mingled with guests, Ōhāriu-based list MP Brett Hudson said it was a real pleasure to have him in the electorate and reminded guests that Mr Key’s leadership was crucial to National's winning a fourth consecutive term leading the government.
Addressing the appreciative audience, Mr Key talked about the strength of the New Zealand economy, which he said had one of the highest growth rates in the developed world, the improving job market and growth in wages, and the increasingly diversified economy, which had become more evident when dairy prices fell last year.
He went on to say that Wellington was now humming -- "even though someone once apparently said it was dying ...". The city was, he said, "transforming itself and new industries are emerging. Peter Jackson, for example, is hiring another 1700 people and James Cameron is making Avatars two, three, four and five in Wellington".
Mr Key said that, though it was true that some head offices were leaving the Capital, "a lot of other cultural and IT initiatives are happening here".
He also discussed the realities of MMP for a fourth-term National-led government. It was immensely difficult to win an absolute majority, he said, though National had managed it on election-night 2014. His preference after the 2017 election would again be to work with United Future leader Peter Dunne, ACT and the Maori Party, but, in the end, it was the party vote that would determine what happened after election day.
"We will be running a hard campaign on the things that matter to New Zealanders -- the economy, health, law and order, and education. We want to persuade them again that National is worth reinvesting in," he told the crowd.
Mr Key also took questions, one of which sought his view of Wellington's proposed runway extension. He was frank: "If you can't persuade Air New Zealand to fly international flights into Wellington, then, in my view, it's a waste of ratepayer dollars. The Government isn't opposed to giving money to Wellington, but we'd rather consider putting it into a new movie museum than a runway extension."
He thanked party members for their ongoing support and sought their assistance in election year. "All that counts is the party vote ... That's what we need to keep emphasising, even though winning seats like Hutt South and Ōhāriu would be nice. But in the end, it's only the party vote that counts."
Jeff Gray BMW in Kaiwharawhara provided the venue for the event and Mr Hudson expressed his thanks to the firm for doing so.
Those present not only took the opportunity to catch up with friends and meet new ones, some also took the chance to admire the BMWs in the Kaiwharawhara Rd showroom, including one of the carmaker's hybrid models.