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Chris Bishop reckons he has youth and a positive message on his side

Aug 26th, 2014 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

chrisinpostAT 30 YEARS old, Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop thinks it is important to have a range of ages
and experience in Parliament.

MP’s go into Parliament and learn as they go, and reflect on the experiences they have had, says the National Party candidate.

“Parliament is meant to represent the population and there are tens of thousands of people in New Zealand aged 18 to 30.”

Mr Bishop, who is running for the first time, is 49th on National’s Party list, and is sticking with the positive party line.

“I feel strongly about the direction John Key and the National party are taking the country, it’s a positive one,” he says.

High on Mr Bishop’s priority list is innovation, transport, and transport infrastructure, including the proposed link road between Petone and Grenada, a view to grow Lower Hutt’s manufacturing companies, and a safe cycle way between Petone and Ngauranga.

“I think we’ve got a really good opportunity in the Hutt to further create it as a hub for high tech things and manufacturing,” says Mr Bishop.

He says there are hundreds of companies around the Hutt South region that a lot of people don’t know about.

“I’ve gone around and visited a few of these firms and it’s interesting to hear what they have to say and what they need.

“I’d like to see more innovative firms base themselves here, which would create jobs for Hutt Valley locals.”

Mr Bishop’s youth is not the only thing contrasting him with sitting Labour MP Trevor Mallard, who has been a member of parliament since 1984.

Mr Mallard is campaigning against with the proposed link road between Petone and Grenada.

But Mr Bishop says around 27,000 trips occur between the Hutt Valley and Porirua every day and the link road will create a better flow.

“It’s actually quite a busy road, but to get to Porirua you’ve either got to go to Ngauranga and go around, or you’ve got to go all the way up to Hayward’s hill and go through.”

The link road will make it much quicker to get to Tawa and Porirua from the Hutt Valley.

“I want to reduce the congestions between Lower Hutt and Wellington, because obviously a lot of people live in the Hutt Valley and travel to Wellington each day.”

The proposed link road will also ease the congestion at Ngauranga, so it will lower the journey time into Wellington.

Over the next four years, the National government will commit $100 million to urban cycle ways, including the Petone to Ngauranga stretch which will be upgraded and more practical.

Mr Bishop says the cycle way is full of rubbish and unsafe.

“There are a lot of people who would cycle from the Hutt Valley to Wellington if it wasn’t for the fact that the cycle way isn’t very good,” says Mr Bishop.

Upgrading the cycle way will benefit not only the cyclists wishing to use it, but also motorists as it will keep cyclists away from cars, and it will be good for the environment too.

The Hutt South electorate boundary changed this year, meaning that it gained Maungaraki and Normandale, and lost Naenae to Rimutaka.

Mr Bishop says this is good for him, but either way it will be a close election for a seat which had a 4825 majority for Labour at the last election.

“I think Trevor (Mallard) would agree that it’s cut a couple of grand from his majority on the last election, I don’t want to make a prediction but I think it will be close.

“We’ll just have to wait and see how it shakes out on Election Day.”

With not much planned for Election Day, when he is not allowed to campaign, Mr Bishop says he will probably vote at Wilford School in Petone.

His team on the day will be contacting voters encouraging them to vote.


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