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Electorate change rattles Mallard, but he is winning social friends

Sep 10th, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

trevinpostHUTT South MP Trevor Mallard is averaging 300,000 hits a week on Facebook, 10 times more than last

Mr Mallard has been linking videos about local issues, particularly appealing to the younger generation – his profile even states that he is biased to young people.

His social media specially pushing early voting, which he has already done himself.

At recent candidate debates in the Hutt South, Mr Mallard had his phone in hand, informing his followers and keeping up with comments from the viewers.

Mr Mallard has tweeted over 15,900 times since joining Twitter in 2009 and has 6,981 followers.

Mr Mallard will need all the new friends he can get because the Hutt South electorate has lost Naenae to Rimutaka and in turn has gained the wealthier Western Hills from Ohariu, where people may be inclined to vote National.

The Hutt South seat has been safe under Mr Mallard since 1993, and though the changes result in a more logically shaped electorate, he says this takes around 3000 votes from him.

The feedback he has received in the Western Hills has been positive.

“I’ve had a good response from people up in the hills, but it’s definitely National territory for sure.”

Last election, Mr Mallard won by a majority of 4825 votes, but says that this year it will be closer.

“I’m nervous at every election but my methods don’t change much.”

Mr Mallard’s campaign consists of fighting for the Cross Valley Link, fighting against the Petone to Grenada Link Road, promoting a cycleway from Eastbourne to Wellington, and pushing for a retirement village for Wainuiomata.

The Dowse interchange was originally designed to feed traffic onto a Cross Valley Link which at this stage doesn’t exist.

“A lot of work, and not much progress has been made in the last six years,” says Mr Mallard

“Far too much transport to Seaview and Wainuiomata goes down The Esplanade. It’s a really bad choke point, and it’s awful for the people who live there because they get the trucks rumbling along.”

If the Cross Valley Link is made, it would mean there will be less north bound traffic using the Hutt Road from Petone to Wakefield Street.

Next on his list is a cycleway from Eastbourne to Wellington.

The development of a retirement village in Wainuiomata is a high priority for Mr Mallard and he says it will benefit a lot of Wainuiomata residents.
The council officially received an offer for the land at Hugh Sinclair Park on August 28 for the retirement village to go ahead.
Once the offer is finalised, Wainuiomata will be well on its way to having a much overdue retirement village in their community.
It would benefit people who are older, but also younger people who want houses freed up so they can buy them, says Mr Mallard.

“A widower living along in a four bedroom home is quite wasteful, but they don’t want to leave Wainuiomata. So a retirement village with affordable units and associated rest home facilities would be good,” he says.

On Election Day, Mr Mallard will spend the day encouraging people to vote.



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