28 Nov 2011

New Zealand First to take 'common sense approach'

6:32 pm on 28 November 2011

The next generation of New Zealand First MPs say they'll bring a common sense approach to politics and support good policy on either side of the House.

Winston Peters' party won almost 7% of the party vote, giving it eight seats in Parliament.

No 3 on the party list, former North Shore mayor Andrew Williams, says people may have misconstrued Mr Peters' intentions when he said New Zealand First wouldn't work with the other parties.

"Once in Parliament, we will put forward our policies and work with those others who want to see similar good policies through the Parliament ... but we will oppose bad policies." These include asset sales and foreshore and seabed legislation, he said.

Also joining Winson Peters are Tracey Martin, a member of the Rodney Local Board of the Auckland Council, Richard Prosser a columnist for Investigate magazine with a background in irrigation, and Barbara Stewart, the only other of the intake to have previously served in Parliament.

No 7 on the list, lawyer and former Christchurch City councillor Denis O'Rourke, says he opposed the council's sale of shares in its assets, just like his party will now do in Parliament.

Mr O'Rourke says New Zealand First will also fight for fairer food prices, as well as lifting youth employment by subsidising an employer to take on and train a young person.

Asenati Lole-Taylor, who is of Samoan descent, has held various roles in the public service including with Corrections, Auckland Council and in public health.

Manukau East candidate and No 8 on the list, Ms Lole-Taylor says she wants to help her electorate over its problems of crime and unemployment.

At No 4 on the list, former television weather man Brendan Horan says his party's student loan policy would stop the exodus of young New Zealanders.

Mr Horan says New Zealand First policies aim to secure the future of the grandchildren of the party's elderly supporters.

However a former New Zealand First MP says Mr Peters will bring a counterproductive element to Parliament with neither the Green nor the Labour parties wanting to work with him.

Rana Waitai was the MP for Te Puku o te Whenua from 1996 to 1999. He was one of the New Zealand First "tight five", who won all five Maori seats in the 1996 general election.

He told Te Manu Korihi News that he doubts there will be much co-operation between New Zealand First and the other opposition parties.