30 Aug 2010

National seen as losing votes over Hubbard

10:31 am on 30 August 2010

Residents of South Canterbury say National is losing votes because of the Government's treatment of Allan Hubbard.

Support for the beleaguered businessman remains solid in his home town in Timaru.

Timaru people have stood firmly beside Allan Hubbard - who they call South Canterbury's favourite son - and his wife, Jean Hubbard, since the Government announced on 20 June it was placing them under statutory management, along with seven charitable trusts and two companies - Aorangi Securities and Hubbard Management Funds.

That support has not budged following Friday's announcement by the statutory managers that the value of investments in Hubbard Management Funds has been overstated by 25% - or $20 million - and that some investors in Aorangi Securities may lose their money.

People on the streets of Timaru doubt he has done anything wrong intentionally.

They are more worried about what they say is unfair and disrespectful treatment by the Government, and say National is losing votes in what's traditionally one of its strongholds.

Some are critical of National MP Jo Goodhew, claiming she's failed to support the Hubbards, who they say are pillars of society.

But she says this is not a political issue.

However, Labour candidate Julian Blanchard says she should have demanded answers from the Government about why the inquiry was taking place and when it would be resolved.

Mr Blanchard says a huge number of Timaru people have money invested with Hubbards and the uncertainty has frozen the entire town, with all sorts of businesses suffering.