David Bennett, Hamilton East MP for the National Party believes that the 2014 campaign getting tight is to be expected as Saturdays general election draws near.
Following last nights final leaders debate, Bennett has backed up most public opinion by agreeing that it was a very scrappy affair. Bennett believes that having a debate restricted to only half an hour is not enough time to make any meaningful type of ground.
“Both of them were probably a bit at each other.”
National see their economic policy being the big factor should they win the election on Saturday.
National cannot do anything in the social sphere unless they have strong economics, with no rash spending promises, coupled with New Zealand being one of the best in the western world in terms of growth rate.
National promise that they will have a budget surplus, and have said that the economy is New Zealand’s biggest issue.
According to Bennett, as Hamilton East MP, economic growth is the big pressing issue for the city.
“The link with Auckland is crucial and that is the Waikato Expressway. That is a $2.4 billion project, of which $1.1 billion is to be spent next year on the Hamilton and Huntly bypasses. The Greens have said they won’t do that, New Zealand First won’t do it either, and Labour sort of said a reluctant yes to so effectively under an opposition you will not have that project happen.”
Bennett believes that without this growth under an opposition led government, the result would be a catastrophe for the city of Hamilton.
With all the talk about foreign investment that has taken place during this election, David Bennett said that it isn’t so much about economic growth but more efficiency. Bennett believes that in terms of structure, foreign investment will have a big impact on the economy.
“In the end we are a trading company, and we are not going to be competitive by raising the minimum wage to levels we cannot support. The minimum wage is going up each year, it is possible to reach the $16 mark but it will be staged.”
A big point that this blog was keen to ask Bennett about during our interview was Kim Dotcom and the recent allegations of NSA spy bases and mass surveillance of New Zealanders.
Bennett, like the majority of the National Party, was quick to say that both Dirty Politics and this weeks claims of mass surveillance have been overblown and have no relevancy on most New Zealanders.
Bennett believes that Kim Dotcom has had a negative impact on New Zealand politics.
“I think he has upset a lot of ordinary New Zealanders. They don’t like his style, they don’t like what he stands for, they don’t like the fact that he is trying to influence New Zealand politics. The same with Dirty Politics, that book would have done nothing for your life, the thing is that the choice between Labour or National will have an effect on your daily life. Not Dirty Politics.”
When asked about Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, and allegations of mass surveillance in New Zealand.
“It is not relevant to anyones life. They are making a lot of assumptions, accusations, and comments but that can happen at any time. We have spy agencies, countries do, if you didn’t you would be silly, but they don’t have mass surveillance of New Zealanders. These guys are trying to make something out of nothing, where as a government will have to protect its people, and they are trying to join two points together that cannot be joined.”
Bennett believes that these accusations will not effect Nationals chances in Saturdays election.