been Bill English's electorate since it was created in 1996
but for the first time in its history it will have a fresh
face representing its constituents.
About 60 people turned out in Balclutha to meet the
candidates last night.
National candidate Todd Barclay gave a clear message of
staying the course.
Labour's Dr Liz Craig, a public health specialist, criticised
the Government's approach to the regions.
She said National's current ''hands-off approach to regional
development'' had resulted in losses.
''We're losing our timber mills, we're losing woollen mills
and we're seeing large numbers of our young people going away
for opportunities elsewhere.''
Rachael Goldsmith, who wrote the Green Party's pro-choice
policy, said while she was not against dairying, she was
opposed to the Government's approach of ''all eggs in one
''We need to have an evidence and research basis for future
planning [of] Clutha-Southland's future, rather than the
ideological approach of the current Government, who are
solely focused on milk powder,'' she said.
The Government's investment in roads was one example Mr
Barclay used to demonstrate a commitment to regional
''Over the last six years, since National has been in
government, we've invested $460 million in regional roads in
Otago and Southland alone.''
Foreign ownership of New Zealand land was another issue for
some, but Mr Barclay said too often he had heard ''foreign
investment'' used to describe certain groups that should not
buy in New Zealand.
He referred to British music producer Mutt Lange's purchase
of 53,000 hectares over four properties between Wanaka and
Arrowtown and his ''cost equivalent $120 million gift'' to
the people of New Zealand by placing the land under