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What Otago people told me

David Parker MP for Otago

23 May 2005

What Otago people told me

The government should continue to focus on health, education, the economy and law enforcement, according to Otago voters.

Earlier this year Otago MP David Parker conducted a survey of constituents in his Otago electorate. More than 2,500 people replied.

Mr Parker has released the survey results in his latest newsletter being delivered to households and businesses this week.

“People identified a wide range of issues including support for disabled pupils at school, concerns about levels of bureaucracy, public access to rivers (both for and against), electricity prices, support for Plunket services, affordable housing, concern about the supply of alcohol to minors, environmental standards, treaty issues, crime rates, and superannuation,” said Mr Parker.

“I focus on health and education issues in Otago because these are normally the most important services which people rely upon the government to provide,” Mr Parker said.

“Within Otago there is overwhelming support for the government to retain control of key state owned enterprises (SOEs). I share this view and believe that SOEs like Transpower (which runs the national electricity grid) should remain state owned electricity generators and Air New Zealand (about 80% state owned) should remain in public ownership,” said Mr Parker.

“I doubt many in Otago will want to see cuts in health, education and superannuation and the sale of SOEs to fund tax cuts, as the National Party are likely to propose,” said Mr Parker.

Another major issue of concern is that water in most of our rivers and streams and some of our lakes is more polluted than it was.

“I have received a number of complaints from constituents about pollution of streams and rivers. In particular I am concerned that the situation we have now reached the disgraceful point where the majority of the streams and rivers on the east coast of Otago have faecal bacterial counts above Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation limits for safe bathing,” said Mr Parker.

“This means they are unsafe for swimming during summer months. This is, in my view, disgraceful,” said Mr Parker.

There is presently no restriction on the amount of alcoholic liquor that can be supplied to minors (ie those under 18 years of age, who may or may not be a child of the supplier) for consumption at private functions. “I believe controls on the supply of alcohol to minors are too lax and that we need to tighten the laws in this area,” said Mr Parker.

A copy of the survey results is attached and is also available from


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