Rena prompts fresh issue for voters
Mon, 31 Oct 2011 6:05p.m.
By Political Editor Duncan Garner
What happens if you ask first voters and then the party leaders, what are the most important issues to them in this election?
The answers came as a surprise for politicians.
The latest 3 News Reid Research poll revealed cleanliness and quality of our natural environment is the number one issue for voters in the upcoming election.
Most certainly the oil on Bay of Plenty beaches following the grounding of container ship Rena has played a large part in the surprise result.
Perhaps so has the Greens campaign criticising our dairy industry as dirty.
Asked if it surprises him, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says it does, “but in a good way”.
“That’s not the sort of thing people raise with me when they come along to meetings,” says Labour Party leader Phil Goff.
“Well, people will worry about that, but on that we are in good shape,” says Prime Minister John Key.
Meanwhile Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the result pleases him.
“That has always resonated with Maori.”
None of the leaders picked the environment as the number one issue for them in the upcoming election.
3 News gave 21,000 voters a list of 21 options and asked for a ranking; 10 being most important, 1 being least important.
The environment came out on top at 8.2.
Second equal were food prices and the quality of our schools at 7.9.
Hospital care was third at 7.8.
The price of petrol was fourth at 7.7.
The number of people living in poverty was fifth 7.5.
So 3 News tested the leaders, to see what they think are the most important issue for voters.
“Far and away the economy, because it’s all about people having jobs, independence and being able to meet their current obligations,” Mr Key said.
“When I ask people they say education and health, then they get onto the cost of living,” Mr Goff said.
“No question about that at all, it’s the economy,” ACT Party leader Don Brash said.
“I think they’ll be concerned about long-term security,” NZ First leader Winston Peters said.
“At the end of the day, it’s got to be education,” Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said.
Concerns over asset sales ranked eighth and longer prison sentences below that.
At the bottom of the list was immigration to New Zealand at 19th, too many Kiwis heading overseas at 20th and Mr Brash’s frightener that Maori are getting preferential treatment under law.
Asked if he got it wrong, Mr Brash said: “No, no, no, I didn’t. No, I did not”.
But voters of course, think otherwise.
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9/11/2011 10:10:46 a.m.
After 60 years of watching effluent being put into our rivers, I KNOW it is time to call a halt before it is too late.
2/11/2011 8:14:21 p.m.
Liz slooten wrote:
Great job! Sounds like the leaders are a little out of touch.
2/11/2011 4:10:44 p.m.
Zo @ Fix wrote:
Would be good to be able to access the full poll results if possible!
2/11/2011 1:04:25 p.m.
Countries that grow their economies have increased funds and resources to improve health care, education, environment and wages. This has been seen in countries as they develop. Nobody wants to mine, however everyone still wants the luxury of using mined materials. Nobody wants to mine, yet everybody is wanting to 'close the gap' between New Zealand and Australia - which has gained its wealth through mining it's natural resources. I am as keen for a cleaner, greener environment as everybody else in New Zealand but I'm not as naive to dismiss the fact a strong economy plays a large part in this. A growing economy supports all the things that we are striving to improve. It is hard to find a balance but I think it is important to look at the bigger picture. Just another point of view I'd like to put out there :)
2/11/2011 9:55:07 a.m.
National are really out of touch with the people, but in touch with the top 2%. I've had enough of them. I'm voting Green. They may not win a majority, but enough votes and they will have some moderating influence on the mess-makers.
1/11/2011 9:27:58 p.m.
Max COyle wrote:
Green green green
1/11/2011 1:46:13 p.m.
please check out our Vote for Nature campaign. starting with today's press release, thanks to TV3's poll. http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/what-we-do/publications/media-release/forest-bird-knows-what-voters-want-–-do-politicians
1/11/2011 1:02:46 p.m.
So what were the 21 options and were the party leaders given those 21 options to choose from?
1/11/2011 12:52:17 p.m.
The "Public" should not be allowed to vote based on these results. With out the resources (funds) all the best intentions are for nought...
The economy and how the taxes are spent dictates what money is availble to provide all the nice services they deem important...
1/11/2011 12:02:34 p.m.
As usual, politicians dont Know what Kiwis want, Clean up our water ways,(life force) We are getting further and further away from Clean and Green, Most the lakes around BOP are polluted, and now Rena polluting our beautiful Ocean. Rising food, petrol, health care, Digging us a nice hole....
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