National MP Alastair Scott may have won the job interview, now he has to do the job. PHOTO/FILE
By Seamus Boyer
Well, there you have it, another election done and dusted.
Except that it’s not, of course, with many more twists and turns to come over the next week or weeks as a new government is formed.
What that will look like is anyone’s guess, although the thought of a Labour-NZ First-Greens coalition seems like the kind of result that no one would be happy with.
A National-NZ First government seems much more likely, and from listening to some National MPs on Saturday night, they’re already starting to butter up Winston Peters.
If that is the result, then it will be interesting to see what post he can secure for himself, and what post for his deputy Ron Mark.
Mr Mark fought the good fight in Wairarapa but still came up well short on the night, with 7079 votes compared with Kieran McAnulty’s 12,242, and Alastair Scott’s 14,988.
And that result is very interesting too.
Mr Scott came into this contest with a 6700-vote majority in the electorate.
On Saturday night that was trimmed to ‘just’ 2700 — a 4000 vote swing which should send a very clear message to our MP — that there can be no more complacency.
Wairarapa is a region with so much going for it, and with huge potential.
People are moving here in droves, because of our lifestyle, because of our environment, because of our people, because our region is so special.
But as the population grows, pressure will go on infrastructure.
School classrooms will become more crowded, pressure on hospital beds will increase, waiting lists for social housing will get longer.
All of this means that our MP has to act now.
Mr Scott needs to take the bull by the horns and use any influence he has in his party in order to put the needs of our region before those of others.
Because our list of issues needing urgent solutions is long.
Our rivers and lakes need to be cleaned. And they need it in a hurry.
The Manawatu Gorge needs a quality, long-term solution. And it needs it in a hurry.
Our train service needs sorting so that we are properly and meaningfully connected to the Capital. And that needs to be done in a hurry.
Our climbing suicide rate — literally a matter of life and death — needs to be reversed. And that can’t happen soon enough.
Mr Scott may have been happy celebrating another electorate victory at the Masterton Club on Saturday, and good on him, he deserves his moment in the sun.
But as soon as he sets foot back in Parliament he must start providing solutions to the problems the region faces.
Mr Scott may have won the job interview, now he has to do the job.