• Patrick McBride

Peter Ewen Having a Crack

Regional Councillor and well known local, Peter Ewen is the latest candidate running for the West Coast-Tasman Electorate in the 2020 elections.

Ewen is no stranger to politics. The six term and current sitting West Coast Regional Councillor has seen it all.

"Wellington, in colonial-mode, is effectively stealing privately-owned land for wetlands and SNAs without compensation for loss of production potential, yet the owner still pays the rates.

Regionally it is nudging towards 90% Crown control/ownership," he said.

Ewen was approached and encouraged to put his name forward in what is stacking up to be the most interesting election for West Coasters in many years.

"I regard myself as the spoiler, the wild-card. The reality is, there is little to lose, we are already losing it through hidden agendas."

He views major parties as taking the region for granted. The so called "bob-each-way" candidates seek electorate seats and this year the West Coast-Tasman area could potentially have three representatives. Two via party list backstops, and one an independent.

"The power of one should never be underestimated, every voter has that singular ability to effect change. So exercise it - vote. I see irony with Labour's re-election slogan, let's keep moving. 'The goal posts', must be the missing text," he added.

"No sooner do we follow rules to do something, and suddenly they are changed."

Ewen states the PGF handouts are certainly welcomed and positive news, but believes most funding misses the mark with the need for more long-term job investment.

"Like Waiuta, Spring Creek is another that should be funded and reopened. Importing ship loads of rubbish Indonesian coal when we possess the world's best, is hypocrisy."

"Much of what green wash idealistic crusaders are wanting to do away with, presently have no viable or known alternatives. Steel making is an example."

"Hydro: With any proposal -- potential options are suddenly declared unique or pristine, the 'Everest' of rivers, so viable renewable energy projects are scuttled because the selfish few seek sole use, discounting any partnership usage."

"We pay the highest power charges, petrol, and now the ability to secure DHB operations on the same criteria as Cantabrians is gone, care of post-code health delivery. That is not New Zealand - we deserve the same service and access to it."

With the second-largest land area of all the general electorates, the West Coast-Tasman electorate extends almost the entire length of the West Coast of the South Island – from Awarua Point in the south to Farewell Spit in the north. The electorate contains the communities of the West Coast (Haast, Greymouth, Westport, Hokitika), and the towns of Murchison, Takaka, Motueka, and Wakefield.