Caring about Northland

A reader (no one associated with or working for a party) has sent through an analysis they have done of Hansard:

I wondered how much Winston cared about Northland before the by-election, so I did a bit of research in the Hansard for last term.  I’ve taken out passing references (e.g ‘the member from Northland’ and ‘from Northland to Southland’) and compiled the results.  (Green mentions are undated because I was focussing more on parties contesting the by-election)

Some tallies – NZ First’s biggest advocate for Northland was . . . Andrew Williams.  He raised Northland 8 times last term.  Sadly for Northland he’s now gone.
Winston referred to Northland 6 times in speeches, plus one session where he raised it while barracking Mike Sabin. In each case it’s usual Winston style – all bluster, without actually looking at the facts (links to the Hansard are in the document in case you want a look).  But more importantly for Northland residents, 3 of the times he mentioned them in the House it was actually attacking spending up there!

Going by these numbers Eugenie Sage cares more about Northland than Winston.

Labour gave 31 mentions, so Northland was clearly higher on their priority list that NZ First’s.  Mind you, a lot of these are about trying to stop the Puhoi-Wellsford highway, so obviously they can’t care about regional development that much.

As for the government ignoring Northland?  The facts do not bear that out – a staggering 63 references! 

So Winston only mentioned Northland six times in the last three years, and half of those were attacking spending up there. Yet some people think he will be an advocate for them.

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