Common Roll candidates discuss various issues ahead of General Election
Improving Niue’s roads, investment in education and health, Concerns over the most recent audit report from the New Zealand Auditor General and more engagement and empowerment of youths.
These have been some of the main issues raised and discussed by Common Roll candidates during a Q and A session held at the USP Niue campus last night.
Common Roll candidates included Mark Blumsky, Young Vivian, O’love Jacobsen, Kenneth Green, Stanley Kalauni, Ida Hekesi, Catherine Papani, Togia Sioneholo, Terry Coe, Richard Hipa and Alana Fiafia Rex.
Each candidate used the platform to share their individual manifesto.
84-year-old Former Premier Young Vivian spoke about Covid 19 and its impact on the country’s tourism.
He claimed that the worst is yet to come and the need for Niue to improve its health and response capacity.
Vivian emphasized the importance of returning to traditional resources and not relying to heavily on New Zealand.
Former Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky highlighted concerns over Niue’s recent audit reports tabled in Parliament stating that it was a reputational risk for Niue.
Blumsky stated that Niue needs to know how important donors are and how poor it looks when accountability and transparency are not followed.
He also highlighted that apart from Tourism being a key sector, agriculture is a major potential for generating revenue particularly hydroponics, drawing on his experiences of a hydroponics business on the island.
Blumsky said he knows there is a big market in New Zealand as Niue’s herbs are in demand and could be a lucrative commodity for Niue.
Another Common Roll candidate, Catherine Papani emphasized that actions speak louder than words when it comes to leadership and service to the people which she aspires to do if elected to Parliament.
Papani said she aims to improve Niue’s standing and improve infrastructure and strengthen the private sector.
She said there needs to be a level playing field with the State-Owned Enterprises and the private sector which usually compete in an already small country.
One of the youngest candidates Kenneth Green said he is advocating for more youth participation in politics, proposing for two common roll seats to be reserved for youths.
He said he also aims to do more for the advancement and empowerment of youths through more engagement in various avenues.
Participants also had the opportunity to ask the candidates directly about various issues.