New Conservative Party leader Leighton Baker with Northland candidate Mel Taylor at the recent Northland Field Days

New Conservatives say ‘paws off’

by Andy Bryenton

The New Conservative party say that they are concerned with the fate of the Northern Wairoa Racing Club, but that the ‘odds are against’ racing clubs around the country should controversial clauses in the proposed Racing Industry bill pass into law.

The NC Candidate for Kaipara, Mel Taylor, took the concerns of locals to the caucus and leadership of the party following a big showing at field days.

The official line from the New Conservatives stands squarely opposed to the subsumption of local club assets by the racing industry, in what other respondents have called a ‘land grab’.

“New Conservative is concerned with the powers the proposed racing bill gives to the minister of racing. In particular, is the ability for a locally owned and run racing club to be closed down and the proceeds go out of the community. Unfortunately, this continues the theme of this government taking authority over private property, whether it is removing people’s legitimately owned firearms, imposing restrictions on land through the ‘Significant Natural Areas’ legislation or blocking Fletchers from developing their own land.”

The NC leadership note that the lyric in our national anthem, ‘God defend our free land’ has become ironic and has never been so pertinent as now, with a government in power they call ‘ignorant of democracy and dictated by ideology’.

“Community groups who fundraise for, and invest in local assets should have the final say on the realisation of those assets. In the case of the Dargaville Racing Club, it is their members who should decide on the viability of the club. If its time is up, then the funds realised should be theirs to invest in other local initiatives,” said the New Conservative leadership.

“Government’s role is to protect, encourage and enable, not dictate, control and micromanage. Mr Peters needs to get his paws off the assets that others have worked so hard to create.”