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Much like its neighbouring region the Waikato, the Coromandel electorate has been a National stronghold since 1972, only falling out of their hands once in 1999 to the Green Party.

Now with Labour sailing high above National, their Coromandel candidate Nathaniel Blomfield is looking to dethrone National's sitting MP Scott Simpson.

The Coromandel region houses the largest proportions of both males and females in the 65–69-year age group, in which Blomfield says that the older demographic tends to lean towards National rather than Labour, however he said that he has encountered previous National voters who would now be voting Labour.

"I think this race will be closer than the 2017 race when I last contested against Scott Simpson. That was my first time, but this time I now have name recognition I believe I can take the fight to Scott," Blomfield said.

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In the 2017 election, Simpson won the electorate with more than 23,000 votes, while Blomfield secured just under 9000.

He said one of the main issues for the Coromandel region would be how to pull funding back into the local economy with the drop in tourism due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Labour candidate for Coromandel Nathaniel Blomfield presents Ken Allen with spring flowers in exchange for some political advice. Photo / File
Labour candidate for Coromandel Nathaniel Blomfield presents Ken Allen with spring flowers in exchange for some political advice. Photo / File

"I think we need to be advocating more for our region, we are in a great position in the North Island and with Covid-19 drying up a lot of the tourism money we need to find other ways to support our local economy, such as the marine industry or agricultural industry."

"I live in Tairua and during the winter months there is about a 70 to 80 per cent unoccupancy rate for houses here because they are all holiday homes. That raises two problems because, one, it means people are not spending here when they are at their real homes during the year, and two it means finding housing for workers that want to work here becomes tough because the prices are so expensive for them."

"It's hard enough for local families that are working in the middle class to find a decent rental let alone a seasonal worker."

While his counterpart Simpson wants to focus on development a four-lane expressway on State Highway 2 between Waihi and Tauranga, Blomfield is keen to spend more money on improving the current roads in the Coromandel region.

"The smaller regional roads such as the Thames Coast Rd which is often closed off due to slips and the Kopu-Hikuai road which is often blocked in or flooded need to be upgraded."

"Upgrades would save lives and the other infrastructure project I would be focusing on is with water shortages. In Whitianga they are on water restrictions from last summer and with a new summer approaching we need future planning for these regional towns. Water is a crucial resource for us."

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Simpson, who has held the seat since 2011, said that more needs to be done in the region in retaining the younger demographic.

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"Obviously Thames and the Coromandel has a very high age demographic, there is nothing against that, but we need to also be looking to keep some of the younger ones in the region with jobs to keep the economy rolling," Simpson said.

"The Kopu marine development will be good for the local economy and with the roll out of fibre internet across our region it means more people are able to work from home in the Coromandel rather than having to venture out to the big cities every day."

If elected the National Party has said that they will establish a national park in the Coromandel which Simpson said would also be a huge boost to the economy.

"It means we will have a national park in the north of New Zealand as well, it will bring people into the region for trips, they may stay a couple of nights and there is just plenty more we can do up there."

The Coromandel Electorate. Image / Elections NZ
The Coromandel Electorate. Image / Elections NZ

Simpson also wants to focus on improving State Highway 2 between Waihi and Tauranga, and said that with a four-lane highway there would be an increase in growth.

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"We've seen it in the Waikato with towns such as Cambridge that have really taken off, it will encourage businesses to move out of the cities and set up more in the regions."

Simpson also said that will the notion of a rail network in the Waikato was a good idea, he said it would simply not work in the Coromandel.

"You would be looking at billions of dollars, there going to have to build a new tunnel in Tauranga as that one is coming to the end of its lifespan and with the terrain of the Coromandel I think driving is still the suitable option."