Helping Northlanders own their own homes and getting rid of gangs altogether to stop the supply of meth in the community will be key priorities for Billy Te Kahika.
The Advance NZ Party co-leader and Te Tai Tokerau candidate said the housing crisis in the general market was intense but that there was a greater sense of urgency and stress among low income people who weren't able to find affordable accommodation.
Te Kahika said, in his view, the Government's focus on providing social housing has not only failed to deliver the requisite number of houses but the philosophy that it was a solution was wrong.
"It's a temporary fix. What's going to help people economically develop is home ownership. I am living proof of that. I grew up in a social household, what we called a state house.
"The moment I bought my first house was the moment that I stepped on to the economic development ladder and was able to progress in my life."
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His party, he said, already has plans to build a number of houses in conjunction with the government that people would be able to afford.
On the issue of meth, Te Kahika said we needed to take the fight to gangs as well as talk to them about familyhood, iwi tanga, and about our world view from a Maori perspective.
"A lot of our gangs up here that are involved in that trade are Maori and invite them to actually be a part of the solution but part of that means giving those brothers and sisters in gangs hope, pointing them in the right direction, giving them a pathway to the economic development.
"Without that, people do go to measures to supply their own economic development and unfortunately some of that is through criminal activity," he said.
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Te Kahika said borders needed to be safely opened because lockdowns didn't work in the long term according to evidence from the World Health Organisation.
He's advocating for red tape from small to medium businesses to be removed so they could function properly after Covid.
Shifting the Ports of Auckland would create more jobs and uplift Northland's economy but he said more due diligence around the logistics, including the cost-benefit analysis, would need to be done first.
Local councils in the region shouldn't be amalgamated because local issues needed local solutions.
An independent verification of the impacts and perhaps a moratorium should be carried out on whether or not Genetically Modified Organisms were to be introduced in New Zealand, he said.
"We have crops everywhere and the last thing we want is a GMO-patented cross-pollination crop occurrence happening where the farmer who's perhaps always grown a certain crop, he's got his yearling seeds cross-contaminated with a patented GMO seed that he'll be penalised for."
Jesus has inspired him in life.
"He permeates everything now in my life, in every decision, and my world view, and will empower me to serve my people in Te Tai Tokerau once I am the MP."