From Whakatane right round to Gisborne, the East Coast electorate is the largest in the North Island. So says young Māori candidate for National Tania Tapsell, though she's not including the Māori electorates, most of which are larger.
But East Coast is still a huge electorate, with plenty of issues. In this Local Focus video, we asked three candidates what the most important issue facing the electorate right now. Tapsell said infrastructure, particularly water for irrigation.
"National has proposed a water infrastructure fund so that we can ensure that we can look at funding for water storage," she said. "Because 95 per cent of our water eventually ends up in the sea. So when we have droughts or we need more access to water and water allocation, then that's actually something that we need to be looking at."
Labour's Kiri Allan said jobs are the biggest challenges in the region at the moment.
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"We see places like the East Coast as the fundamental backbone for our country."
Green Party candidate Meredith Akuhata-Brown says the biggest issue is housing – everybody should have the opportunity to have one.
"Housing is about belonging, neighbourhoods, communities," she said. "You create strong communities; you create a strong nation."
Also standing in the East Coast electorate:
• Jennie Brown for Advance NZ
• Veronica King for ONE
• Helena Nickerson for New Conservative
• Blake Webb for Act
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