Whangārei needs the appropriate support to grow so that people and businesses don't leave the district.
That's the view of Advance New Zealand Party Whangārei candidate Chris Wetere who said a number of social, business-oriented, and environmental issues needed to be addressed.
"For me, the single biggest issue in Whangārei currently is we are losing people. We are losing our young people to universities across New Zealand, we're losing businesses because it's just so hard to survive here.
"And I think there are a lot of factors that play into that. I don't take away from other issues. At the end of the day, there are so many things we can do to better this place. I love it here in Whangārei and I wanna see Whangārei grow."
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Wetere said support could be in a number of ways, including government funding towards infrastructure development and growth of the primary industries.
Over the last couple of years, Whangārei has also had massive suicide rates in both young and old people.
He supports moving the Ports of Auckland to Northport because Whangārei lacked industries which could be established locally because of the port's growth.
Amalgamating local councils means removing people's voices that will otherwise be heard so he's against centralisation.
"People in Whangārei have different issues to people in Kaipara, to people in Kerikeri. You look at our electorate. We have an electorate that is wrapped around by Northland. Why? Because clearly Whangārei has different needs to the rest of Northland."
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Providing incentives for people to build affordable houses in Northland will help steady the prices, he says.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) invoke memories of a young Wetere as a young teenager walking up Queen St to protest Helen Clark's decision to bring them into New Zealand.
"There are two issues I have with that. One, does it benefit our health? If it doesn't then no we shouldn't have it. Two, does it increase our capacity for industry, and can they work together?
"If they can't, then at the end of the day, health should win over money. Do those types of planting styles encourage healthy living for New Zealanders or for the customers, whether they be international or not?
More education against the use of methamphetamine was the way to remove the scourge from society, he said.
His mother who brought him and his three other siblings as a single parent is the biggest influence in his life.
"She pulled us out of our father's grasp from an early age, which I am so grateful for. I think I'd have been a very different person if I have had the influence of my father. I'd have to say her faith.
"Every step of the way, she had been a strong Christian. My whole belief system is based on the whole belief of what my mum did for me," Wetere said.