Home' Hastings Mail : August 2nd 2011 Contents 6 HASTINGS MAIL, AUGUST 3, 2011
Goff undaunted by low poll results
Labour leader: Phil Goff confidently backs his party's
By CAROLYN VEEN
With the general elections only months
away, we can expect to see a lot of
politicians out and about on the streets of
Napier and Hastings, shaking hands,
kissing babies and pushing their policies.
The first cab off the rank belonged to
Labour leader Phil Goff.
In high spirits, Mr Goff appeared
relaxed and undaunted by the results of
a recent poll that revealed his party s
worst result in 15 years.
Hovering on 29 per cent support and
only 16 weeks to go, an optimistic Mr
Goff believes he can claw back in time for
November s election.
Oh yes; a week in politics is a very
long time, he says, hoarsely, having
spoken at numerous meetings in Hawke s
Bay throughout the day.
He is confident the mix of a tax-free
threshold, no GST on fresh fruit and
vegetables and the unpalatable alterna-
tive of National s asset sales will win
back some of Labour s lost supporters
closer to the election.
The cost of living is what is important
to most people, and particularly low to
middle-income earners who are finding it
really tough. What s particularly import-
ant for me is what we ve put together in
our tax package which is designed to
bring fairness. I ve met a lot of people on
low incomes who say they can afford the
junk food but not the healthy food, and
that s not good.
Hawke s Bay is renowned for its
orchards, and yet people have to pay
export prices for fruit and veges, and
dairy products. Families need to be able
to afford healthy choices.
Labour, he says, can make a difference
in across-the-board living standards.
This will be paid for by adding a little
bit more tax on people like myself who
are high income earners -- and that s not
a big ask.
How ever you earn a dollar, you
should be treated the same for taxation
Mr Goff is concerned about the exodus
of young people moving overseas to live.
I want something better for New Zea-
land. I don t want my grandchildren
being born overseas.
Unison, the Hawke s Bay consumer-owned lines
company, made an $18.5 million after-tax profit
for the year ending March 31 (down slightly on
last year s record $18.9m) as it builds an elec-
tricity network for the future.
Unison has declared an $8m dividend to its
shareholder, the Hawke s Bay Power Consumers
Trust, along with another $1.42m set aside for the
trust s underground programme.
Unison chairman Kevin Atkinson said the com-
pany had achieved a solid result despite the
impact of the global financial crisis and was
advancing its smart grid initiative with confi-
We started the new decade with a bold direc-
tion for business growth and enhanced customer
service, moving from a traditional provider of elec-
tricity distribution, to a provider of energy and
infrastructure solutions, Mr Atkinson said.
Unison is helping lead its network regions in
Hawke s Bay, Taupo and Rotorua forward in tech-
nology, innovation and communications, which
were all key drivers for improving growth and
productivity to support a stronger local economy,
Through our smart grid initiative we are
investing in our future and creating benefits to be
enjoyed by generations to come. Our new direction
will see Unison deliver greater value, choice and
reliability to the customer.
Unison Group chief executive Ken Sutherland
said the company is gearing itself for the next
stage of its smart grid, which includes a full-scale
deployment of network monitoring, automation
technologies, smart meters, distributed gener-
ation, and high-speed communications, supported
by cutting-edge information systems.
The next stage involves engaging even more
closely with customers and their communities as
Unison begins to deliver these solutions to their
homes and connect them to the smart grid, Mr
Last year was a year of solid performance. Uni-
son had leveraged the synergies of its fibre, con-
tracting and transformer manufacturing
subsidiaries, to be in a strong financial position.
UnisonFibre produced steady growth, with more
than 140km of fibre being built across Hawke s
Bay, Taupo and Rotorua to enable business,
healthcare and education providers to enjoy a
more reliable and faster service.
Unison is now expanding its fibre network to
meet market demand for superior, ultrafast
services; opening the door to greater competition
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