One of the unheralded acts by the government in the wake of last September’s earthquake was providing money to enable businesses to keep operating in the immediate aftermath.
The same thing was done after the February quake and it was instrumental in protecting jobs and reducing the number of businesses which collapsed.
It has provided a template which has been used in Tauranga after the oil spill from the Rena:
One thing that resonated with business owners in Mount Maunganui was the response from the Government in helping pay wages. While there were still some who wanted more government handouts, most were strongly supportive of National’s actions.
Not all contributions from politicians has been appreciated, however:
The Green Party and Labour leader Phil Goff have done themselves no favours in Mt Maunganui.
Local retailers complained to Taking the Pulse on Saturday that both the Greens and Mr Goff keep drawing attention to the stricken Rena which hit the Astrolabe Reef on October 5, spilling oil. . .
Publicity from the oil spill also hurt visitor numbers; people likened it to the Gulf of Mexico spill, which wrecked both tourism and fisheries along the coast of Louisiana.
The damage caused by the negative publicity during the election campaign is starting to worry a few. . .
But the main political issue that annoyed nearly everyone spoken to in about two hours was grandstanding – both in Mt Maunganui and Epsom. Voters were absolutely over the side issues and complained it reminded them of when New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was in full flight. Then, they remembered that Mr Peters was again in full flight.
There was no love lost on the Mount for Mr Peters. No particular reason could be nailed down, but the dislike was palpable.
Obviously people of good sense and discernment.