Northern Outlook : July 2nd 2014
8 NORTHERN OUTLOOK, JULY 2, 2014 NEWS This year’s general election is less than three months away and Waimakariri looks set for a tight competition. The Northern Outlook is joining the Labour, National and Green candidates as they hit the streets, door-knocking to rustle up votes. This time, CATEBROUGHTONset out with National Party candidate Matthew Doocey. Giving face time FOR SOMEONE relatively new to the political game, Matthew Doocey has a lot of doorknocking under his belt. Notwithstanding the many homes he visited as the failed candidate in the Christchurch East by-election, he tells me he has already given out 3500 cards in Waimakariri. ‘‘One of the positive outcomes of Christchurch East was I got the experience.’’ He is very comfortable and approaches the job like he’s out for a relaxing stroll, on his way to visit long-lost friends. Whether having a pint at the Kaiapoi Working Men’s Club or walking the streets of Rangiora, Doocey, 41, will be easy to spot. It is as though he has come to life, walking directly out of one of his posters, dressed in a wellfitting suit and with a striking bald head. Today, he has abandoned the regulation blue tie for a more casual look. It is a week day and he is in the leafy suburban streets of north Rangiora with his two comrades in arms, National Party stalwart Judith Parrott, 82, and an earnest 20-yearold political science student from Canterbury University, Stephen Cornes. The task makes a change from his desk job at the Canterbury District Health Board, from which Doocey resigned in order to to campaign fulltime. ‘‘People of either persuasion acknowledge the country is in a strong position, and that helps,’’ Doocey says. We’ve been to three empty homes and are standing outside the next one, when a man appears in the garden. Doocey introduces himself as the National Party candidate. ‘‘Not interested,’’ the man says gruffly. ‘‘OK, see you later,’’ Doocey replies. He says people are starting to recognise him, and a large HITTING THE STREETS: Waimakariri National Party candidate Matthew Doocey, with campaign volunteers Judith Parrott, 82, and Stephen Cornes, 20, in Rangiora. letterbox drop is working. A visit to the Kaiapoi Working Men’s Club earned some brownie points from some die-hard Labour supporters who admired his father, Tom Doocey, a wellknown rugby referee. Just as he is preparing to leave another card, an elderly woman answers. She smiles and nods serenely at Doocey as he asks if she is aware there is an election coming up. He patters on, weaving into the conversation that he has given up his job for the campaign and has a young family. Crossing a driveway to the next house, Parrott appears and barks ‘‘Keep going!’’ At the next address, a man responds to Doocey’s spiel with ‘‘Good as gold’’. He’s a National voter and knows who Doocey is. The candidate still attempts to engage him in conversation, but the man is not really interested. Afterwards, Doocey says it is important to get National supporters like him to actually vote. Another house, another National voter later, it’s nearly time for a break. When asked why she is on the streets of Rangiora on an overcast weekday, Parrott, who was married to former National Party MP Derek Quigley, underlines the urgency of the task in hand. ‘‘We have got to get Matt’s name out, otherwise how are people going to know him?’’ Waipara backs fire family By EMILY SPINK THE WAIPARA community is vowing to help get its beloved pub back on its feet. Groups from across Waipara came together on Thursday in support of Waipara Hotel owners Melissa and William Inia, and their two children, aged 9 and 6, who lost their home and possessions in a blaze on June 16. They had sold the hotel uninsured at auction the previous Friday – it was still uninsured at the time of the fire. More than 20 people from the Hurunui Young Farmers Club, Glenmark Rugby Club, Christchurch Off-Road Motorcycle club, Amberley A&P Association and the New Life Church gathered to share their ideas at a meeting hosted by the Waipara Volunteer Fire Brigade, along with Bayleys Real Estate and the Glenmark Lions. Bayleys Rangiora sales con- sultant Ross Ditmer, who helped facilitate the property transaction, said the strong turnout showed the depth of the community spirit in Waipara. Details of the sale are still unknown, but the locals are keen to help get the hotel up and running again, whether it is operated by the Inias or by the new owner. ‘‘That was the overall flavour coming out – that the Inias have helped so many people in the community by doing different things, and it’s now their turn to give back.’’ Offers of assistance have flooded in, including the use of diggers and trucks if part of the hotel has to be demolished. Electricians and carpenters have also expressed an interest in helping out. ‘‘If the Inias were to stay, they are prepared to walk in there and board up the bits that are damaged or get rid of them, and get it to a point where it can operate again, so the family can at least get some income coming back in,’’ Ditmer said. Ditmer said the family were enormously grateful for all the clothes that have been generously donated to them. In fact, they have now received so many, they will be passing some on to the city mission. Donations can be made to the family through: givealittle.co.nz/ cause/Iniafamily16, or through the bank account, Help Waipara Fire 03 1582 0419972 000.
June 28th 2014
July 5th 2014