Bill’s blueprint for the Wakatipu


VICTORIOUS MP Bill English has set out his local agenda for the next three years.

The member for Clutha-Southland was returned to parliament in Saturday’s General Election with a huge majority.
The result echoed the thumping nationwide victory for the National Party.
English is Deputy Prime Minister and the Finance Minister and wants to retain both high-powered roles in the next government.
But he is keen to highlight Queenstown issues when he speaks to Mountain Scene at his Jack’s Point election party.
“There are a number of things we need to get done,” he says.
“We have to get the education decisions made, particularly about the high school and any expansion of the primary schools.
“We need progress and stability around the health services. The last three years have been quite frustrating with a lot of talk but very little actual change. And I’m not yet convinced we have the right solution.
“Then my third one would be getting the Kawarau Bridge onto someone’s priority list somewhere.”
The National Health Board recently made a string of recommendations to improve Queenstown healthcare services.
English also highlights the impact of the Christchurch earthquake.
“I think in the background getting Christchurch up and moving is the best thing in the long run for Queenstown.
“Queenstown and particularly Te Anau have been hard hit by the Christchurch tourist route disruption.”
Despite the relative safeness of his Clutha Southland seat, English feels relieved and enthusiastic after the result.
Nationally, keeping the economy on track will be demanding but he has been impressed by the resilience of New Zealanders.
English also says the controversial proposed utilities sell-off will go ahead if there is a mandate within the next government, but there is a lot of detailed work to do before it happens.