Running as an Independent candidate for Hunua, it’s not immediately obvious where Ian Cummings sits on the political scale.
“Definitely not left…I’m a conservative as far as social issues go. As far as fiscal issues go, I’m right…so I’m not left,” he says.
Right, not left. Got it? Right.
From a socialist background, the son of a fierce unionist, Cummings says he was first aligned to Labour before moving towards National in his university years after getting “a taste of how ugly that unionism is when I worked at Marsden Point a few years ago”.
He says he decided to run on an Independent ticket in an effort to bring back more representation to the House of Representatives which he feels has lost some of that representation.
He believes as an Independent, he offers an alternative to voters.
“What I mean is if in you’re in a party, you pretty much have to vote as per that party position and that actually means on some occasions that the local electorate, being Hunua, may not be represented in that vote.”
Cummings describes Hunua’s biggest issues as “growing pains”.
He says Hunua is becoming a very desirable place to live and raise a family which means relentless population growth is on the way.
“Obviously transport issues are major. I’d lobby the heck out of NZTA (NZ Transport Agency) etc to get improvements — there are improvements afoot but it’s too little and probably too late.”
He’s aware of the need to fix roading capacity through use of public transport.
“I live in Pukekohe and I drive down what’s considered to be the most dangerous road in New Zealand, State Highway 22. It’s unacceptable, really.”
As far as the bigger issues go, he’s firm on his conservative standpoints.
“I’m very hot on euthanasia in that I’m opposed to it and this issue has come up a lot.
“My position is very clear — I don’t support it. There are only two leaders that agree it shouldn’t be changed — National and NZ First — and I’m of that camp as well.”