by Geoffrey Churchman

Afternoon tea was put on inside.
Instrumental music was provided by a drum, bass and piano trio.
Fundraising raffles included a bottle of Imagination gin (made in Reikorangi) signed by both Chris Luxon and Nicola Willis, and a big cake with National Party colours and logo icing (on left).
Tim Costley played a video of his career and interests (he said he was more interested in music at school than in PE, is a guitar player and composed theme music for sports events and other occasions). His three daughters spoke about dad and there were news items about search and rescues he has been involved with as an airforce helicopter pilot for the last 20 years, both in NZ and overseas.

Along with about 150 others, Eva and I went to the official launch of National candidate Tim Costley’s campaign at Anam Cara Gardens in Otaki this afternoon.

In 2020 I expected he would hold the seat for National and was surprised when he didn’t, losing by about 3,000 votes to Labour’s Terisa Ngobi, on the back of Jacindamania that the Mainstream Media had whipped up. Ngobi may be a nice person but has been missing in action as an MP. Instead the Otaki electorate needs someone who is going to work hard to achieve the electorate’s needs — in particular a properly functioning hospital which is closer than either Palmerston North or Kenepuru, the extension of the ‘Ewy’ to north of Levin and comuter trains to Levin.

Tim has demonstrated beyond any doubt that he is energetic, dedicated to helping people, intelligent and personable. Query e-mails get proper prompt replies unlike the experience with Ms Ngobi.

The other speaker was Chris Bishop, National’s national campaign manager who gave a wry account of last week in politics — and it was an eventful one as readers know with two more cabinet ministers out; the Labour bus has hit metaphoric potholes and its wheels are coming off.

Although I am quietly confident Tim will win the seat this time, it can’t be taken for granted, and readers who can help with the campaign — with a range of things like waving signs on sidewalks, putting up billboards on lawns (these can’t appear until 12 August), doorknocking or simply providing refreshments to campaign workers, they will be welcome.