Tauranga health professional Deborah Cunliffe has this evening been named the Conservative Party’s Bay of Plenty candidate for this year’s general election.
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig made the announcement at Daniels in the Park during a visit to Tauranga.
Conservative Party Bay of Plenty candidate Deborah Cunliffe and party leader Colin Craig. Photo: Tracy Hardy
“I am delighted to announce Deborah as the Conservative candidate for the people of the Bay of Plenty electorate.
“Deborah is an outstanding individual with a strong career serving people. She has integrity, intelligence, and a heart for delivering healthy communities.”
Deborah has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years. She moved to the region in 2003 with her husband and children, and is the field worker for Diabetes Help Tauranga.
Her experience in both hospital governance and at grass roots level gives her a unique perspective on health and social welfare issues, says Colin.
“Deborah believes that as a country we are being held to ransom by government after government who struggle with integrity, honesty and good old fashioned Kiwi values.”
Deborah says she will campaign on the Conservative Party’s four key policies: binding referendum, $20,000 tax free, tougher penalties for serious crime and abolition of Maori seats.
She says her campaign in the Bay will be based on the premise “You can’t change truth”.
“A fundamental truth is that everyone has equal rights, no one gets extra rights. This is not an emotive response to protecting marriage or stopping the spread of the uncompromising PC brigade, but a defiant response to governments that continue to ignore the will of the people it serves," says Deborah.
“I look around and see progressive governments breaking their promises and blues and reds merging to become a murky colour of purple.”
Deborah, who will celebrate 28 years of marriage to her “best friend” this Saturday, says she was first attracted to the party because of its stand against the re-defining of marriage.
“I’m one of the fortunate ones - but if I don’t stand up and speak out, then who will?”
She says there are many causes in the region she could have chosen to represent.
“There are the endemics of domestic violence, child abuse and alcohol misappropriation. There are those who chose to end life before it has even begun.
“There is the Rena and other environmental concerns, there are families choosing between medical bills and food on the table, those same families/relationships are falling apart, fundamental values are slipping.”
She sees the Conservative Party as the only party with the moral backbone to confront politicians and represent the people in the Bay.
“By standing in the BOP, I aim to give voters the option to elect a centre right candidate with conservative values who wants to be part of the solution. I urge each of you to join me and stand for something.”
David Walkden has been announced as the party’s Coromandel candidate.
Colin says party is not announcing its Tauranga candidate yet.