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Former hospo boss in last-minute bid for Parliament off to rocky start

Author
James Pocock,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Sep 2023, 3:24pm
Rob Hulman of the NZ Loyal Party is standing for the Tukituki electorate. Photo / Warren Buckland
Rob Hulman of the NZ Loyal Party is standing for the Tukituki electorate. Photo / Warren Buckland

Former hospo boss in last-minute bid for Parliament off to rocky start

Author
James Pocock,
Publish Date
Wed, 20 Sep 2023, 3:24pm

 

The former owner of a well-known Havelock North restaurant is standing for former TV presenter turned anti-vaccination campaigner Liz Gunn’s newly-formed political party in Tukituki in the upcoming election.

Rob Hulman moved to Hawke’s Bay from Invercargill and owned Off The Track Restaurant for 14 years before selling it earlier this year.

Hulman now works with a silt taskforce helping with recovery for people impacted by flooding in Cyclone Gabrielle.

He said he decided to stand for New Zealand Loyal last week “at the last minute”.

 “The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was our current Prime Minister boldly standing up and telling the people of New Zealand that it was not them that forced anyone to get vaccinated,” Hulman said, referencing a September 4 press conference when Hipkins was challenged on a New Zealand First policy to compensate people who lost their jobs due to vaccine mandates.

Hipkins told the conference that the mandates were a challenging time but “people made their own choices”.

Hulman said he felt major party politicians “don’t stand for the people, they stand for themselves”, giving the Government’s decision to go ahead with Three Waters despite opposition as an example.

“I don’t call myself a politician, I am calling myself a people’s representative. Our party is made up of non-political people and they are standing for the same reason I am.”

He said a key policy issue for him this election was ensuring legislation was “for the people”, citing New Zealand Loyal’s policy to abolish all income tax, GST and company taxes and replace them with a 1 per cent tax on all financial transactions.

Hulman said he was unable to comment on Gunn’s failure to register nearly all New Zealand Loyal candidates besides herself and two others on her party list in time, an issue Gunn addressed in a video posted to social media on Monday.

The mistake means that the only way Hulman can enter Parliament is by winning the Tukituki electorate seat.

James Pocock joined Hawke’s Bay Today in 2021 and writes breaking news and features, with a focus on environment, local government and post-cyclone issues in the region. He has a keen interest in finding the bigger picture in research and making it more accessible to audiences. He lives in Napier. [email protected].

 

 

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