Labour MP on prestigious shearing competition + worrying increase in property rates

Labour MP on prestigious shearing competition + worrying increase in property rates

As The Golden Shears officially gets underway on Thursday afternoon in Masterton, Labour MP Karen McAnulty, a Wairarapa native with a deep connection to the event, joins Dom George to discuss the importance of the Golden Shears.

The conversation opens with a focus on the impact of Rowland Smith's unexpected exit from the Golden Shears, a prestigious shearing event. Smith's absence has shaken up the competition, creating opportunities for rising talents like Toa Henderson. 

McAnulty expresses not only the love he has for the event but also the deep-rooted cultural impact the titles hold within rural communities up and down the country. 

"Golden Shears is nothing but for its history," he says.

McAnulty shares a memorable moment from announcing a historic win, underscoring the emotional weight of the competition. The discussion turns to the legacy of shearing greats, with McAnulty reminiscing about the time when Gavin Mutch, a former champion, won the Golden Shears, showing more emotion than when he won the World title. 

This highlights the significance of the event within the shearing community. McAnulty's past involvement in promoting the Golden Shears through betting is also mentioned, showcasing his efforts to elevate the event's profile. 

Transitioning from shearing sports to rural issues, the conversation shifts to the increasing property rates that are putting financial strain on rural homeowners, especially retirees. McAnulty expresses concern for those on fixed incomes, who may face the difficult choice of whether they can afford to stay in their homes. 

"If rates get too high, then they're going to have to face a pretty difficult choice as to whether they can stay in their house and pay rates."

The conversation also criticises the government's decision to hand water services back to local councils, suggesting it could exacerbate the rate problem. McAnulty points out the challenges rural residents face, such as escalating rates without seeing improvements in services like road maintenance, which are impacted by extreme weather and limited council resources. 

The conversation reminds listeners of the vital role the government should play in addressing these issues, as McAnulty calls for a more sustainable and supportive approach to managing rural rates and services. 

Listen to the full chat between Kieran McAnulty and Dominic George above.

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