Chris Baillie has been a policeman, a special needs teacher, and a pub owner, but he never thought politics would be his latest career move.
He has put his hand up to be the ACT party’s man in Nelson – standing behind its leader David Seymour and his policies.
“I’m not terribly impressed with politics in the country at the moment and the way things are going,” he says.
ACT is a right-wing party that advocates the free market and free choice.
Chris says David Seymour is someone who is principled and “sticks to his values”.
“He just takes a commonsense approach.”
The owner of the Honest Lawyer says that it was “well-established” that the Government did not act quickly enough to deal with Covid-19 and should have gone into lockdown earlier.
However, he was supportive of how lockdown went and the wage subsidy that went along with it, as it kept him in business.
As well as owning the bar and restaurant, Chris’s full-time job is a special needs teacher at Nayland College but now he will add another layer of busyness to his life – campaigning.
He says policies like the Zero Carbon Bill, which sets a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, was not “sensible”.
Chris has recently also been criticised for organising a ‘Climate Hysteria Skeptics’ group at Nayland College.
“There needs to be a climate change policy, but it needs to be sensible policy that incorporates evidence and all the other things that make us tick.”
He says that you can’t do well as a country environmentally unless you have some wealth.
Chris was supportive of Seymour’s End of Life bill which seeks to give people with a terminal illness the option of requesting assisted dying.
However, he would not be supporting the legalising of cannabis, despite that also being an ACT policy.
“Being a teacher and a policeman, I have seen the effects on young people. I don’t give a toss whether old people smoke but I think legalising it, young people would view it as condoning and the ramifications of that are too great.”
ACT also is proposing to abolish the Human Rights Commission and do away with the Resource Management Act.
As for local issues, Chris says that he had looked “briefly” at the NZTA’s options for solving Nelson’s transport woes but did not put forward a submission.
He says he had always supported the Southern Link, but it was now a “non-starter” as it wouldn’t have wide support.
Chris is adamant that he is ready for the next few weeks of political campaigning despite his busy work schedule.
“I’m pretty passionate about it.”