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Candidates cross swords at Mt Victoria’s New Crossways

Oct 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Features

SEE video story at bottom of page:

Mt VICTORIA’S Meet the Candidates meeting got off to a smoking start with Aotearoa Legalize Cannabis Party candidate Michael Appleby pontificating on the benefits of cannabis legalisation.

“Statistically speaking,” he said, “If you don’t smoke cannabis, then the person next to you does.”

The ponytailed 61-year-old lawyer rued the lack of interest Labour has shown for his passion.

“The government is on P!” he said. “Practicing pragmatism, pimping Peter Dunn’s prohibition policies, pandering to Peters and prostituting its principals to stay in power!”

A nervous Rebekah Clement appeared horrified when the punters shouted her down over her Kiwi Party wanting to overturn the Anti-smacking Act.

“Eighty-six percent of people did not want the anti-smacking bill to be passed” she said.

“Not in this room!” a punter said.

“But the government decided to pass an act which makes smacking a criminal offence!” she said.

“Good!” the floor answered to cheers of approval.

Perhaps she took her audience for something else entirely.

While Labour’s Grant Robertson was enthusiastically received, derision reigned when he praised the Labour government for having strengthened the economy.

“Whoa!” the audience said. “How can you say that!”

Perhaps that comment would have been more favourably received a few weeks ago.

Richard Wallis of the Alliance told the meeting his party would provide free health care, free education and increase the minimum wage.

“Where’s all this money going to come from?” the punters asked.

Unfortunately for NZ, Mr Wallis had absolutely no idea and was instructed to sit down, which he obediently did.
Questions from the floor opened up some lively debate, with euthanasia, the Resource Management Act and funding scientific research were touched on.

The most astonishing revelation of all came from National candidate Stephen Franks, from a law and order question: “I have no personal objection to the death penalty…but would not vote for it.”

Grant Robertson pleased the crowd with advice from his mother: “I do have a deep personal objection to it,” he said. “As my mother always told me, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.

When asked about food labelling, Stephen Franks was unable to explain National’s reasons for voting against the bill presented to parliament,  while Sue Kedgley offered to tell him – their vested interest in Fonterra and the Meat Board.

When Heather Roy congratulated herself for being involved in Wellington issues despite not being a local MP, the Save Crossways campaigners reminded her bluntly that when asked to help with their cause, she flatly refused.

She insisted, amid groans, it was not up to national politicians to get involved in council affairs.

One questioner asked Workers Party Don Franks who his party would work with if made it into parliament: “If the workers party got into parliament,” he said with gusto, “we would work against every other party there!”

The debate was the grand opening of New Crossways at 6 Roxburgh St, after the community lost its old house to a private sale earlier in the year.

PICTURE: Grant Robertson taking his message to the Mt Victoria punters

VIDEO: Excerpts from candidates’ speeches.

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is a Whitireia Journalism student.
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  1. “The ponytailed 61-year-old lawyer….”

    No further comment is necessary.

    I am all for legalising drugs but I think it should be a capital offense for a 61 year old to have a ponytail.

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