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More youth wanted on roll as Mana looks like two-horse race

Oct 13th, 2010 | By | Category: Featured Article, Front Page Layout, News

A LARGE chunk of voters in the 18-24 age group are missing from the Mana by-election.

Registrar of Electors Toni Weir says it’s a concern that so many young people aren’t getting involved.

“They could make a change about those who represent them.”


LABAN LEGACY: Chris Faafoi. Photo: Labour Party

Ms Weir goes to schools and colleges, circulates the orange election forms at libraries, post shops, women’s refuges, community groups, and attends candidate meetings in the hope of informing young people about the importance of voting at the upcoming Mana by-elections.

But there are still about 20 per cent of eligible voters not on the roll.

Basedon 2010 estimated population, and enrolment statistics using the 2006 census data, the estimated eligible population for the 18-24 age bracket is 6720.

The total number of people actually enrolled is 5396, meaning 1324 or 20% of young people are missing.

By comparison the over 70 age group has an estimated eligible population of 5010, and of those 4766 are enrolled, leaving just 244 people or 5% off the role.

Ms Weir says if anyone over 18 has not received an Easy Vote Card by November 13 they are either not enrolled, or not enrolled correctly.

People can go online to and register by Friday or phone 0800 36 76 56.

Whitireia Polytechnic has enrolment forms and information about where and how to vote available via Student Services at all five campus sites.

Faafoi calls on Laban legacy

EIGHT candidates may be contesting the Mana by-election but it’s a two horse race according to Labour candidate Kris Faafoi.

The first-time candidate and former journalist, Mr Faafoi, 34, says he will have the same hands-on approach as former Labour MP for Mana, Winnie Laban.

Ms Laban held the seat for eight years and resigned to take up the Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika post at Victoria University.

Mr Faafoi who is of Tokelauan descent, says despite growing up in Christchurch he spent many holidays in Porirua and still has family connections in the area.

He currently lives in Kilbirnie, but plans to move to Titahi Bay.


NATIONAL MEMBER: Hekia Parata. Photo:

National MP Hekia Parata – the other “horse” in the race, and runner-up in 2008 with almost 35% of the votes – has trouble remembering where she does live.

The List MP confirmed in the Dominion Post, she has been living in Thorndon since last year to be close to Parliament, renting her Titahi Bay house to family.

However, in a TVNZ debate hosted by Paul Holmes on November 1, she agreed she lived in Kilbirnie. Her Mana office has confirmed she does live in Thorndon.

Also in the running is Paekakariki resident and Green MP Jan Logie. The Green Party was third placed in 2008 with 8.38% of the party votes.

ACT party candidate, South African born Colin Du Plessis, who immigrated to New Zealand in 1998 and lives in Raumati Beach, will be hoping to improve on the party’s 2.36% performance last time.

Former Alliance party president and trade unionist Matt McCarten announced his candidacy on October 27, the last day for nominations, as an independent.

Despite battling illness, believed to be bowel cancer, the Alliance Party believes his high profile will prove a greater challenge to Labour and National, than original candidate Kelly Buchanan.

Ms Buchanan has thrown her support behind Mr McCarten and withdrawn from the race. However, the papers were not filed in time so her name will still appear on the ballot papers.

The party secured just of 0.05% of the party votes in 2008, but Mr McCarten says he is standing to “put pressure on Labour to be honest”.

Julian Crawford, standing for Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, is having another crack at the election but at just 0.38% of the vote in 2008, is a rank outsider.

The former political science graduate says legalising and regulating cannabis will take control away from criminal elements and add billions to the national economy.

Joining the rank outsiders is the Libertarianz Party who captured just 0.05% of the party votes in 2008.

Libertarianz candidate Sean Fitzpatrick, a local martial arts instructor, says the election is “a chance for the good people of Mana to start taking control of their own lives by voting Libertarianz”.

The party, which is committed to freedom from government, is likely to live up to its ideals by remaining unelected.

The real issue for the Mana electorate, which stretches from Porirua to part of Paraparumu and has been a Labour stronghold since 1999, could be a swing to National.

Ms Parata, of Ngati Porou and Ngai Tahu descent, says she will offer common sense economics, improved infrastructure, higher educational standards and better healthcare.

She says the deferred maintenance on state housing under Labour was “disgraceful” and is adamant the expressway through Kapiti will happen

Mr Faafoi says money needs to put back into the pockets of those who need it most, and the government was doing little to help low wage earners feeling the pinch after the GST increase in October.

Local businesses needed to be supported to create more jobs, he says, and people have been asking him if National will take away state houses.

Mr McCarten is standing on a “fair tax” platform, and wants the minimum wage raised to $15 an hour, which Ms Parata says will cost up to 8000 jobs.

Job creation for the region is key, and McCarten says this can be achieved by increasing the number of teacher’s aides and home help.

Mr Du Plessis, standing on the “youth” card, wants quality education for all children and more work and employment opportunities for young people.

He says lowering youth rates to $10 an hour will encourage businesses to take on more staff.

Ms Logie will be tackling a number of issues if elected.

Fresh fruit and veges made more affordable by regulating the mark up by supermarkets, the first $10,000 tax-free for all New Zealanders (the tax loss replaced by capital gains tax on investments properties), and beneficiaries with children to qualify for more support.

She is also advocating the building of 6000 eco houses, to help create jobs and productivity, and wants the planned expressway through Kapiti scrapped in favour of the two-lane local Western Link Road.

The harbour and inlet will be cleaned up and recreational opportunities developed.

Voting in the Mana by-election takes place on November 20.

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