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Rowdy meeting for Paekakariki candidates

Nov 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

MANA election candidates had to speak up to make themselves heard at a meeting in Paekakariki’s bowling club.

Chairman Renwick Wright dubbed the meeting “rowdy” after giving the speakers questions from residents, and then opened the floor to any other questions.

Act candidate, 20 year old Michael Warren, (pictured), was the first speaker of the night – he is campaigning only for the Party Vote at this election.

A student at Victoria University this year, Michael is studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in economics and finance, and looked nervous as he faced the audience.

Michael spoke about education and taxes to the  residents, some of whom disagreed, while others yelled “let the boy finish.”

He did not get through all his cue cards before his time ran out, however, and it was Green Party candidate Jan Logie’s turn.

Judging by the vocal support for many of her comments, Jan is a popular candidate among Paekakariki residents, who gave her 20% of Paekakariki votes in the Mana by-election last November.

In her speech she talked about each kiwi kid’s right to play in our waters without getting a rash.

She also said the Greens Party plans to get 100,000 children out of poverty in two years – to some residents’ disbelief.

Labour MP, Kris Faafoi was a favourite of the night, reflecting the 47% of the votes in the last Mana by-election.

Kris promised GST off fresh fruit and vegetables and a credit downgrade if Labour is elected this year.

He also talked about his family and background: “Dad, he was a bowler so that’s why I like coming here.”

National MP, Hekia Parata spoke of her background, her family, and mentioned that they run a beehive, to which the audience asked if the workers were paid the minimum wage.

Hekia said they ensured that all the workers were paid well.

When it got to the topic of assets being sold and how that would help the economy, she received several comments from the audience such as: “In your dreams.”

Renwick Wright, summed up the night at the end of the meeting: “I’d like to thank you for being a rowdy audience.”

Taxing questions about the rich

DO THE rich deserve more – as the billboard vandal’s slogans said?

A voter put this question to Mana electorate candidates, but they all got sidetracked on another issue – how the Green Party’s assistant defaced hundreds of National Party billboards.

“That wasn’t my question,” Paekakariki resident, Lyndy McIntyre had to raise her voice over the audience and candidates, but Hekia Parata insisted on talking about the defaced billboards.

What Paekakariki resident Lyndy Mcintyre actually said was: “National campaigned on tax cuts for all, but the tax cuts they delivered give $1000 a week to the Prime Minister, and with a 2.5% increase in GST, nothing to those on the lowest pay.

“Do you think that’s fair and what would your party do to reverse the cuts. Looking at billboards in the last few days, there are slogans (The rich deserve more), do you support that campaign?”

But Ms Parata wanted to talk about the vandalism that had taken place.

“Like Kris, we fundraised to put up those hoardings,” she said. “We have voluntary people who go around putting them up.”

Ms Parata said she talked to James Shaw (Green candidate in Wellington central), who told her he had rung the National Party candidate to apologise, to offer to pay for the wrecked hoardings, and to send out a team to repair them.

“I think he acted with great integrity. We can disagree about our policies absolutely, and we can disagree about the candidates as well, but it is totally outside the brand of that party that talks about environment, care for the environment, integrity…to then go around defacing the billboards.“

Although the answer took a while to get to, Ms Mcintyre felt the candidates did actually answer her question.

“Unfortunately, well, we did get an answer to that,” she said. “We got an answer to the question through their answer to the question about whether National’s tax cuts were fair.

“So Kris said no, Jan said no, Hekia said yes, Michael said yes.

“Kris and Jan both said that they would make changes because those tax cuts were unfair, because they gave everything to the rich and they gave nothing to the people who are on lower incomes.

“So actually they did answer the question, so yeah, I am quite happy with that.

“Can I hear if you think the tax cuts were fair, and if you would reverse them if you were elected,” she asked.

Kris Faafoi: “What we will be doing is making sure we put more money in people’s pockets by a decent minimum wage of $15 an hour.”

Jan Logie: “There’s no way that you could say that they were fair or that they’ve produced anything positive for this country.” She said the cuts could be reversed by putting in place a capital gains tax and by increasing the minimum wage.

Hekia Parata: “When we raised GST by 2.5%, we compensated every beneficiary and every superanuitant for that. The net after-tax take home pay is still ahead of inflation and the cost of living, so there is more work to do.”

As the meeting came to an end, Michael Warren was offered the last say of the night but declined.

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