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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 06:43 pm

Politicians want to make the world a better place – just in different ways


The Avengers: Annette King (right), Russel Norman (centre), and Chris Finlayson all want to make the world a better place, they just can’t work together. IMAGE: Sarah Wilson

JOHN Key has a smelly house, a wealthy man actually wants to pay more tax, revolutionist John Overton just wants some truth, and politicians just want to make the world a better place.

These were the points to be taken from the Rongotai candidates meet and greet in Miramar last night.

Walls were filled with ‘God is Love’ and ‘Jesus is Lord’ banners.

The seats were piled with educational brochures about each candidate or “propoganda” as someone called it.

And the meeting was adjudicated by a school principal who kept firm control – most of the time – over the rowdy crowd, much like a group of school students in assembly time.

Topics of the night included electricity prices, privatisation, Dirty Politics and poverty.

National candidate Chris Finlayson bore the brunt of an older crowd who recalled the many failings of the National government.

Making the world a better place

One man got personal with the politicians asking them why they are standing in politics.

Green Party candidate, Dr Russel Norman, gave the very humble response: “All these people want to make the world a better place, as they see it. We just see it differently.”

Meanwhile John Overton of the Patriotic Revolutionary Front said he was in it for a bit of fun and to keep the other candidates honest.

Quoting a John Lennon song he said “give me some truth”, and added his own judgement “you won’t find any of that here”. To which the crowd applauded, seemingly thinking the same thing.

Applause and cheers greeted Internet-Mana candidate, Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati’s call to bring back “power to the people”.

The call came as the predominantly elder crowd expressed their concerns over rising power prices.

All but United Future and National pledged to nationalise the power supply and bring back the power to those who built it up, the people of New Zealand.

Similarly, all but United Future and National were worried about the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement for free trade. However, it is just being overly “beat up”, according to Finlayson.

The crowd strongly disagreed, calling for a more honest and transparent government.

Meet an honourable man

The night was perhaps stolen by an honourable wealthy man who actually wanted to pay more tax.

“How will we be better off under a National Government?” he asked Mr Finlayson.

Mr Finlayson, who presumed he meant “we” the wealthy people, said: “One of the things we will not have is a capital gains tax like the leader of the Labour Party is supporting.”

He then made a bold strike at David Cunliffe for not appearing to know the details of his own capital gains tax policy in the televised leaders’ debate.

The tables quickly turned on the confidant candidate when the man interjected saying: “You might have misunderstood me.

“When I said ‘we’ I meant we our whanau, we our community, we our country and as a property owner I actually believe it’s incumbent on me to pay a capital gains tax.”

The crowd erupted with applause and Mr Finlayson was left to disappoint not only the low income folk but also the wealthy, by adding: “Well, we won’t support that.”

Mr Overton recalled a previous Rongotai meeting where Mr Finlayson called a majority of his fellow candidates “redistributionists” who “help the poor”.

Mr Overton said every single one of us are so-called “redistributionists.

“National redistributes too, but they redistribute to the rich, it’s called the trickle up effect,” he said to the amusement of the crowd.

Time for Dirty Politics

Of course no 2014 candidate meeting can be complete without a mention of the infamous Dirty Politics book, or simply a “dirty distraction” according to United Future candidate, Sultan Eusoff.

While Eusoff may see the book as a distraction, the crowd made it clear that it was an important topic to be discussed.

They asked each candidate what their stance was on an inquiry into the dirty politics allegations.

Again, battle lines were drawn with National and United Future on one side and everyone else on the other.

The crowd immediately dismissed Mr Finlayson’s response that there was no need to inquire further into the book.

“How can you say that if you haven’t even read the book,” said a disgruntled crowd member.

New Zealand First candidate, Brent Pierson ended the Dirty Politics discussion with what was probably the line of the night.

“John Key needs to sort out his house, because it’s a very smelly house.”

Adjudicator Prue Kelly said overall the audience was mostly respectful, let the candidates have their say and asked thoughtful questions.

“The naughty boys down the back playing with their phones and bugging the people around them were like Year 10s.”

Kelly, who is a currently the acting-principal at Bishop Viard College, finished the evening off with her own question to the candidates.

“When are you going to start funding ABA therapy for children with autism so that they can benefit from education in mainstream classes when they start school at aged five?”

“Don’t answer now,” she said. “Answer when you get in.”

The candidates at the meeting were:

Russel Norman for the Green Party
Chris Finlayson for the National Party
Annette King for the Labour Party
Brent Pierson for New Zealand First
Don Richards, an independent promoting banking reform
Bruce Welsh for the Conservative Party
Sultan Eusoff for United Future
Ariana Paretutanganui-Tamati for Internet-Mana
John Overton of the Patriotic Revolutionary Front
Bruce Welsh for the Conservative party.

Aaron Carter of the Climate Party did not attend.

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is is a Whitireia journalism student
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