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Saturday, 23 March 2019 02:14 am

Two electorates, one suburb – meet the candidates in Brooklyn

Residents from Brooklyn and beyond will get a chance to meet candidates standing for election in the electorates straddling the suburb and its surroundings on September 12.

Brooklyn is represented in government by both the Wellington Central and Rongotai electorates.

Both are Labour strongholds, but with Annette King stepping down at the election, Rongotai constituents have new choices to make.

Organiser and Brooklyn local, Katie Underwood expects between 12-14 candidates will attend the Tuesday night meeting at St Mathews Church which she will chair.

She says questioning the candidates is an opportunity constituents should use well.

“It’s really important to phrase your questions correctly, to make it a yes or no as much as possible otherwise it gives [politicians] a way out.

“I’m there to make sure everybody else gets a fair chance; that the candidates get to say their bit and the constituents know who to vote for by asking questions.”

Underwood believes elections are an essential part of making sure constituents get what they need.

“Women fought hard to get us the vote,” she says.

Local concerns

Max Kerr, volunteer coordinator of Upstream: Friends of Central Park, is hoping for a long term plan which supports groups like Upstream in eradicating pests.

“It’s not something at which you can wave a magic wand at and it will go away, it requires consistent effort,” he says.

“What is needed is a longer term plan that would deal with these issues not only in Central Park but across the country, really.”

Another environmentalist Martin Payne from the group Friends of Owhiro Stream, is most concerned about waterways.

“Our concern is that the current government is watering down the resource rights acts which protect the environment,” he says.

“When developments happen they have to have gained consent, and the act has provisions to protect the environment for future generations.

“The current government seems fairly intent on changing those requirements.”

Local business owner Aravind Morar has demands for the next government.

Morar owns and runs The Brooklyn Foodmarket in Brooklyn Village, and has been robbed recently.

“I want a much safer country for all New Zealanders,” he says.

“The violence in this country is very high compared with other countries in the world.”

“We’re not safe running businesses these days with high crime and high drug issues.”

Organisers say the meeting not restricted to Brooklyn residents and all are welcome.

Vying for the Wellington Central seat are James Shaw (Green), Geoff Simmons (TOP), Nicola Willis (National), Gayaal Iddamalgoda (Independent), Andy Foster (NZ First), Michael Warren (ACT) and current MP Grant Robertson (Labour).

And for the Rongotai Seat are Teall Crossen (Green), Paul Eagle (Labour), Sultan Eusoff (United Future), Chris Finlayson (National), Geoff Mills (NZ First), Chris Sole (ACT) and Bruce Welsh (Conservative).

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