The last three days were busy evenings with events.  Here’s my report on the first: a candidates meeting at the Hutton Theatre in the Dunedin Museum hosted by Forest and Bird, Wise Response, Generation Zero and Oil-Free Otago, and others I think.

Forest and Bird handed out poll forms with seven priorities for conversation.  We were told to pick three we considered most important.  It was an exercise in frustration.  I think I wanted to tick at least six!  So many good choices.

The theatre didn’t fill.  There was still a wide range of people.  I saw a couple of Labour stalwarts come in and sit at the end of a row of young Nats.  Every seat was leaflet dropped by the National Party.  The Democrats for Social Credit were also keen distributing their pamplets, like elderly street preachers.

Seven candidates going in alphabetical order.  These people get to know each other.  Fun to watch who’s sitting together: the Conservative candidate exchanging a quip with the Labour incumbrant, and the National List M.P. sharing a joke with the Legalise Marujuana Aotearoa candidate.  Interesting to watch them: who smiles, who scowls, who makes notes for their turn.

The Act candidate has already resigned in a huff over his party leader playing the race card rather than stand for the party’s libertarian principles.  No replacement from Act on Campus has taken his place.  No candidate for New Zealand First either.

The Labour candidate, David Clark, up first: “The economy is a subsidiary of the environment.”  “There are more National MPs in government than Maui Dolphins.  We need to change the numbers.”

I was interested in hearing Rob Stewart from Internet Mana.  No game-changer but acceptable.  He ended on “We have only one world.”  The next one over is too far to walk.

Metiria Turei from the Greens was to the end of the list.  “Most of us are campaigning for the party vote.”  “There is much greater commonality on the left to environmental issues.”  More on that when I go to the live-feed for Generation Zero from Auckland.

Last off the rank was Michael Woodhouse, the List M.P. for Dunedin from the National Party.  As the government M.P. most of the questions were directed to him from the floor.

I walked home thinking about the candidates meeting to organise for Opoho Church.  It will be the weekend just before the election, and, no matter the pressure put on us by the candidates, we promise to be more sillier and irreverent than they can be!

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