Putting a face to the name


It’s a sunny Fri­day morn­ing and Labour’s Hamil­ton East can­di­date Jamie Strange is ready to go door knock­ing around the Uni­ver­sity of Waikato.

This area of the city is di­verse, pop­u­lated by stu­dents, fam­i­lies, re­tirees and im­mi­grants all with dif­fer­ent views on the coun­try and what is im­por­tant.

‘‘Peo­ple tend to vote for peo­ple they know,’’ Strange said.

And that’s why he makes sure to go out and meet as many peo­ple as he can.

On a map Strange has on his kitchen ta­ble, he has high­lighted all the places around Hamil­ton East that he has vis­ited.

Al­most the en­tire map is marked. He’s been door knock­ing the elec­torate all year.

Walk­ing around Old Farm Rd, and a few side streets, Strange meets a range of dif­fer­ent peo­ple and lis­tens to their dif­fer­ent opin­ions.

Some don’t want to talk and close their doors. Oth­ers are keen to quiz the can­di­date.

One man talks about pris­ons while the lady two houses down who moved to New Zealand from Hol­land 50 years ago is more con­cerned about home­less peo­ple.

An el­derly woman wants to know why the Or­biter bus cuts off Old Farm Rd from the route and a nurs­ing stu­dent wants to know more about Labour’s men­tal health poli­cies.

Some­thing every­one agrees with is that Jacinda Ardern is a good change for Labour. ‘‘I like her,’’ is some­thing heard of­ten.

Strange’s face is not a new one to many peo­ple in the elec­torate.

‘‘Oh, you’re the Strange guy,’’ a fa­ther of three says af­ter open­ing the door.

With only weeks un­til the elec­tion, Strange is go­ing to keep knock­ing about in Hamil­ton, to meet more vot­ers.

May Stuch­bery, a nurs­ing stu­dent, an­swers the door to Hamil­ton East po­lit­i­cal can­di­date, Jamie Strange.

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