Faafoi favoured in Mana

Kapi-Mana News - - ELECTION 2014 - By KRIS DANDO

The fin­ish­ing post is loom­ing for the Mana elec­torate can­di­dates – but their work will con­tinue right up to Satur­day.

Kapi-Mana News spoke to the six can­di­dates, who have cov­ered the area from Linden to Para­pa­raumu dur­ing the cam­paign.

In the 2011 elec­tion, Kris Faafoi ( Labour, in­cum­bent), Hekia Parata ( Na­tional), Jan Lo­gie ( Greens), Richard Goode ( Aotearoa Le­galise Cannabis Party) and Michael War­ren (ACT) stood in Mana.

War­ren is no longer in the pic­ture but, along with the four stand­ing again, are two new names – Roy Barry (Con­ser­va­tive Party) and Ron Eng­land (Democrats for So­cial Credit).

Roy Barry, a re­liev­ing teacher at Kapiti Col­lege, is not on the Con­ser­va­tive list and said he was a ‘‘one-man band’’, co-or­di­nat­ing all the party’s ac­tiv­i­ties in Mana.

‘‘I was a bit of a re­luc­tant can­di­date and I’m def­i­nitely a new­bie,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m sure there are party votes to be had for the Con­ser­va­tives in Mana, and that’s what I’m aim­ing for.’’

After the 2011 elec­tion, Barry said he had be­come cyn­i­cal about pol­i­tics. A Christian Her­itage Party sup­porter, his so­cial con­ser­va­tive views found an out­let with the Con­ser­va­tive Party, he said.

A for­mer civil ser­vant, he has worked at Kapiti Col­lege for 20 years and loves life on the Coast.

Ron Eng­land lives in Tawa and is 30th on the Democrats for So­cial Credit list. He said he be­came a mem­ber of the party – which first con­tested an elec­tion in 1954 as So­cial Credit – be­cause he was tired of the ‘‘ same old, same old’’.

So­cial Credit is cam­paign­ing for a fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion tax in place of GST. The party would tackle poverty, im­prove health­care and en­able the gov­ern­ment to tackle en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

‘‘The tax we are propos­ing will ease the hard­ship of lower in­come peo­ple,’’ he said.

‘‘ We also want the Re­serve Bank to is­sue money for in­fra­struc­ture and hous­ing.’’

Eng­land said So­cial Credit was gain­ing mo­men­tum and could reach at least 1 per cent this elec­tion and much more in 2017.

Jan Lo­gie, who is 10th on the Green Party list, said she loved cam­paign­ing.

‘‘I’m do­ing what I miss most about be­ing in Par­lia­ment – get­ting into the com­mu­nity and chat­ting to peo­ple,’’ she said.

Lo­gie said her party had not been in­volved in the Dirty Pol­i­tics saga and had been un­able to con­cen­trate on is­sues. She is con­fi­dent the Greens will grab 15 per cent of the party vote this year.

Lo­gie has done a lot of trav­el­ling around New Zealand as part of the cam­paign, but has ded­i­cated the fi­nal weeks to Mana.

Richard Goode has just the one pol­icy to push this elec­tion – the le­gal­is­ing of mar­i­juana.

The Cam­borne res­i­dent is act­ing pres­i­dent of the Aotearoa Le­galise Cannabis Party and said the is­sue was gain­ing plenty of trac­tion, after two states in the US re­cently le­galised cannabis.

‘‘We re­ceived 1.7 per cent of the vote in 1996 – MMP has been good to us on oc­ca­sion,’’ he said.

‘‘ While we haven’t got more than 0.5 per cent lately, we’re hold­ing up the banner ev­ery elec­tion and are keep­ing the is­sue in your face.’’

Goode said his party had 10 elec­torate can­di­dates and three on the list.

Hekia Parata said the past few months had been about cars, planes, suit­cases and ho­tels, with her Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter du­ties and na­tion­wide cam­paign­ing for Na­tional keep­ing her busy.

‘‘It has been in­tense, busy on ev­ery level,’’ the sev­enth-ranked Na­tional list MP said.

‘‘But I’ve been back in Mana lately and have held eight pub­lic meet­ings, which have been great.

‘‘I’m op­er­at­ing on about four hours’ sleep ev­ery night and have been get­ting out of more cars and planes than I would like, but that’s all part of it.’’

Parata was re­al­is­tic about her chances of re­plac­ing Kris Faafoi as Mana MP, how­ever.

‘‘This elec­torate seat has al­ways been hard for Na­tional to make in­roads in, but we’re grow­ing the elec­torate vote and I’m con­fi­dent Na­tional will form the next gov­ern­ment.’’

Mana MP Kris Faafoi said it had been a steady cam­paign, with more than 160 street cor­ner meet­ings around the elec­torate.

‘‘We’ve found there is no bet­ter way of en­gage­ment, and as well as get­ting out peo­ple to vote. We’re be­ing con­fronted by press­ing is­sues like hous­ing,’’ he said.

‘‘You get into a rhythm with cam­paign­ing and we’ve made sure we’ve done the ba­sics.’’

Faafoi, who is not on Labour’s list – it’s win Mana or bust – said he was tak­ing noth­ing for granted. He hoped his track record of work­ing for the peo­ple of Mana would earn him the nod.

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