Faafoi favoured in Mana
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.