Candidate expo for election
Candidates standing in the general election for the three Palmerston North electorates will get a chance to pitch for votes at a specially arranged pre-election event in September.
In the first announced local election forum, voters will be able to bring their questions along to the Election Matters candidates’ expo on Wednesday evening, September 6 in the Elwood Room of the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre.
Organised by a group at Wesley Broadway Methodist Church, spokesperson Audrey Jarvis said the forum is supported by the National Council of Women, the Palmerston North City Council, Environment Network Manawatu, along with several other community and church groups.
‘‘There will be no introductory talks. Candidates will be seated at tables around the room and voters can bring their questions and challenges to the candidates,’’ Jarvis said.
So far, 14 candidates from the Palmerston North, Rangitikei and Te Tai Hauauru electorates from National, Labour, Green, NZ First, Maori, and ACT had signed on.
‘‘We have also asked United Future and The Opportunities Party but we are yet to hear from them.’’
Other small parties are also welcome to take part.
Jarvis said the aim of the expo was firstly to remind people that voting was a privilege and a right, and exercising it wisely was important.
Almost 1 million enrolled voters from across the country didn’t vote in 2014.
‘‘We are also reminding candidates that we as voters want to have a say about the future of New Zealand.
‘‘It’s an opportunity to talk with the candidates and make them aware of what you think is important.’’
Candidates will be encouraged to be up-front about where they stand on issues such as housing, poverty, health, education, transport, immigration and the environment.
‘‘Questions need to be specific. People will need to take time to think about the issues so they can ask appropriate questions,’’ Jarvis said.
The general election calls for informed voters to make wise decisions about the future of the country.