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.

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