Candidates face off in Epsom

Candidates from left: Christine Rankin, Julie Anne Genter, Paul Goldsmith, David Seymour, Michael Wood and Patrick O'Dea. Photo / NZ Herald
Candidates from left: Christine Rankin, Julie Anne Genter, Paul Goldsmith, David Seymour, Michael Wood and Patrick O'Dea. Photo / NZ Herald

Epsom election candidates faced off at a public debate last night, with one promising to name a convicted sex offender with name suppression under parliamentary privilege.

Constituents filled the Mt Eden Village Centre for the debate.

The seven candidates each had five minutes to convince the audience to vote for them, or in some cases just their party.

Conservative Party candidate Christine Rankin used her first public "meet the candidates" event to outline her party's policies, including binding referendums, tougher laws, "no more race-based policies and no more Maori seats".

Ms Rankin said, if elected, she would expose "the Rolf Harris of New Zealand", using parliamentary privilege to name a convicted sex offender with name suppression.

She said she gave voters the choice to vote strategically, saying, based on current polling, she would bring three other MPs into Parliament.

"On their best day Act will bring one."

Act's David Seymour attracted the loudest cheers when introduced and said he had so far knocked on 11,000 doors during his dedicated campaign for the Epsom seat.

He said he knew the issues facing the electorate and defended the Act-National deal in the electorate, saying: "I didn't vote for MMP, in fact I was in Standard 3 at the time ... that's the system we've got."

Labour candidate Michael Wood used his time to slate National's endorsement of Mr Seymour, saying the people of Epsom didn't deserve to be treated like pawns on a chessboard.

Green candidate Julie Anne Genter, Act candidate David Seymour and Conservative candidate Christine Rankin.

Greens candidate Julie Ann Genter said she was campaigning solely for the party vote. Ms Genter said the Greens were focusing on making rivers and beaches safe for swimming, not just for wading and boating. She highlighted other Green policies, including 20 hours of free early childhood education, free doctor's visits for all children up to the age of 18 and free school lunches.

National Party candidate Paul Goldsmith also appealed solely for a party vote.

"The number one issue I hear from the people of Epsom is that the country is moving in the right direction," Mr Goldsmith said.

"My simple message is that if you want to keep the country moving in the right direction, give your party vote to National."

Internet-Mana candidate Pat O'Dea appealed for people to "vote with your conscience".

"Kim Dotcom has been through the fire," Mr O'Dea said, responding to jeers about Mana siding with the German millionaire.

Independent Grace Haden spoke out against public sector corruption.

Re-cap on the Live Epsom debate here.


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