Goldsmith on the campaign trail

Paul Goldsmith. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Paul Goldsmith. Photo / Sarah Ivey

National's candidate for Epsom - who doesn't want to win the electorate vote - fielded questions from voters on just who they should be backing while on the campaign trail yesterday.

Paul Goldsmith was canvassing in Mt Eden with a stack of freshly printed 'Epsom News' leaflets under his arm - detailing why National wanted Epsom voters to give their electorate vote to ACT's candidate David Seymour.

"My name will be on the ballot paper as the National candidate for the electorate vote so that Epsom voters have a choice, but my personal focus will be on maximising the party vote," the leaflet explained.

After ducking into a few shops and handing over "a bit of propaganda" as he put it, Mr Goldsmith tried his luck with a group of people waiting at a bus stop.

"Can I give you one of these?" he inquired, working his way up the line.

As he met with reactions ranging from obliging to "absolutely not", former Epsom MP John Banks drove past in a late-model silver Mercedes and gave him a toot - prompting Mr Goldsmith to question if he had been set up.

After being berated by a man unhappy with tax increases on tobacco, Mr Goldsmith was then stopped by National supporter Virginia Chong who promised to make a special vote from Boston.

She then asked for clarification on who she was supposed to be supporting.

"We're encouraging our supporters to vote for the ACT candidate in the electorate, rather than the Conservatives," Mr Goldsmith said.

"We've dealt with the ACT party over the last six years and it's worked reasonably well, the Conservatives are more of an unknown quantity."

Mrs Chong added: "He's a bit whacky on some things".

Further down the road Mr Goldsmith encountered her husband, local dentist Philip Chong who relayed the same predicament.

"I've got to vote to keep you guys in," he said, before also asking who his electorate vote should go to. "Is it Christine Rankin, or the guy Seymour?"

Mr Goldsmith then took APNZ for a ride in his sign-written Mini Countryman to the site of a damaged hoarding.

Arming himself with a sledgehammer, staple gun and container of nails, he hung his blazer on a competitor's sign and set to work repairing and resurrecting the damaged hoarding.

There were between 50 and 60 National hoardings in the Epsom electorate, Mr Goldsmith said - only two of which had his face on them.

Reactions to Mr Goldsmith were improved later on Remuera Rd, with comments ranging from "good luck" and "I think you're great" to a man who wanted to express his disgust with media coverage of the Dirty Politics scandal.

"This is much better, we should have come here first", Mr Goldsmith joked.

He later said he'd only endured a handful of genuinely negative reactions while out on the campaign trail, but added that there were "quite a few Green voters" in Mt Eden.

- APNZ

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