At the Meet The Candidates evening organised by the Dannevirke Chamber of Commerce six of the eight candidates vying to be the next Wairarapa MP and one of six hoping to win Ikaroa-Rawhiti spoke.
Each had five minutes to present their case and this was followed by question time, questions registered before the meeting followed by four from the floor.
For the candidates of the major parties Labour, National and New Zealand First there was a focus on presenting party policy and how it pertained to the Wairarapa Electorate but also each made a special plea to be the MP.
Labour's Kieran McAnulty proudly presented his achievements as a list MP for Wairarapa and junior whip, highlighting the fight to preserve farmland from pines, to obtain funding for Route 52 and funding for the Manawatū-Tararua Highway.
He argued that as a list MP he only received 25 per cent funding of an electorate MP and promised he could do so much more if he was elected in what he hopes will be the next Labour Government.
National's Mike Butterick said his passion for farming is what made him stand, reminding the audience he started Fifty Shades Of Green which initiated the campaign against pines.
He argued he would strongly support Wairarapa as its MP, advocating for the abolition of the RMA, building water storage initiatives, fighting the P epidemic and supporting small business.
Ron Mark of New Zealand First started by asking how Wairarapa had benefited from voting National over the last 21 years.
He shared his achievements in Parliament as Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs and said he was very keen to be Wairarapa's MP to finish work he had already started for the electorate.
Celia Wade-Brown spoke about the role Greens has in ensuring the environment is protected, saying it would act on "The tragic state of the Manawatū River" and would push for passenger rail services to the likes of Napier.
Nigel Gray of Advance NZ advocated New Zealand listening less to the United Nations and more to the needs of New Zealanders, adopting independent policies on such issues as 1080 and abortion.
Warren Butterworth said his party New Conservative opposed the Zero Carbon Emissions Bill and said NZ's impact on global warming was minimal.
Kelly Thurston of NZ Outdoors spoke passionately about keeping New Zealand outdoors clean "without question or compromise".
As a strong athlete and society advocate she wanted to see government adopt the policies that supported all New Zealanders.
In question time each candidate had two minutes to answer.
Formal question time topics included:
■ NZ's burgeoning debt,
■ The shortage of rental housing,
■ Fresh water protection and
■ Crown Prosecutor decisions not benefiting the victim,
while from the floor:
■ Banning glysophate,
■ Dealing with Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter,
■ Coping with the predicted recession,
■ Social media portrayal of politicians,
■ Imprisonment for not revealing causes of violence against children and
■ The recent abortion law reform
It brought lively debate including interaction from the floor and was managed well by MC of the evening Steve Wallace. It was followed by a supper where locals could quiz the candidates privately.