The writing was on the wall for Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association's candidates meeting from the beginning.
The Facebook livestream started about 20 minutes late. Multiple technical failures ensued.
VUWSA's "Ask Me Why I'm Angry: Wellington Central Candidate Debate" was moved to a livestream due to Covid-19 alert level 2.
It isn't easy hosting what would be traditional election season town hall meetings under the current restrictions.
Microphones have always threatened to be temperamental, but the addition of a livestream that thousands of people are relying on really ups the stakes.
When VUWSA's livestream finally flickered into life it seemed all was well.
Act's Brooke van Velden introduced herself.
"I'm not trying to do a Richard Prebble and win the seat, I'm asking for your party vote", she said.
National's Nicola Willis noted her track record on advocating for students, including speaking up against Victoria University's "silly name change idea".
Then Green Party co-leader and Wellington Central candidate James Shaw's voice came in as a barely audible crackling boom.
"Fix Shaw's microphone," someone commented.
Organisers might have been hopeful that was just a temporary glitch after Andrew Little, standing in for incumbent MP Grant Robertson, was heard clearly.
"Small disclaimer, Grant Robertson is not responsible for anything I have to say and I'm not responsible for what he thinks", Little said.
But when The Opportunities Party Candidate Abe Gray picked up the mic, no sound could be heard.
Someone commented on the livestream, saying "deep fried mic", another person said "the audio sounds like a quirky tik tok".
The comments continued.
"Maybe everyone passes around one or two mics?"
"Can we get the last three people to speak again?"
"Would've been cool if one of the candidates was called Mike."
By that time word had got through to those running the show, who were admirably and desperately trying to sort out the sound malfunction.
They got it reasonably in hand for housing.
Van Velden said the housing market was a huge issue for students, who were spending too much of their income on weekly rent.
She pitched scrapping the Resource Management Act to get more affordable homes built.
Willis didn't waste the opportunity to get stuck into KiwiBuild calling it "one of the most emblematic failures of this Labour-led Government".
She also promised to repeal and replace the RMA.
Shaw was again plagued by mic issues, but was helpfully rescued by Willis, who handed her mic over after some sort of SOS signal from behind the camera.
Shaw said the Greens would increase supply by building more public housing to take the steam out of the market.
He also advocated for a warrant of fitness that went further than the current Healthy Homes Standards.
Little was at pains to point out the current Government inherited the housing crisis and the previous Government had nine years to change the RMA, but did nothing about it.
Gray said the big elephant in the room was the capital gains tax, noting Jacinda Ardern has ruled one out for as long as she's Prime Minister.
He said TOP has a comprehensive wealth tax, which included the family home.
Maori Party candidate Tākuta Ferris was difficult to hear, but he said that as long as parties continued to do "one-eighties" on imposing a capital gains tax, students would not be able to afford rents.
Independent candidate Jesse Richardson supported a capital gains tax and a land tax.
"Can we just have a mic check in?"
One candidate, sounding slightly exasperated, questioned: "Again?"
From what sounded like behind the camera came: "Is it because it's too far away? I don't understand how mics work?"
The next round was "never have I ever", a favourite student pastime.
The round revealed all candidates have smoked weed and worked a minimum wage job.
It also revealed Shaw has not listened to the song WAP.
His co-leader Marama Davidson is obviously yet to pass on the info she learned about that tune via Twitter over the weekend.
The call was made to re-do the tertiary issues round after it was hindered by poor sound quality.
Van Velden said less time needed to be spent considering fees free and more time on students who never get the chance to go to university in the first place.
Act's policy included student education accounts worth about $12,000 a year, which could be used on any educational facility or to help students pay their rent.
Willis said Labour's fees-free scheme was an expensive failure that hasn't increased participation.
She said the real barriers to tertiary education were people not having the skills and qualifications they needed from the school system.
Shaw said the Greens were campaigning on a guaranteed minimum income, which included undergrad and post-graduate students.
He also advocated for regulation of the relationship between halls of residence, landlords and students.
"Because at the moment students are getting absolutely hosed."
Little defended the Government's record, noting significant investment into early childhood, primary and secondary school facilities.
He also mentioned the Government's free trades training scheme, which has resulted in construction apprenticeships enrolments doubling in some cases.
Gray confirmed TOP's universal allowance included students.
Ferris said the Maori Party stood for equity in terms of access and outcomes in education.
He warned baby boomers would soon all be in retirement and replaced with a generation of Maori and Polynesian people whose education system had failed them.
Richardson said having students and young people in Parliament would result in better policy that reflected them.
The Facebook livestream comments ended with: "If there is ever an advertisement for better funding of education, the quality of this stream should be the case study."
VUWSA later tweeted "Taking in applications for sponsors with decent microphones in the 2023 election season ... "