Dental care, renewable energy and the Hamilton to Auckland growth corridor were the main focus for Grey Power members as they grilled Hamilton's Labour candidates Jamie Strange and Gaurav Sharma on Monday.
In front of a small crowd, both candidates outlined what brought them into politics and why Labour is the right party to lead New Zealand through the next stage of Covid-19.
Over the next few weeks, Grey Power will play host to Hamilton's National Party representatives, before hosting New Zealand First leader Winston Peters in September.
For Labour, the focus remained on the Hamilton to Auckland corridor which Strange said he would continue to advocate for if re-elected.
"We have put $1 billion into the Waikato Expressway in this region and one of the first things I did when I got into Parliament was I pulled together all the mayors and said what are we going to focus on as a region," Strange said.
"The Hamilton to Auckland corridor is the busiest corridor in New Zealand. We are going to see half a million people shift into that corridor over the next 20 years, and I think Hamilton will become the second biggest city in New Zealand, overtaking Wellington and Christchurch.
"We are investing at record levels in rail, both freight and passenger. We want to get freight trucks off the road and passengers back in rail.
"Many people here will remember when rail used to be strong, but lack of investment from Governments of all colours left it to wither, so we are trying to bring that back."
Strange said there was a huge amount of sunken infrastructure already in place for rail around the Waikato which would help in getting services running again.
He also said that he would like to see investment from New Zealand's Super Fund used in the possible electrification of the Hamilton to Auckland rail tracks, which could cost near $5 billion.
"Lots of people are wanting to come to Hamilton, and the Waikato region, but we have a housing shortage that we are addressing, and also helping schools expand with investment."
He said New Zealand continues to fare well in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, but there could be more job losses in the near future.
"In terms of our local economy I have been talking to many businesses and most of them are doing quite well, businesses like the Ebbett group had their best July on record, and Pro Drive, who operate in the leisure industry, had their best July in years," Strange said.
Gaurav Sharma is keen to see dental care more accessible to people of all ages in New Zealand.
"Without good dental care, it can lead to more and more health issues so it is a subject that is close to my heart and if elected I will advocate hard on the topic," Sharma said.
Those comments brought a few cheers of support for those in the crowd, who had asked earlier if dental care could be more accessible to the elderly.
He also heard concerns from Grey Power president Roger Hennebry, who said he hoped that the elderly of New Zealand would be better treated when it came to surgeries in hospital.
"We had a man who waited five years for a hernia operation, and he ended up dying before he had the surgery, it needs to be better," Hennebry said.