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Thames Candidates Meeting

If the reaction of the audience a last evening’s candidate meeting in Thames was anything to go by, National’s Scott Simpson has a fight on his hand for the first time since Jeanette Fitzsimons took Murray McLean to the cleaners a million years ago. That may be a bit of a stretch, but this audience of upwards of 200 -  a really successful ‘sell-out’ by Transition Town Thames, was visibly, and audibly better disposed towards the Greens Scott Summerfield than I have seen in any previous meeting, or election. 

The rest were eminently forgettable, except perhaps for Top’s Buddy Mikaere from Manaia - a surprisingly articulate and believable candidate who was a credit to the ‘other Morgan’s’ Party.  He spoke a great deal of common sense about the dairy industry in particular.

The candidates were granted a five minute presentation by Chair John Tegidga - not long, as they all kept reminding us, but it was long enough to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

NZ First’s Anne- Marie Andrews from Tauranga is a credible candidate, but delivered a prepared speech – a real ‘turn-off.’ Her five minutes was not well spent.

Scott Summerfield went extemporaneous, and carried the crowd by making good points on climate change and likely effect on the Peninsula, and the local area in particular. He enunciated the Green’s well established policies on carbon and the environment – all with good humour, and improved and credible presentation skills. I like this guy more and more and believe that if he can keep this up, he will secure a great deal more party votes that the Labour candidate, and thus push himslf well up the Green’s list the next time around.

Labour’s Nathaniel Blomfield is an unfortunate charisma vacuum who deferred to Scott Summerfield as having “said what I was going to say!”  He was hesitant and hopeless at articulating Labour’s policy platform, and a more uninspiring candidate would be hard to find. A real Party vote loser – bad choice in a neck and neck election.

Scott Simpson used his usual ‘over the top’ presentation skills – waving a booklet that apparently explains National’s policy on the environment in very clear terms. The problem is that he did not explain it in such terms. It was the same British consultant report that he bandied about at the meeting at the meeting organised by T3 on 17 May – a totally unconvincing recital of what we already know, and very light on where we should be heading.

Scott is becoming a very boring and predictable incumbent, unlikely to be challenged unless he really steps out of line with the Party, and probably not looking forward to the prospect of years in the wilderness on the opposition benches.  

The Maori candidates for the Labour (Hauraki) and Maori Parties mostly agreed with what Scott Summerfield had said, so I won’t bother further reporting on their performances. There did not appear to be many of their constituents present in any case. 

My choice of candidate by a country mile after last evening’s performance is Scott Summerfield. I believe that he has what it takes, is intelligent and credible. He is saddled with some Green’s baggage that may not appeal to all, but it is time that Party took on more people of his calibre.

He along with the rest of us will probably have been dismayed at the manner in which the 'hard liners' disposed of Dr Kennedy Graham, but that is party politics!

Finally, I did not stay for the audiance questions - they do tend be rather repetitive, and a final course awaited at a friends generous table. 



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Reader Comments (2)

"... He along with the rest of us will probably have been dismayed at the manner in which the 'hard liners' disposed of Dr Kennedy Graham, but that is party politics!..."
I have no doubt that Scott Summerfield is eminently credible, but after the co-leaders (MT) recent "error of judgement" in declaring her past indiscretions and the parties subsequent acceptance (that yawning chasm of silence that emanated from the party] of that statement of wrong-doing as 'all good, business as usual'; and, the parties subsequent treatment of their [only?] two principled M.P's, I am disinclined to accept your notion Bill "... but that is party politics! ..."
That "Green's baggage" is the elephant in the room for those of us who expect a little more from our elected represented than to allow wrong-doing in the name of starting a conversation.
It is not so much what you say, as it is what you do.
Scott Summerfield does deserve this electorates votes but the party has revealed perhaps that you cannot survive on the moral high-ground on a single issue - i.e. environment.
As much as Scott Simpson has performed poorly for our electorate, we might expect much the same performance from the Green candidate, despite his best intentions?
It seems to me that as Rogernomics damaged our trust in Labour so might benefit indiscretion damage our trust in the Green's.
But maybe no one really cares any more - perhaps that is the bigger problem?

September 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Yes attended a candidates meeting at Tairua - yes all the candidates spoke well. However none could answer the question - why is New Zealand's spend of GDP one of the highest in the world - according to the World Bank - scary stuff. Even UK has pegged back on their high GDP. All the politicians and parties are promising all sorts of goodies for election time. Yes sure we are in good economic times at the moment but all these promises will increase even further our GDP spend no doubt. Meantime us on the eastern seaboard ( what modernists are calling Paradise Coast ) could do with less one way bridges, improved roading and slip repair, something concrete for tourism infrastructure and fisheries management.

September 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

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