Hager vs Slater is not clash of the Titans

TAHU POTIKI
Last updated 08:35 19/08/2014

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OPINION: The past week has really seen the bunsen burner put to the election buildup with the release of Dirty Politics.

The media coverage has appeared reasonably balanced with all angles covered and a particular focus on public reaction. Those with an axe to grind are having a field day but I have to say that, in terms of good behaviour, there haven't been many stand-outs.

All the main players appear to have taken the whole game down a peg or two.

If there ends up being any real substance to the accusations then that may shift the attention but so far there is certainly not enough concrete evidence being presented to condemn one person or party. Until that occurs I am not really interested.

In fact watching the whole thing play out has been decidedly uncomfortable.

Nicky Hager up against Cameron Slater as front line news is not exactly the clash of the Titans.

Both of them are familiar with the sludge that collects at the bottom of a gutter so it is a little odd how much credibility we have assigned this duelling duo.

Perhaps that is my oversight and I underestimate their levels of societal and political influence but the general sentiment from those I talk to is that they wouldn't normally pay too much attention to their opinion.

The prime minister's own denials will damage him if anything comes of the accusations but currently Labour and the Greens appear a little premature in their demands and assertions of corrupt politics.

Especially amidst Labour's continually repeated claims that they want a to run a Vote Positive campaign.

It no longer feels positive at all. It feels opportunistic and more than a little desperate.

I am often accused of leaning to the Right but I can honestly say I lean towards those I respect and back to fight for what is right and good for our communities.

I had a huge respect for Pete Hodgson when he was in Parliament and I still support David Parker, Clare Curran, Metiria Turei and David Clark on the home front.

Back in the day when I was living in Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel, Tim Barnett and Ruth Dyson were great community figures and I was happy to support their leadership.

They were genuine champions on our behalf even though they also championed an ideology. It didn't worry me.

But unfortunately our democratic system is clumsy, albeit, as they say, the best we've got, and it forces us into boxes we don't always fit.

I back people I have faith in, whose abilities I trust and whose values are sound.

My cousin, Dora Langsbury, has continued to stick her neck out for her values whilst running for the Te Tai Tonga electorate.

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I admire her resolve to speak out on Treaty issues and those things that the Green Party stands for. I will not always agree with what they fight for but I will agree with Dora's absolute right to keep representing these matters within our electorate.

Unfortunately the Greens will always struggle to match the machinery of larger parties, particularly those with a heritage X-factor like the Labour Party has.

I also have to mention an impressive colleague of mine who is running in the new Port Hills electorate. Nuk Korako is an example of perseverance and achievement and has overcome many challenges to be the person he is today.

From a large family of nine kids his Mum died when he was only 10 years and, to give his dad some respite, he spent some time at Cholmondeley Home.

These are the sort of experiences that can make or break you but there was something about the values that existed in his home that meant these challenges are probably what forged the man he is today.

Nuk has run his own successful business, driven the rebuild of the Rapaki Marae and raised four very good boys. He and his wife Chris go the extra mile to make you feel at home when you visit their place and these are all things that I personally value.

They are down-to-earth people who will represent what I think is important in the People's House.

I don't mind which colours Nuk flys. I care that, like Dora, he is prepared to stick his neck out and states that he wants to represent what is best for the community.

I truly hope that if the opportunity to dive in to the gutter sludge ever presented it self to either of these guys they wouldn't go bathing in it or fling it about the media.

I have confidence that they would touch the stone of their personal values and philosophical foundation and continue to represent what they believe in because that is what is right.

- The Press

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