Conservatives unveil candidates

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 14:02 04/04/2014

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The Conservative Party has announced its first two candidates, in what it says is a response to a National Party "publicity stunt" in Manurewa last weekend.

Biomedical health research Scientist Edward Saafi will stand for the Conservatives in Mangere, and Elliot Ikelei will stand in Manurewa.

In a release, leader Colin Craig said the announcement was in response to the "publicity stunt National pulled at the Manurewa flea market last weekend".

He was referring to a small group of influential Pacific Island clergy, who declared they would switch their support from the traditional Labour Party to the National Party.
 
The ministers involved were criticised for not consulting their parishes, and the move also sparked meeting this Sunday where leaders from 23 churches are set to discuss political parties and Christian values.

Craig said you "didn't have to look far" to see National did not have Pacific Island best interests at heart.

"National have supported the legalisation of synthetic cannabis, they have refused to cap short term loan rates, and John Key himself went against his electorate to support gay marriage, which the Pacific community reject," he said.
 
"While many Pacific Islanders still have an allegiance to the Labour party, awareness of Labour's policies is now growing in the community, and Pacific Islanders are considering the differences between the National Party and the Conservative Party.

"We are very confident that South Auckland is a community that will be voting for the Conservative Party both in the coming election, and in the future."

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