Mystery compere adds to question night

MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 05:00 28/08/2014

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A mystery adjudicator will this year be thrown into the mix at the Taranaki Daily News New Plymouth candidates' debate.

The always keenly anticipated debate between those who would represent Taranaki's largest electorate at the capital, will be held on Monday September 8, at the New Plymouth District Council Civic Centre.

Traditionally helmed by the Daily News editor, this year the person who controls the debate will be announced to candidates only on the night. "This adds something extra to the buzz of the night and we thought it would keep the candidates on their toes.

"Stop them from getting too comfortable," said Daily News editor Roy Pilott.

Though there will be four candidates on stage, once again the debate will largely be between incumbent National MP Jonathan Young and Labour list MP Andrew Little.

Sarah Roberts of the Green Party and James Gray of ACT can have no expectations of taking the seat but they will be campaigning for the party vote.

In 2011, Little cleaned up at the Daily News debate, taking 60 of the 93 votes on who fared best.

But the result was no reflection of election night when Young trounced Little by 4270 votes.

At 38th on the National list, Young must win his seat to return to Parliament for a third term. Little is 11th on his party's list and therefore virtually guaranteed another three years in Parliament. However, he knows securing a seat also secures his future as a power player in the party.

Those with questions for the candidates to debate can submit them for consideration to: ryan.evans@dailynews.co.nz.

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