Three Hamilton candidates, 50 questions

AIMIE CRONIN
Last updated 05:00 19/07/2014

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Aimie Cronin rapid-fired questions at Hamilton's candidates in the coming election.

Some of them thought the questions were frivolous. We thought they said a lot  about the politicians as people and about their knowledge of the electorates they are standing in.

We start today with three candidates and part two will run next week with three more.

 

David Bennett, current National MP and candidate for Hamilton East, took 7 minutes 55 seconds to answer his questions.

 

How old are you? 43. 

You have half a million to spend in your electorate, what would you spend the money on? Probably an artificial football turf.

You are hosting a family with a child under five, where in your electorate do you take them to play? Claudelands park. 

What's the biggest challenge facing your electorate? Growth.

What's one thing about your electorate that most people wouldn't know? We are one of the youngest electorates in New Zealand in population, and a very diverse electorate in ethnicity. 

What's one thing about you that would surprise people? That I still play football. That I really enjoy meeting people and being around the community. 

Who is your political hero? I'd say at the moment it would be the prime minister, but over time I think there have been great leaders, like Kennedy and Obama. 

What cafe makes the best coffee in your electorate? Mavis & Co. 

What type of car do you drive? A Holden ... umm ... it's a Holden ... Vectra.

Do you own a beach house? No.

What's the last book you read? (laughs) I started on John Key's book - that's the closest I've got.

Who is an unsung hero in your electorate? I think we have so many, but I think some of the principals in our schools. I think they are really individuals who make a big difference in the future and they probably don't get enough credit for what they do.

Cats or dogs? Cats. 

Do you live in your electorate? Yes.

What's your favourite season in Hamilton? Spring. 

What three words would you use to describe your electorate? Friendly, open and smart.

Favourite movie? The Shawshank Redemption. 

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TV show? Umm ... that's a hard one! The West Wing.

Book you want to read ... John Key's book (laughs). 

Book you remember reading from school ...The Clockwork Orange.

What type of phone do you have? iPhone.

What's something about the younger generation you don't get?  The revealing underpants.

Twitter or Facebook? Facebook.

Who is someone everyone should follow? John Key. 

Favourite drink? Long Island iced tea.

Dessert? Chocolate mousse. 

Band? AC/DC.

Do you play an instrument? I used to play the piano.

What clothes are you wearing today? Lee jeans and a Hugo Boss shirt. 

Best gift you've ever received? Life. 

Someone you'd like to have coffee with? Katy Perry.

How do you like your coffee? I don't drink coffee.

Favourite country to visit? Russia.

Somewhere you'd love to go? South America.

What did you wear to your school ball? Definitely a suit. Black bow tie,  suit.

What were you like at school? Very reserved.

What's your preferred form of exercise? Cycling.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? To live forever.

Describe an experience that made you nervous.  Apart from this interview? Election night.

Are you a good sleeper? Yes.

How would you describe your style? Conservative.  

Public or private school? Mix of both.

Are you married, single, or in a relationship? In a relationship.

Do you have kids? No.

Do you own your own home? Yes.

What are your rates? About $600 a quarter, or whatever it is.

How much do you spend on a haircut?  $5.

When was the last time you yelled at someone? Probably a long time ago, maybe in Parliament.

Are you a landlord? Yes.

What's your highest qualification?  Bachelor of law.

What did you train as?  A lawyer and accountant.

Would you describe yourself as working class, middle class or upper class? Middle.

Who do/did your parents vote for? I presume National.

What generation Kiwi are you? On one side it would be third and on the other, second.

Are you vegetarian or a meat eater? Meat.  

What's your signature dish? Steak.

What kind of moisturiser do you use? Nil.

What would you choose for your last meal? Italian pasta.

Biggest pet peeve? Probably if you're in a bank and they only have one person serving and there's a queue.

Do you have a tattoo? No.

 

Tim Macindoe, current National MP and candidate for Hamilton West, took 15 minutes to answer his questions.

How old are you? 53. 

You have half a million to spend in your electorate, what would you spend the money on? Restoration of the Hamilton courthouse.

You are hosting a family with a child under five - where in your electorate do you take them to play? Hamilton Lake - the playground there, a walk around the lake and an icecream at the end.

What's the biggest challenge facing your electorate? For those who are struggling in the recession, it's just making ends meet. 

What's one thing about your electorate that most people wouldn't know? I find it's amazing how few people know about the sheer beauty of the river walks.

What's one thing about you that would surprise people? That I used to work in a women's prison, tutoring speech and debating. 

Who is your political hero? I really admired Brian Talboys. He was a fine politician, a good foreign minister, he stood up for what he believed in but always in a gentlemanly way. 

What cafe makes the best coffee in your electorate? Cafe Agora.

What type of car do you drive? Suzuki Swift. 

Do you own a beach house? No.

What's the last book you read? The Luminaries. 

Who is an unsung hero in your electorate? There are tons. Goodness me. There are so many people doing wonderful things for new migrants. Umm ... my wife for putting up with me (laughs). People working for charities ... I'm really going to struggle to give you just one. I'll go with Jane Kay from Alzheimers Waikato.  She's a fantastic person and she works in my electorate. 

Cats or dogs? Dogs. 

Do you live in your electorate? Yes. 

What's your favourite season in Hamilton? Autumn.

What three words would you use to describe your electorate? Vibrant, diverse, friendly. 

Favourite movie? Doctor Zhivago.

TV show? Umm ... I really enjoyed the Australian series A Place to Call Home. 

Book you want to read ... War and Peace. It'll be a post-retirement project. 

Book you remember reading from school ... Tom Brown's School Days. 

Spotlight on Tim Macindoe

What type of phone do you have? iPhone 5. 

What's something about the younger generation you don't get? Why they want to deafen themselves by playing music through headphones so loudly that they will not be able to hear by the time they are 25.

Twitter or Facebook? Both.

Who is someone everyone should follow? John Key.

Favourite drink? Gin and tonic.

Dessert? Lemon meringue pie.

Band? I don't really have one ... gosh ... I'll go with Coldplay.

Do you play an instrument? Unfortunately not.

What clothes are you wearing today? I'm wearing a suit, a shirt and a tie. Very much business format and standard wear for my day job.

Best gift you've ever received? Am I  allowed to pass? I can't think. Probably a bike when I was a kid. I remember being really excited by that. 

Someone you'd like to have coffee with? Barack Obama.

How do you like your coffee? Black, no sugar.

Favourite country to visit? Great Britain. 

Somewhere you'd love to go? Fiji. 

What did you wear to your school ball? A dreadful, appalling brown suit - a cast-off from my brother. And I'm ashamed to say I wore it to my graduation a few years later.

What were you like at school? Probably a bit immature and I probably didn't concentrate enough. I wasn't super talented at anything. 

What's your preferred form of exercise? A nice brisk walk.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? The ability to turn back the clock. 

Describe an experience that made you nervous. Abseiling down the side of the Gallagher building earlier this year for the foundation of youth development. 

Are you a good sleeper? Yes.

How would you describe your style? My style? Ummm ... At this stage, ponderous! Mostly easy-going. 

Public or private school? Both.

Are you married, single, or in a relationship? Married.

Do you have kids? Yes.

Do you own your own home? Yes.

What are your rates? Oh, gosh, my wife pays the rates bill. I think when you add the city council and regional council together it's $4000 something, but I may end up making an idiot of myself with that. 

How much do you spend on a haircut? $30.

When was the last time you yelled at someone? I tend to yell at myself in frustration. Not often at someone else - years ago.

Are you a landlord? No.

What's your highest qualification? BA (hons) and LLB. 

What did you train as? With my BA, I became a teacher and I'm using my law degree as an MP. 

Would you describe yourself as working class, middle class or upper class? Others would probably say upper class, because I'm a National MP and I'm on a good salary, but I think of myself as middle class.

Who do/did your parents vote for? National.

What generation Kiwi are you? On my mother's side, sixth.

Are you vegetarian or a meat eater? Meat eater.

What's your signature dish? Gosh, it's a pretty limited range. My children would say an appalling spaghetti bolognese. 

What kind of moisturiser do you use? Aqueous cream.

What would you choose for your last meal? A condemned man chooses his dinner ... hmm ... one that took a very long time to eat.

Biggest pet peeve? Misused apostrophes. 

Do you have a tattoo? No.

 

Sue Moroney, Labour list MP and candidate for Hamilton West, answered her questions in 9 minutes.

How old are you? 50. 

You have half a million to spend in your electorate, what would you spend the money on? I'd spend it on children and ensuring that no child lived in poverty. 

You are hosting a family with a child under 5, where in your electorate do you take them to play? I'd take them to Hamilton Gardens [in Hamilton East].  Fish 'n' chips on a Friday night in any country of your choice.   

What's the biggest challenge facing your electorate? Jobs. 

What's one thing about your electorate that most people wouldn't know? Most people don't believe we have beaches in Hamilton and I believe we do along the Waikato River and I vigorously defend this and argue the point on Twitter. 

What's one thing about you that would surprise people? That I love music, it's one of my favourite things.

Who is your political hero? Helen Clark. 

What cafe makes the best coffee in your electorate? I don't drink coffee, but when it comes to a chai latte I would say Sugar Bowl. 

What type of car do you drive? I drive a very old Audi. 

Do you own a beach house? Yes.  

What's the last book you read? Probably Fifty Shades of Feminism. 

Who is an unsung hero in your electorate? There are loads of them. All of the people who coach children's sport, because they do it out of love. 

Cats or dogs? Both. I'm one of those ambidextrous people. 

Do you live in your electorate? Not right at the moment, no. 

What's your favourite season in Hamilton? Autumn.

What three words would you use to describe your electorate?  Needs more jobs.  

Favourite movie? The Rose. 

TV show? Coronation Street. It's my guilty pleasure. 

Book you want to read  ... the book Hillary Clinton has just put out.  

Book you remember reading from school  ...  Animal Farm. 

What type of phone do you have?  I have a Blackberry. It's about to be decommissioned - Parliamentary Services isn't going to support them anymore, so I'm about to upgrade. 

What's something about the younger generation you don't get?  The amount of time they can spend on a screen of any description.  

Twitter or Facebook? Facebook. 

Who is someone everyone should follow? Me. (Laughs). I would say Rebecca Matthews, who is a Wellington-based activist who is always doing something really exciting. 

Favourite drink? Sauvignon blanc. 

Dessert? Anything. 

Band? Hello Sailor. 

Do you play an instrument?  Yes, I play guitar. 

What clothes are you wearing today? (Laughs.) Boots and a skirt and a top that I got from somewhere in Centre Place. 

Best gift you've ever received? A voucher for a massage. 

Someone you'd like to have coffee with? Lorde. 

How do you like your coffee?  I don't like it. Chai latte. 

Favourite country to visit? Ireland.   I have Irish ancestry and have spent some time there. I pledge to go back every decade and haven't really done it. 

Somewhere you'd love to go? South America.  

What did you wear to your school ball?  We didn't have a school ball. 

What were you like at school? Opinionated, often in trouble, but I got school cert and UE without any drama. 

What's your preferred form of exercise? Walking.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Able to fix up anyone's personal problem in a single bound. 

Describe an experience that made you nervous? I'm not a good flyer. So every time I fly to Wellington takes me out of my comfort zone. I've learnt to trust the pilots. 

Are you a good sleeper? Yes. 

How would you describe your style? (Laughs.) As in my dress style? Something that is comfortable and allows me to do my job and be in three or four different settings over the course of a day.  

Public or private schools? Public. 

Are you married, single, or in a relationship? Married. 

Do you have kids?  Yes, I have two children. 

Do you own your own home? Yes. 

What are your rates? (Laughs.) I don't know, I don't pay the rates bill. My husband takes care of all that. 

How much do you spend on a haircut? I spend I think about $70 about every two months. 

When was the last time you yelled at someone? (Laughs.) I'm not really a yeller, but it probably would have been at one of my teenage boys to pick up their towel, or their socks or their basketball shoes that they've left on the floor. 

Are you a landlord? Yes. 

What's your highest qualification?  I have a certificate in labour and trade union studies and a diploma in journalism. 

What did you train as? A journalist.  

Would you describe yourself as working class, middle class or upper class?  Middle class. 

Who do/did your parents vote for?  I've never asked them, but they were dairy farmers from Walton, so I suspect they might have voted for the other crowd. 

What generation Kiwi are you? Third. 

Are you vegetarian or a meat eater?  I'm a meat eater, but when I go out I often choose the vegetarian option because I don't like heavy meat. 

What's your signature dish? I make a fabulous salmon dish with a yoghurt and mint and cucumber sauce - barbecue - delicious. 

What kind of moisturiser do you use? (Laughs.) I don't have a favourite, actually. What did David Bennett say to that? He doesn't use any. (Laughs.) I'm a serial moisturiser hopper. I look at what's on special from the supermarket. 

What would you choose for your last meal? I think it would be my salmon dish with rosemary roasted potatoes. 

Biggest pet peeve? I have a lot of them. I think people who portray themselves as one thing, but are quite different to that. 

Do you have a tattoo? No.

- Waikato Times

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