Strong support for New Plymouth Labour candidate Corie Haddock
Labour Party members created strong visible and audible support at the final candidates debate in the lead up to the general election in less than 10 days.
Red-shirted supporters dominated the front rows of the New Plymouth District Council chambers as six candidates were given a last chance to impress upon voters at the Taranaki Daily News election debate.
Labour Party candidate Corie Haddock was given loud applause and clapping from supporters when he got to answer early questions.
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The two hour event at the council chambers turned into an entertaining evening for the 150 in the audience as the six candidates released both party policy and some personal insights.
Each candidate was given three minutes to introduce themselves and their party policy before replying to three regional based questions on immigration, sea bed mining and economic progress.
This was followed by three questions on putting back the Kiwi Saver $1000 kickstart, revitalising housing in Marfell and a capital gains tax.
A 10 question quick fire round drew out the personality side of each of the candidates unhindered by party lines before questions from the floor.
After an early cautionary warning hecklers would not be tolerated the candidates put their best foot forward.
Carlson opened the evening sparring to tell the audience she had entered politics because more young people should be in parliament.
If Chong felt slightly intimidated by the red t-shirts five metres in front of him he didn't show it.
"I can't help noticing there's a lot of red in the room, and some blue but there is also a lot of black.
With a strong contingent of over 60s in the audience Chong listed the party's policies on extending the Gold Card benefits to superannuitants and a "one law for all" stance.
Labour's Haddock focused on the numbers of people not living adequate housing, the 4900 youth not trained or skilled for employment, and the under funded health system which was contributing to 2500 children in serve poverty in the region.
Lawrence told the audience as a superannuant he shared the concerns of other superannuants.
He got a loud round of applause when he said the 'trickle down' theory had not worked.
Incumbent MP Jonathan Young referred back to former prime minister Sir Robert Muldoon by holding up a graph showing the housing trends in the past decade.
He began with a welcome in Maori to celebrate Maori Language Week and continued with an explanation that housing pressure had not been built by the government.
Young said he was "frustrated" with the lack of progress around redeveloping housing in Marfell and hoped it would be resolved in six months.
Bramhall said the party would work to transform the economy starting with a green infrastructure fund based on investment in renewable energy opportunities.
An informal exit poll asking which candidate impressed most at the debate showed Haddock ahead 53 votes to National's Jonathan Young with 40.
New Zealand First candidate Murray Chong received 15 votes, Green Party's Stuart Bramhall, 14 votes, ACT's Anneka Carlson, 14 votes, and Independent candidate Basil Lawrence 2 votes.
- Taranaki Daily News