Minor party candidates throw down gauntlet in Northcote by-election

May 25, 2018

Minor party candidates throw down gauntlet in Northcote by-election

Candidates from minor parties, such as Greens' Rebekah Jaung, are taking a stand against Labour and National in the upcoming Northcote by-election. Photo: Alex McLeod.

Labour Party’s Shanan Halbert and National Party’s Dan Bidois will have more than just themselves to compete against in the lead-up to the Northcote by-election next month.

Amongst the candidates from minor parties joining them in the race to replace departing MP Jonathan Coleman are Act Party’s Stephen Berry, Green Party’s Rebekah Jaung, and the Democratic Party for Social Credit’s Tricia Cheel.

The trio have issued a warning to Mr Halbert and Mr Bidois that the two parties have competition from their smaller rivals.

Mr Berry, considers himself to be a dark horse candidate in this by-election, with traffic congestion at the forefront of his campaign.

“The feedback I’m getting just door-knocking over the last few days tells me that this is a three-way race.”

“National and Labour are both offering virtually the same. Act Party has a very bold plan to fix Onewa Road’s traffic, and that’s what matters to the people that are living out here.

“The main idea that we have, if I’m elected as Northcote MP, is to put a private member’s bill on the table which’ll require the government to complete the Auckland motorway network within the next 10 years.”

Ms Jaung says she is aware she does not have as many resources as other candidates, but insisted the Green Party offer policies with the potential for positive change.

“The political landscape has changed a lot since the last general election.”

“The Green Party is celebrating many policy achievements that have already been made during this term in parliament, and we have been invigorated by the election of our new female co-leader Marama Davidson.

“There is definitely a chance that we could improve on our 2017 results.”

Fighting ‘rampant commercialism’ is one of the main priorities for the Democrat Party for Social Credit’s says Ms Cheel.

She hopes residents will make a “protest vote” to help spur an upset.

“I think that the problem being that the media always prejudge people’s votes, which is, to my mind, totally against democratic principles.

“Only Labour and National have been invited to these ongoing meetings and sometimes Act and the Greens, so it’s been very difficult to even get along to let people know what your policies are about, and I think that’s totally undemocratic.

“If the minor parties can get their message out there, they’d obviously get more support, and maybe some of the messages coming through might resonate with that Northcote electorate,” says Ms Cheel.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced last month that the election date will be June 9.

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