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Top acts come our way – voting starts

ACT Leader David Seymour, pictured with Deputy Leader Brooke van Velden, will speak at the Carterton Events Centre tomorrow night. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

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In a covid-19 environment and with the prime minister’s popularity more than twice that of alternatives, when called, the election was rated as only mildly interesting, but some issues and people are now turning heads. This is timely because voting opens today for New Zealanders overseas and for all on Saturday.

Yesterday morning, Top Party leader Geoff Simmons launched its farming policy at Helen Marr’s farm on Upper Plain Rd in Masterton.

The party, which doesn’t have a candidate in the Wairarapa electorate, is polling at 1 per cent and unlikely to make it to the Beehive. But if it gains 5 per cent of the vote it would aim to implement its policy to create one simple environmental “tick” programme for farmers.

It wants to see one system covering biodiversity, climate change, and water. This would include developing a certification programme for environmentally-friendly farms.

A bigger hitter than TOP’s Simmons, ACT leader David Seymour is speaking at the Carterton Events Centre tomorrow night at 6.30pm. He is bringing his top-ranking members. The September Colmar Brunton poll has ACT gaining 8 per cent of the vote, which means the party could have 10 members in Parliament, rather than the one it has now.

“We’ve also been the real opposition,” Seymour said. “On issue after issue, we’ve stood on principle. ACT defended freedom and democracy when others wouldn’t.

“New Zealanders are tired of the red-blue duopoly, the dirty politics and the mud-slinging. A party vote for ACT is a vote for honest politics and a rejection of the scandals and sleaze.”

Also tomorrow at the Masterton Club at 6.30pm Wairarapa candidates Ron Mark, Mike Butterick, Celia Wade-Brown and ACT’s Nicole McKee are debating the ‘future of firearms’. Kieran McAnulty has another engagement. The event is organised by the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners.

The promotional material says, “Hunting and shooting sports are popular in Wairarapa, and the seat is definitely one to watch this election. The idea behind the debate is to get participants’ views on firearms legislation, what they would like to see change, and then have them articulate their vision on the future of firearms in New Zealand.”

Derek Daniell, from 50 Shades of Green is talking about the importance of firearms to rural communities. Firearms academic Dr Samara McPhedran is talking about the Australian changes to firearm law.

On Saturday voters can vote for the Wairarapa MP they want and the party they want to govern the country. And voters start ticking boxes next to the referendum questions that have an ethical and moral aspect. These ticks could change New Zealand society.

Should over 50 per cent vote for the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force, citizens with a terminal illness will have the right to request to die at a time they choose.

If over 50 per cent support the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, using marijuana for personal use in small amounts will no longer be a criminal offence once the legislation is refined.

  • The Times-Age debate featuring Wairarapa electorate candidates is next Tuesday at 5.30pm at the Carterton Events Centre.

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