Q+A held a debate between the Mana by-election candidates yesterday. Felix has done a very nice summary of how the candidates came across:
1) Hekia Parata is a nasty piece of work who gets angry when challenged. Her entire platform is “I ♥ John Key. Don’t you ♥ John Key too?”
2) Kris Fa’afoi is well meaning but a bit of a flake. His entire platform is “I’m from Labour, just like Winnie Laban”
3) Jan Logie is pleasant enough. Standard Green philosophies but nothing of special local relevance (even though she lives in Mana). Possibly effective but a bit soft for my liking.
4) Colin Du Plessis is a joke candidate doing a parody of an inbred aristocrat.
5) Matt McCarten is not from the area but seems to have a better grasp of the issues than any of the others.
6) Paul Holmes is the National Party candidate.
Very fair calls. Fa’afoi is a good guy but we’re not seeing his values coming through very strongly. He has spent a career attempting to suppress them, of course. We need to hear more from him about why Labour values matter to him and to the electorate that go beyond talking points. And Parata is a nasty piece of work. She continually interrupts everyone else when they speak then gets upset at the slightest questioning. How she handles the questions from the public at the Backbenches debate on Wednesday will be very interesting.