Different groups are also holding meet the candidate breakfasts, lunches and evening meetings.
On Monday 4 August, Matamata NZEI Branch held a meet the candidates night at the Matamata Club. In attendance were the following candidates and representatives:
- Susan Cullen - Maori Party candidate for Hauraki-Waikato electorate
- Tracy Martin - New Zealand First Deputy Leader and Education Spokesperson and current List MP
- Dr Ron Smith - ACT candidate for Hamilton East
- Lindsay Tisch - National candidate for Waikato and current MP for Waikato
- Catherine Delahunty - Green Party Education Spokesperson and candidate for Coromandel electorate and current List MP
- Christine Greer - Labour Party candidate for Waikato electorate
On Tuesday 19 August, the Waikato NZEI Branch held a meet the candidates night at the Methodist Hall in Hamilton. In attendance were the following candidates and representatives:
- David Bennett - National candidate for Hamilton East and current MP
- Nanaia Mahuta - Labour candidate for Hauraki-Waikato and current MP
- Sue Moroney - Labour candidate for Hamilton West and current List MP
- Cliff Allen - Labour candidate for Hamilton East
- Mark Servian - Green Party candidate for Hamilton East
- Katrina Day - Conservatives candidate for Hamilton East
- Ray Calver - Internet Mana candidate for Hamilton East
- Carolyn McKenzie - Democrats for Social Credit candidate for Hamilton East
Below is a Storify of the tweets I sent out and received that night and after reflection the next morning. There is also some commentary I have put in to round out the night.
Meet the candidate nights are all very well to get a gage of the person who may well be representing you in parliament after the election, but it is also vital that you do the following:
- Read the policies of the parties different parties, including National (who has released stuff all policy so far) and ACT and the Conservatives (who have scary ideas about education!).
- Meet any and all of the candidates in your electorate
- Most NZEI branches are organising meet the candidates nights, so are many other groups. So find one and go to it.
- Find out where/how you can meet your candidates. Follow them on fb and/or Twitter. Read their blogs.
- Go to the party websites and read the policies. Follow their blogs, fb pages and Twitter feeds. Labour even has an Instagram account now.
- Don't rely on the media to tell you what each party stands for. All you'll get is John Key & co telling you that everyone else is wrong and the personality sideshow of Colin Craig & Dotcom. So dig a little deeper.