Green campaign launch in Nelson

The Green Party is launching their election campaign in Nelson. They recently announced they would be campaigning to win that electorate, a different direction for them as they have solely sought the party vote in recent elections.

Stuff:  Greens pick Nelson for campaign launch

The Green Party is to launch its election campaign in Nelson on Sunday as it attempts to unseat long-time Nelson MP and National Party Minister Nick Smith.

Nelson City councillor Matt Lawrey is the Green’s candidate for Nelson and said the decision to hold the nationwide launch here  provided a “huge boost” to his campaign.

“I think we have a chance of winning,” he said.

I suppose he has to say that but last election:

  • Nick Smith (National) 20,000
  • Maryan Street (Labour) 12,395
  • Colin Robertson (Greens) 3,449

Even if Labour encouraged voters to go green it looks a very long shot for Lawrey.

Lawrey said he believed part of the attraction was that he was running a strong “two-tick campaign” for the seat and the party vote. He is No. 21 on the party list.

“I believe I have got a chance of winning [the seat] because every day, all sorts of people tell me they think it’s time for a change.

“Nick Smith has been an MP in these parts for 27 years; it’s time for a change.”

Greens haven’t been attracted to two-tick campaigning for a decade so it is an interesting change.

The top 20 candidates on the Green Party list including co-leaders Metiria Turei and James Shaw are scheduled to join Lawrey and West Coast-Tasman electorate hopeful Kate Fulton at the launch on Sunday afternoon at the Trafalgar Centre.

The launch is scheduled to be held from 1pm to 3pm.

Possibly not coincidentally the Greens were bequeathed a substantial amount on the condition it be used in the Nelson and West Coast-Tasman electorates.

I am interesting in whether the Greens will actively contest more electorates. Of special interest will be Metiria Turei’s approach in Te Tai Tonga, the southern Maori electorate that she is switching to.

O’Connor’s awful excuse against marriage bill

West Coast-Tasman Labour MP Damien O’Connor has met a group of people in his electorate trying to talk him in to backing the marriage equality bill.

‘Gaggle of gays’ MP courted by gay lobbyists

Mr O’Connor, a stated opponent of the same-sex marriage bill, was wined and dined at a meeting in Greymouth last night by supporters of the same-sex marriage bill.

Today, he said while the conversation had been “good and worthwhile” he would not be changing his mind or vote.

Why not?

He said he did not believe the discrimination and injustice was so great that it warranted a change in the legislation.

“In short, I have taken into account all of the facts and I believe that there are far more injustices that need to be addressed. For example, people who are disabled through accidents receive full support, while those disabled from birth do not. These injustices are the issues that need to be addressed.”

He thinks there are other things that are more important. Fair enough.

But the marriage equality bill will put to the vote in parliament anyway, so whether he thinks it’s important or not he gets to vote on it.

Surely he can’t vote against it, because he has more important things to do.

Is he going to not turn up to the vote because he has more important things to do? He presumably still has to arrange with his party whip what to do about his vote.

Is he going to abstain?

Or is he avoiding explaining his stance? I thought he was supposed to be a straight talker. Maybe only when it suits.