Once again we had one of the biggest elections meetings in this triennial cycle of meet the candidates for Wellington Central. Close to 180 people attended at the Karori Baptist Church on 1 October.
Ten candidates across a broad spectrum of party and individual stances gave us their platforms. The seriousness of their planned addresses was mixed with good humour and lots of light hearted moments for the audience to join in.
Michael Appleby, a lawyer and leader of the Aotearoa New Zealand Cannabis Party said that finally after campaigning for close on 20 years to get into Parliament and to get on the Wellington City Council he believed had achieved his objective of an acceptance of cannabis as shown through of a referendum at this general election on cannabis which he believed would be carried and passed in to law by Parliament. Other candidates were quick to tell him, not so fast Michael. This would not have been the first time Michael has stood up on this issue in 2020 as all the candidates would have met several times in the capital to this point. Michael in his impish humour took the sting from other candidates including sitting MP for Wellington Central Hon Grant Robertson that the outcome on cannabis was far from over at this stage. There was lots of laughter for the audience when Michael got all candidates to indicate if they had ever tried out cannabis in their lives. Most indicated they had, but pushing it back to their younger years of life.
In all it was a good night and a well run meeting by chairman Doug Langford, to give the sizeable audience time to weigh up candidates and their platforms on growth as a country, numerous social issues, housing being a major topic, and economic recovery.