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      • Performer helps people find their “presence” in capital workshop
        • 26 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • BERT van Dijk has explored performing arts around the world and he wants to use his experience to help people transform themselves. He is holding a performance workshop in Wellington next month for people of all ages who want to enhance their presentation, communication and leadership skills. Mr van Dijk, 61 is a specialist in “presence” and says he can help people develop it into an operational skill. “Presence is thought of as an elusive X-factor, either you have it or you don’t but I think its something you can develop,” Mr van Dijk says. He defines it as the ability to be alive in the moment using all you’re senses, which he says can benefit people from all walks of life. His perception on the performing arts has been shaped by over 30 years of experience. Marion Pawson, 59 has trained with Bert van Dijk for the last four years and says he is strong and clear in his approach. “In my experience people warm to his enthusiasm and passion. “He has a very well developed perspective on performance,” says Ms Pawson. Mr van Dijk was born in the Netherlands in 1953 and dreamed of seeing New Zealand from a young age. “When I was a little kid I was told if you drilled a hole through the earth you would end up in New Zealand. “I was always fascinated by that so I got a map of New Zealand and put it above my bed and thought one day I will travel to the other side of the world and see what it’s like,” he says. Mr van Dijk visited NZ for the first time in 1986 and presented a number of workshops including a dance performance at the Fringe Festival in Christchurch. He was only able to stay for three months but came back two more times before moving permanently in 1992, where he taught, directed and performed at the International Festival in Wellington. He says he found the bicultural presence very exciting. “I really connected with the Maori and Pacific Island presence in New Zealand,” he says. Mr van Dijk initially trained as a social and clinical psychologist, specialising in movement therapy and psychodrama. Part of his studies was undergoing self-therapy and it was during this that he discovered his true passion. “I realized that deep down what I really wanted to do was be a performer,” he says. After working for several years as a dancer, he started working with a voice company in France called the Roy Hart Theatre where he enjoyed their physical approach to voice training. “Working with them liberated my voice and since then I have always used it along with movement and space as the elements of my performance,” says Mr van Dijk. In 2011 he gained a PhD in theatre and was offered a job at the National University of Samoa as the dean of the Faculty of Arts. He accepted the offer but on arrival was dismayed to find that there were no arts in his faculty, only social sciences and languages. It was the beginning of a difficult six months during which he experienced the devastation of the worst cyclone to hit Samoa in over 20 years. Mr van Dijk found himself caught up in a lengthy conflict between two factions of the university and says he was used as a pawn in the dispute. He was also outed in a national newspaper for being homosexual in what he describes as a “nasty article”. “They used Christianity to say terrible things about homosexuals,” he says. “The Dean of the Faculty of Arts is infecting the youths of Samoa and is a terrible example for staff,” Mr van Dijk quotes from the article. Despite the criticism he was able to find solace in the arts and worked with the National Youth Orchestra and the University Choir. “That’s what kept me sane,” he says. On reflection he believes he was a role model for many of the junior staff at the university because he raised issues that they were afraid to talk about. He returned to New Zealand and struggled to find work, so he decided to set up his own business, Toiora Ltd. He runs the business with his partner Rawiri Hindle and they focus on facilitating personal and social transformation using the arts. Mr Van Dijk is currently working on a project with the Ngati Wai iwi in Whangarei. He has been commissioned by the Ngati Wai Trust Board to develop a suicide prevention project which works with troubled youth using the performing arts. “Many problems are evident in Maori culture, alcohol and drug abuse, family violence and sexual abuse but I think the core of it is a lack of identity. “They have lost their strong sense of whakapapa,” he says. Mr van Dijk says schools do not cater for Maori ways of learning and consequently they fall by the wayside. He believes he can help people reconnect with their identity. “I think if you want to address issues of identity, confidence and expression then performing arts has a lot to offer,” he says. Earlier this year Mr van Dijk was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to New York and observe one of the most successful anti-violence projects in the world. The All Stars project helps more than 80,000 young people every year to grow in confidence and express themselves. Mr van Dijk says he was amazed by their Cops and Kids program called Operation Conversation. It is a series of performance based workshops working with police officers and troubled youth using improvisation and theatre games. He had the chance to witness some of the sessions and says they are amazing. “You see a sense of mutual trust growing throughout the workshops and they develop understanding and respect for each other,” says Mr van Dijk. He says the project is a massive inspiration for him and he wants to set up an All Star project in Northland. “I want to help people develop the confidence and skills to become leaders in their community,” says Mr van Dijk. “These kinds of projects are important as people are becoming more desperate and the gaps between rich and poor are growing. “We need to do something about that,” he says. Mr van Dijk’s Presence Workshop will run on October 4, 10am-4pm, at the Wellington Quaker House in Mount Victoria. Anyone interested in attending should contact the organiser on 04-385-6321.

      • Video stores feeling the digital pressure
        • 25 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • PROUD OWNER: Aro Video store owner Andrew Armitage is proud with what his independent video store has achieved despite a declining industry. LOCAL video rental stores are feeling the pressure of the digital world with online streaming, movie rental, and film piracy. “I’m one of the walking wounded but I’m not alone. There are thousands of us that have been hit by this evolution,” Aro Video owner Andrew Armitage says. Aro Video is known for its wide selection of independent films and titles not available on DVD. However, Mr Armitage says the piracy “craze” has destabilized everything. “The hearts and minds of young people are won over by free stuff,” he says. An anonymous video store patron confirms his point. “I only go to video stores to look at titles to download later,” she says. Andrew Armitage says although he enjoys all the benefits digital brings to business, it becomes mentally challenging to keep faith in what he’s doing. “You just try to hold your ground and the ground gets quite shakey at times.” Loyal customer of 15 years, Vivian Rodriquez, sees the relationship she has built with Aro Video as one of its most important features. “I like that it’s not a big shop like the other ones,” she says, “I believe in supporting local.” Mr Armitage says 70% of his business comes from customers walking through the door. “Most of our customers are my age or older, and they will always do things the old fashioned way. Whether we can be here to keep nurturing that habit, I don’t know.” Mr Armitage says the wholesale and distribution infrastructure suffers as video stores close, with the transition from hardcopy dollars to digital pennies. “Sure with digital you can reach masses kind of all at once but they’re all paying 2 cents”. He says it’s a legitimate model, but New Zealand is in a bit of limbo with digital taking off. “We don’t have proper broadband and people are generally not in the habit of watching films on their computers,” he says. Having just celebrated its 25th anniversary this month Aro Video has become a household name in Wellington. “I didn’t start a business for the sake of starting a business. If I’d done that I would have done something much more lucrative,” he jokes. “Really I managed to combine a hobby and my vocation together and that’s luckier than most.” Kelburn Video has been in business for over 10 years but Manager Soty Pheng says the industry is dying and will come to an end. He says this is because New Zealanders lifestyles have changed. “On a rainy day, people would go to the video store. Now Kiwi’s are too lazy to get off the couch,” he says. The decline is not just limited to movies and television shows, but also to video games. Mr Pheng says the constant change in technology means it is too expensive to keep up with the latest video game consoles. The store has tried reducing prices and late fees but it has not made much difference. He says unless the government steps in to ban online streaming and stop film piracy, there’s nothing store owners can do to stop the inevitable. The music industry has also had its share of troubles, but Slow Boat Records is one of the few remaining music stores in Wellington. Assistant Manager Jeremy Taylor says they have seen a slight drop in the sales of DVD’s, but popular Television Series and classic movies still sell. He says this is proof that people still like to own a physical object of quality that can be viewed repeatedly. Mr Taylor is optimistic that physical music stores will continue to exist. “People will always gravitate to the music store as a place where good music is found. “The memorable instores [artists] we have hosted serve as a reminder of the magic and power of people coming together to bond over music,” he says.

      • Couple’s costume hobby puts WOW factor on show in Plimmerton
        • 23 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Vicki and Mark Haydock with costumes Individual Happiness Now (left) and Bed of Flowers (right). IMAGE: Hayley Gastmeier HUSBAND and wife team Vicki and Mark Haydock’s a relationship has the WOW factor. They have had three costumes accepted into the World of Wearable Art show in the past five years. This year’s entry did not make the cut, but the Haydocks are still involved exhibiting three of their five pieces, at The Emerging Light Gallery in Plimmerton. Three other Wellington designers are also exhibiting at the gallery. The couple, who both work full time, have been dedicating weekends and holidays since 2010 designing and creating costumes to enter into WOW. The team’s creative journey was inspired by a 1993 visit to the Nelson Polytechnic where they witnessed final preparations taking place for the WOW show. REEL DEAL: The Haydocks made the costume futuristic because it was clear to them that Len Lye was way ahead of his time. IMAGE: Hayley Gastmeier “I saw the costumes and thought oh that would be really fun,” says Vicki. After 17 years of world travel and raising a family, graphic designer Mark and wife Vicki, an occupational therapist, decided to combine their different skills and give WOW a go. “It’s really cool because you can set yourself a goal and it might take you that long to do it but you can still get there.” The duo’s first piece made in 2010 is a pink bra called Bed of Flowers which Vicki says has a Dr Seuss feel to it. The design was inspired by a retro quilted bed Vicki had as a child, and little crochet flowers that her grandmother had made in the 1980’s initially meant to be a bedspread. They decided their next costume would celebrate the work of eccentric artist Len Lye, and they designed a feminine costume collaborating ideals of his kinetic sculpture, Blade, and his experimental films. The garment was made using a lot of 16 and 35mm film sewn together, with an over skirt of many metal panels and a head piece which is an old film projector. The couple named the costume Individual Happiness Now, after one of Len Lye’s best known philosophies and gained permission from the Len Lye Foundation to use his work as inspiration. Although it did not win a prize in the competition it was selected and kept on display at Nelson’s WOW museum for the following year. The Haydocks final piece on show in the Plimmerton Gallery is named Queen Bobbindelacia after the 600 year old craft of handmade bobbin lace. The costume is inspired by the lace cushions and gold pins which play a key part in making this type of lace. “She is both beautiful and menacing to represent the extremes of her craft.” The couple say the specialist craft of lace is at the risk of dying out because of the advances of technology, so the costume has been created to immortalise the craft. PINNED DOWN: The bobbins come from Spain, Belgium, Britain and New Zealand, and there are four antique bobbins included on the dress. IMAGE: Hayley Gastmeier Vicki who learned the craft in the 80’s, spent countless hours making all the lace. Mark handmade the giant pins, and the bobbins and beads involved in the costume were collected over many years of travel. Queen Bobbindelacia took two years to complete. After being turned down on the first application to WOW, the couple remade the costume to give it more wow factor, and it was accepted the following year. The standards are going up all the time and it’s getting harder and harder to get selected, says Mark. “A lot of the ones that do well on stage are the ones that bring out a character and come alive with the music.” The Haydocks, who have three children, say there’s a lot of work involved making the costumes, but they think they’ll do some more in the future. The Artable Wear exhibition will show at The Emerging Light Gallery untill October 15th.      

      • Dunne and dusted for 11th term in Parliament
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • RE-ELECTED: Ohariu MP Peter Dunne keeps up to date on election night progress with his wife Jennifer Mackrell by his side.   UNITED FUTURE’S leader’s party at Khandallah Bowling Club was an intimate affair as family and fans quietly focused on the television and the incoming results. About 20 of the 50 people filling the room were media, but as Mr Dunne was unwell he did minimal interviews. Mr Dunne studied his Ipad with his wife sitting next to him watching closely as Labour’s Virginia Anderson was a chasing second for the Ohariu electorate seat. Kevin O’Donnell, the secretary treasurer of the bowling club, says although Dirty Politics and sideshows tarnished the election he does not think it influenced the vote, and he is happy with the final results. “We all know we’re being spied on. Googles one of the worst.” At 11.20pm Mr Dunne was confident with the 98% of counted votes and addressed cameras and guests. Mr Dunne thanked members of his office for their loyal support and congratulated John Key for his historic and extraordinary re-election. “I won’t let you down, thanks for your patience as this long evening has unfolded.” Mr Dunne would not give detailed answers to the media questions being asked but said he will be starting work tomorrow.

      • History repeats itself – and Paul Foster-Bell’s happy
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • PAUL FOSTER-BELL has once again lost his Wellington Central electorate seat to Grant Robertson – but at No 46 on the party list, he is back in Parliament. Foster-Bell says he is not surprised that Grant Robertson has received Wellington Central’s backing. He says his campaign was never about just him, the focus was to strengthen the overall National Party vote. “We’ve been here before, back in 2011 it was exactly the same situation. However, it was never just about me, it was about National getting stronger,” he says. Supporters repeated Foster-Bell’s words. Michael Riordan, a Wellington student says: “We’re not too worried about the electorate seat, it’s about the National Party. Grant Robertson has a high profile and he’ll probably be the next leader.” “It’s hard, and it’s sad, but National have risen, and that’s the main point,” says Belinda Kyles, a small business owner. Around 40 National supporters gathered at Wellington’s iconic Backbenchers pub to show their support for the candidate. Mr Foster-Bell showed confidence as the votes for his electorate started rolling in, however his confidence slowly diminished at the 75% vote count, when he acknowledged defeat. He left Backbenchers pub with his campaign manager heading to Labour headquarters at the Wharewaka to do the “gentlemanly thing” of congratulating his competitor, Mr Robertson. He returned to Backbenchers to address the crowd who were gearing up to see New Zealand’s new-old Prime Minister, John Key on TV. “I went down to Wharewaka to concede to Grant Robertson, and it’s the happiest concession speech I’ve ever given because the mood is low at the headquarters, due to a historical loss,” he said, referencing the big National victory. He went on to thank the audience who were predominantly volunteers in his campaign.      

      • Key more years, Peters foiled, and Harawira blind-sided
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THREE MORE YEARS: John Key has led National to a surprisingly easy victory. IMAGE: Stuff.co.nz It was clear from the start that National was going to win another term but the decisiveness of the win has come as a shock to the left. Far from the multi- headed monster coalition predicted by the polls, National can practically govern alone with its traditional partners, United Future, ACT and the Maori Party. National is no longer dependent on the polarising personality of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who on election night TV seemed less than pleased to have lost his role as “kingmaker” this election. Far from being the suitor, courted by all, Winston is out in the cold. However the biggest blow of the evening was dealt in Te Tai Tokerau where Hone Harawira lost to Labour’s Kelvin Davis. With Harawira’s seat went any hope for Internet/ Mana entering parliament. With Labour polling at just under 25%, their second worst result in an election ever, there will be some rethinking of strategy. The surprise losers have been the Greens, whose final 10% was well below their expected 13%. At 4.2% the Conservatives failed to make the 5% threshold to enter parliament. Labour leader David Cunliffe has said he will not step down as party leader and emphasised Labour’s commitment to forming a strong opposition. “Tomorrow we begin a three year campaign for the Government benches. That campaign and that rebuild starts now,” said Cunliffe in his speech. After one the most eventful campaigns in New Zealand electoral history, John Key thanked those who stuck with National. “Ladies and Gentleman, this is a victory for those who kept the faith …who refused to be distracted and a vote for National was a vote for a brighter future,” he said. Kim DotCom has apologised to Mana leader Hone Harawira, saying he believes he cost Harawira his electorate seat. “I take full responsibility. The brand of Kim Dotcom was poison for what we wanted to achieve,” he said. Internet Party Laila Harre told disappointed party faithful that “It doesn’t finish!” adding that the people of Te Tai Tokerau have lost the “strongest fighter they have had in a generation in Parliament.” The real question that this result raises is the extent to which ordinary New Zealanders considered issues raised by the likes of journalists Nicky Hager and Glenn Greenwald when casting their vote.

      • Andersen upbeat as Labour licks its wounds
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • PROUD IN DEFEAT: Virginia Andersen talks about her pride in the campaign against Peter Dunne. VIRGINIA Andersen has trimmed Peter Dunne’s support in Ohariu in her first shot at running for Parliament. The Labour candidate finished about 900 votes behind incumbent Dunne, who held the seat by 1400 votes in 2011. In her speech to the crowd at the end of the night at Labour’s party in the Wharewaka on Wellingtons’ waterfront, she spoke of her pride in the campaign, despite the loss. “I’m proud and humbled by the effort of everyone,” she says. Andersen says the lesson learned is for the Green and Labour candidates to work together in Ohariu. “Green got a lot of votes. It takes away from the incumbent that both parties want out,” she says. “The left is not doing themselves any favours.” When Newswire asked her if she’d be running again she simply replied “damn right”. For now she is looking forward to a rest with family in Auckland tomorrow. After Labour leader David Cunliffe’s concession speech, NewsWire asked supporters at the Wharewaka what they thought of what he had to say, but no-one would be drawn on their thoughts. Supporters and candidates were in a disappointed and disgruntled mood, but some remained positive for the future. “I feel like we let down the people who wanted a change,” Nevada Lee-Mariu says. DISAPPOINTED: Three members of the crowd mourn the Labour Party loss to the National Party. “It hasn’t gone the way we wanted but we will be back,” Wellington MP Grant Robertson says. “We look forward to next election when we take this country back,” Mana MP Kris Faafoi says. Rimutaka MP Chris Hipkin says Labour has a huge challenge ahead with New Zealanders who don’t identify with the party anymore. “Labour is not speaking to the hopes and aspirations of New Zealanders,” he says.

      • Greens concedes defeat at Bodega as 15% vote target is missed
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THINK POSITIVE: Greens supporters at the Wellington election night party were disappointed but still putting up smiles. THE MOOD was somber at the Green Party party because of their failure to reach their 15% party vote target. Ms Logie was full of anxiety prior to final results being announced and was bitterly disappointed not to perform as expected. “I was really hoping for that 15%,” Ms Logie says. “It’s a strange feeling it’s a strange game politics.” “I’ve been very personally invested in this election and it’s hard not to be hurt by this.” “The end result will be more of the same which really worries me,” she says. The dirty politics influence was an unwelcome one and distracted the public from the important issues. “It was meant as an attack on politics and that’s just how the public took it,” Ms Logie says. Ms Logie says she was happy with the campaign and has no regrets. Some passionate Green supports were eager to voice their displeasure at the result. “John Key just wants the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer,” Leon Biundo, left, says. “Living wages are a joke. Anyone can look good maintaining the status quo.” Vert Harrism, a German tourist supporting his staunchly Green friends at Bodega, was surprised at the result due to New Zealand’s image as a “clean green country”. “The impression I have of New Zealand is that it’s quite a green country so I thought more New Zealanders would have voted for them.”

      • Buttoned-down National tight-lipped on result in cinema one
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • CHRIS FINLAYSON: Number five on the National Party list, who runs a tight ship. AS THE National Party tightened its grip on the country last night, senior cabinet minister Chris Finlayson’s team was running a tight ship at Penthouse Cinema “Sit here and don’t talk to anyone,” is the terse instruction from campaign spokesperson Patricia Morrison when I arrive, as she ushers me to her very own seat (with her very own red handbag on it). Feeling like a naughty schoolgirl in detention, I engage in illicit conversation with the elderly man sitting next to me (he shares that he does not like Kim Dotcom). The National faithful in Cinema One at the Penthouse in Brooklyn cheers loudly when TV One announces Hone Harawira looks like losing his seat. They cheer again when the creeping party vote edges closer to 50%. The aging audience chows down on what smells like a lot of burnt offerings and quaffs away at a tableful of red and white set up the front. Eventually, Mr Finlayson frees himself from whatever he was doing for a short interview. In his typical serious tone, Mr Finlayson concedes nothing: “It’s too early for me to break out into smiles”. He adds that he is unsurprised to lose Rongotai again and that he expects the National Party to work with its traditional partners United Future, Act and the Maori Party. He says that working with any other parties would be up to the party leadership. And then it’s time to go. The cold Wellington southerly blowing up Owhiro Rd feels warmer than a National Party welcome.  

      • Buttoned-down National tight-lipped on result in cinema one
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • CHRIS FINLAYSON: Number five on the National Party list, who runs a tight ship. AS THE National Party tightened its grip on the country last night, senior cabinet minister Chris Finlayson’s team was running a tight ship at Penthouse Cinema “Sit here and don’t talk to anyone,” is the terse instruction from campaign spokesperson Patricia Morrison when I arrive, as she ushers me to her very own seat (with her very own red handbag on it). Feeling like a naughty schoolgirl in detention, I engage in illicit conversation with the elderly man sitting next to me (he shares that he does not like Kim Dotcom). The National faithful in Cinema One at the Penthouse in Brooklyn cheers loudly when TV One announces Hone Harawira looks like losing his seat. They cheer again when the creeping party vote edges closer to 50%. The aging audience chows down on what smells like a lot of burnt offerings and quaffs away at a tableful of red and white set up the front. Eventually, Mr Finlayson frees himself from whatever he was doing for a short interview. In his typical serious tone, Mr Finlayson concedes nothing: “It’s too early for me to break out into smiles”. He adds that he is unsurprised to lose Rongotai again and that he expects the National Party to work with its traditional partners United Future, Act and the Maori Party. He says that working with any other parties would be up to the party leadership. And then it’s time to go. The cold Wellington southerly blowing up Owhiro Rd feels warmer than a National Party welcome.  

      • Wellington streets not too concerned about election result
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        •   ELECTION TOWN: From left Jason Van der Vegt and Frazer McGee with two drinking buddies talk politics. THE ELECTION was vying with wrestling for drinkers’ attention in Courtenay Place and Cuba St tonight. NewsWire’s Nicole Adamson and Sarah Wilson took to the streets for election reaction. Despite a divisive campaign involving ministers resigning, dirty politics and spying, consensus was that the campaign had not swayed many voters. Jason Van der Vegt: No, not me, I don’t vote. Frazer McGee: Yep, voted National, we’re not watching the election, we’re just walking the streets. Kim Dotcom should go back to Germany, and National should take over. Troy Setefano, barman at Hotel Bristol has voted and the campaign hasn’t changed his opinion: People are more interested in the fight, we (barmen) are interested in the election. (The election was on the TV behind the bar). Roi Reid: He didn’t vote but would have voted for Green. Legalise weed! Policeman Paul Tualafata, right: They have no extra police officers out tonight, and they are not expecting any riots. They are treating tonight as just another normal Saturday night. Brandon, barman at J.J.Murphys: We’re not streaming the election here because no one as asked for it. We play what gets asked for and tonight it was the fight. NOT SWAYED: Peter and Janine are more interested in policies than Dirty Politics. Hemi: Didn’t vote but would have voted for the Maori Party because they give his people a voice. He doesn’t like the idea of a coalition with National. J.T: Yes, the campaign was good and swayed his decision for who he voted for. Peter: Yes, campaign didn’t sway his vote. He says the campaign was bad, no one wanted to talk about policies, and they just talked nonsense. Janine: They talked too much about dirty politics and not enough about their policies.   Timotheus Booth: Yes, it’s been interesting, the campaign hasn’t swayed my vote. VOTE DONE: Timotheus Booth and Holly Cook toast to election night with friends. Holly Cook: Labour need to take over National, National need to get out, vote Labour so we can get National out of power.

      • Word on the street says inequality on voters’ minds tonight
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • AN HOUR before polling booths closed, Yc Lee and Jonty Dine took to the sodden Wellington streets to gauge the mood of the capital. Political scandals and child poverty were on the minds of Wellington voters on the streets of the capital early this evening. Joseph Walker, 44 from Arty Bees Bookstore cast his vote a week early and says he’s confident about his party’s victory. “The result is a foregone conclusion,” he says. One first time voter found the election experience quite overwhelming. Jemima Lomax, 19, thought the campaign was “scandalous” and is very excited for the results coverage. She believes the result will be a really close call. Timothius Booth, 21, wants poverty at the forefront of Parliament’s priorities. “It’s shameful that a country with our resources can’t afford to feed our kids,” he says. Mr Booth says: “We can’t just throw money at the problem. Action must be taken from the ground up.” He feels the Greens will be the party which best addresses inequality. When asked about the tumultuous campaign Mr Booth, left, said the scandals are “just part of politics.” Mr Booth says he didn’t let the scandals influence his vote, and in the end just “went with his heart”. Cheryl Ware, 26, a history postgraduate living in Australia, was in the country for a conference and cast her vote. “I’ve always been a staunch Labour supporter,” she says. Mrs Ware, right, also wants the poverty issue addressed immediately. “I wouldn’t mind paying higher tax if it contributes to reducing child poverty,” she says. Cashmere Jackson, 32, also believes child poverty should be one of the first issues addressed by the new government. “I want to see the widening inequality gap closed,” Mrs Jackson says. I know from experience children whose basic needs aren’t met, cannot focus and therefore adversely disadvantaged. Ms Jackson, left, says she feels the amount of campaign advertisements tended to favour the National Party. “I wonder if its candidates just throwing money to get votes,” she says. The mood was rather settled in the political hub of New Zealand with results not set to be announced until after 7pm.  

      • National Party on the “cusp of greatness,” says Hekia Parata
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        •   NATIONAL PARTY on the cusp of greatness, says Hekia Parata who is awaiting the results at the Mana Cruising Club in Paremata. “In regards to the campaign we’ve done extremely well,” the senior National Party cabinet minister says. “We covered the electorate several times, we had fun as well as debated the issues.” Mana has typically and always been a Labour seat but she says early polls are looking positive for the National Party vote. “We asked how she would celebrate if National win, by governing. “We’re on the cusp of doing something really great. “Luckily there’s been lots of focus on the real issues instead of the sideshows.”                      

      • Chris Bishop surrounded by supporters on nerve-wrecking day
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • CHAPELLI’S BAR and eatery erupted with applause when National’s Chris Bishop walked through the doors with an unmistakable grin on his face. But he is nervous. “It’s been one of the most nerve-wracking days of my life,” he says. With his eyes fixed on the TV in between greeting supporters and media interviews, it is clear that Mr Bishop is anxious for the final results. Surrounded by supporters, family, his campaign team and his partner Jenna, Mr Bishop definitely has a lot of support in the Hutt South electorate. The boundary changes to the electorate this year have added more National inclined voters to the mix, so Labour’s Trevor Mallard spot may be jeopardy. Mr Mallard has held the seat for seven terms. Mr Bishop voted today at his old school, Eastern Hutt primary school.

      • Greens’ James Shaw expects to be one of new MPs
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • JAMES SHAW: Green Party candidate for Wellington Central. IMAGE: Sue Teodoro JAMES SHAW, Green Party Candidate for Wellington Central, is quietly optimistic about his chances of becoming one of New Zealand’s newest MPs. “The balance of probability is looking quite good,” Mr Shaw says. The No. 12 candidate on the party list, is this evening at the Green Party post-election bash at Bar Bodega in Wellington. “From what I’ve heard the youth turnout has been higher than anticipated and that would probably favour us, but we won’t know until later in the evening”, he says. The Party will be “ecstatic” to achieve a 15% party vote, but that’s a stretch goal and Mr Shaw says that the polls are indicating a party vote of 13%. He expects to see a good indication of voting trends by 8.30pm this evening. He doesn’t think that National will be able to govern alone and said that most of the polls are forecasting that they will get around 44% of the vote. Over 400 tickets have been sold for tonight’s event and it is expected to be a good party. Thomas Farrow, Green Party member and former convenor of the Wellington Central branch says: “It’s been a really good campaign”. “Whatever happens, we’ll be celebrating here.”

      • Election in “God’s hands now,” says Kris Fa’afoi
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • Image: stuff.co.nz IN TITAHI BAY, Labour candidate Kris Fa’afoi and his team are anxiously await the results at the local RSA. Mr Fa’afoi says that it is all in God’s hands now. “I’m relatively confident and hopeful that the hard work was worth it,” he says. James Baigrnt, chairman of Mana Labour Party, says since February they have done 164 street corner meetings to engage with the community. “I think that must be a national record,” he says. Baigrnt says he is surprised at how social media has had a positive influence on all ages, not just the young. Matt Swann, Kris Faafoi’s campaign manager, says they worked really hard over the last four years pushing for Kris and Labour. “We’re feeling pretty good and we’ve done the work, but we don’t want to jinx it.” It stopped raining at 4.30pm in Titahi Bay which gave voters enough time to get their vote in. However, the weather was not stopping John Ohara, president of the Titahi Bay RSA who made sure he got his vote in early today. Mr Ohara is hosting Labour candidate Kris Fa’afoi’s party tonight at the RSA. “Kris will win hands down,” he told NewsWire’s Hayley Gastmeier.  

      • Paul Foster-Bell quietly confident at the Backbencher
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • SUPPORTERS of National Party Wellington Central candidate Paul Foster-Bell are gathering at The Back Bencher pub tonight. After a somewhat ‘relaxed’ day of not campaigning, Mr Foster-Bell enjoyed a lie in. “I’ve had an easy day, compared to getting up at 5am and knocking on people’s doors, ordering brochures and waving National signs on the street,” he says while sipping on a soda water at the iconic Back Bencher’s pub across the road from Parliament. Mr Foster-Bell spent his day helping people get to ballot boxes, ensuring votes were done fairly, and feeding volunteers. He says with a confident air the aim is for him to not only get the electorate vote, but for National to get another term. Mr Foster-Bell has allowed himself a beer if there is success for National.  

      • WATCH: Voting begins with rain and wind
        • 20 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • WELLINGTON polling booths have opened amid rain and wind. At Kelburn Normal School today there was steady stream of voters, some bringing family and furry friends with them. As of September 14, 91% of the population had enrolled to vote, with 21% voting in advance, according to the latest New Zealand Electoral Commission figures released this morning. Polling booths are open until 7pm tonight.

      • Greens rated savviest in NZ’s first truly social media election
        • 19 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • THE GREENS have been the savviest social media users in the 2014 election says a blogger who focuses on political social media use. Matthew Beveridge says the difference has been humour. “The Greens have tried to shake off their slightly too serious reputation and have injected a bit of humour into the campaign at times,” says Mr Beveridge. Labour and National have both been taking conservative approaches, which is to be expected of a major party, with Labour doing particularly well during TV debates. “Labour [has] run pretty good social media around the debates. I know for the last TV3 debate, they were running fact check tweets during the debate,” says Mr Beveridge, who is a Victoria University student. Callum Valentine, right, the social media engagement manager for the Internet Party, and candidate for Wellington Central, describes 2014 as the first truly social media election. The former Whitireia Journalism multimedia tutor says the Internet Party has used YouTube as well as Facebook and Twitter to engage with its potential voters. “We started the #DirtyPoliticsSelfie trend on Twitter, which got much bigger than we thought it would,” Mr Valentine said. Mr Beveridge acknowledges the work of Internet Party. “I have liked some of the approaches that the Internet Party has taken, like their ‘Not The Six O’clock News’ series has been a different approach,” Mr Beveridge said. According to research released this week by the Election Data Consortium, non-voters are less likely to read a newspaper than those who do vote. An analysis of Roy Morgan polls between July 2011 and April 2014 by data company Qrious has shown that 43 percent of non-voters say they never read newspapers, compared to 26 percent of all voters. Whereas, 47 percent of non-voters say their usage of the internet is heavy, compared to one-third of voters. “Political parties cannot simply place an ad in the newspaper and expect to convince them to get to the polling booth. “They will need to use new channels to reach out to this pool of potential voters,” says Qrious spokesman Cyrus Facciano. In the final week of campaign, NewsWire looked at six different political parties and the way they use two different social media platforms – Twitter and Facebook. The six parties compared were Greens, National, Labour, Internet Party*, Mana Party* and the Maori Party. The study showed that the Greens have the most Twitter and Facebook followers, compared to the others. On Twitter the Greens were the most popular party with about 14,400 followers. Labour was next with about 10,800 thousand Twitter followers and the Internet Party came in close with 10,400 followers. National falls in fourth place with 7,500 Twitter followers, however the party was most active on Twitter is National with 11,900 tweets, just ahead of the Greens with 10,200. The Mana Party comes in last with a mere 944 Twitter followers. Greens also topped Facebook with about 61,300 likes. The Internet Party followed with 34,100, next came Labour with 29,400 thousand, narrowly ahead of National with 28,500. The Mana Party had double the number of Maori party Facebook likes – 10,100 compared to 5,200. To follow the election coverage has it happens on Saturday evening, use these popular hashtags: #newswire, #Vote2014NZ, #decision14 or #nzpol. *Please note: the Internet Party and the Mana Party are compiled separately because of the fact they have separate Twitter and Facebook accounts.* .SOCIAL MEDIA: Data compiled and tabulated by NewsWire’s Ashleigh Manning. IMAGE: Ashleigh Manning

      • Campaign meetings in “three-horse race” Ohariu suggests close call
        • 19 Sep 2014
        • Newswire.co.nz
        • GREEN candidate Tane Woodley summed up the Ohariu seat at the final candidates meeting this week: “Let’s face it, it’s a three horse race and I’m not one of the horses.”  Mr Woodley is 28 on the Green party list and appealed to Ohariu voters for their party vote during Tuesday night’s final meeting in Khandallah. Meanwhile, many are predicting a tight contest between current Ohariu MP Peter Dunne and Labour’s Virginia Andersen in Saturday’s General Election. NATIONAL: Brett Hudson At number 39 on a party list, National candidate Brett Hudson is nationally the highest ranked person who is not currently an MP. National’s strategy of endorsing United Future leader Peter Dunne has meant Hudson has quietly shown up to candidate meetings, sticking to his campaign line: “NZ is on the cusp of something special, keep with the party that works.” Mr Hudson went as far to say in the final candidate meeting: “Peter is not wrong in saying that a vote for him would not be a wasted voted.” The final gathering this week saw income inequality and economic growth as the big questions posed to candidates. Mr Hudson says there is a very clear link between raising the minimum wage and unemployment. “We’re focused on creating more jobs in places like the ICT sector, and assisting and breaking the cycle of welfare dependency.” Act candidate Sean Fitzpatrick supports corporate welfare reforms to support small businesses. Andersen says from her experience of speaking to community aid groups, “the interesting thing is that the demand is coming from the middle”. LABOUR: Virginia Andersen, one of the frontrunners for Ohariu. “This is reflective of the growing inequality in NZ. The answer is not just pay higher wages, but create jobs for better things with tertiary education investment.” Voter and retired scientist Nick Lambrechtsen says he was impressed by the questions asked at the Khandallah meeting. He thinks Mr Dunne presented himself “valiantly” but Mrs Andersen’s enthusiasm was “quite infectious”. He says his vote will not be changing but he is now better informed. Mr Lambrechtsen says a Labour coalition with other parties is “the big if” though with the changes seen during this year’s election campaigning, anything could happen. “When the crunch comes, I like to think they will all decide to work together, but stupidity and politics are not exactly alien to each other.” Increased funding for aged care workers is one issue he wants addressed, which was discussed at the Khandallah meeting. “When you see the profits they make, they can certainly pay the workers more,” says Mr Lambrechtsen. Mr Hudson says National’s  funding of the aged care sector is done with the intention that aged care workers will get wage increases from employers.. “I was reading a recent report that said aged care is akin to slavery.[Labour] will repeal the 90 day [employment trial] bill and bring back collective bargaining,” says Ms Andersen. Mr Dunne says he supports various fair funding campaigns for the aged health care sector. All candidates were unwilling to voice an opinion on the extradition of Kim Dotcom. GREENS: Mr Woodley speaks at a candidate meeting. “I’m not sure whether we want to work with Kim Dotcom and Internet-Mana party, I’m wary of the effect they have on democracy,” says Mr Woodley. Mr Dunne agreed with the other candidates that it would be the justice minister’s call to make. “”My opinion is that it would be an extremely unwise and stupid minister to go against the decision of the court.” Earlier meetings on the election campaign saw capital gains tax and carbon tax as topics of contention. “We cannot tax our way to prosperity,” says Mr Dunne. “There is no incentive for people to work hard because people will be taxed higher. It’s a crazy notion and the focus should be policies for growth such as income sharing for households.” NZ First candidate Hugh Barr cited ‘tax havens’ like Virgin Islands and Cook Islands as problems contributing to the gap between rich and poor. Subhead: Round-up of Ohariu meetings Wadestown had its first candidate meeting under Ohariu, following the electoral boundary change which shifted it from Wellington Central. Questions included climate change, national standards and the 90 day employment trial period. At the Johnsonville meeting, Dunne took a stern stance against discontented voters making themselves heard. “You can make a point and that is your democratic right. It does not serve New Zealand well to hear your personal jibes.” Throughout the night he faced inquiries about supporting the Aucklan Convention Centre and its pokie machine approvals, being seen as a National ally and a perceived reversed stance on asset sales. The Johnsonville crowd asked their candidates on everything from euthanasia andchild poverty to the viability of KiwiSaver and ethics of SuperFund. UNITED FUTURE: Peter Dunne. current MP for Ohariu. Mr Dunne says his experience and favourable position in a future government will serve voters best. “We don’t need stop-start policies, I have seen the electorate through many changes and a global financial crisis.” “I am committed to making progress and making myself available to the community. I feel strongly about this as this is where I raised my own family.” Mr Dunne, however, has had a fair go, says Mrs Andersen. “I believe the current MP [Peter Dunne] has had a good run. 30 years is a fair go. Vote for me and rise above the muck in this election, ” says Mrs Andersen, who is number 37 on Labour’s party list. So far 45,756 people in the Ohariu electorate are enrolled to vote this year which means it has the highest proportion of enrolled voters in Wellington at 93%. This is in comparison with Rongotai’s enrolled voter percentage at 89% and Wellington Central’s 83%. There are nine candidates standing for Ohariu – they include incumbent Peter Dunne, United Future Leader, Virginia Andersen for Labour, Brett Hudson for National and Tane Woodley for Greens. Also running are Alida Steemson for Democrats for Social Credit, Independent candidate Sue Hamill, Hugh Barr for NZ First, Mike Brunner for Conservatives and Sean Fitzpatrick for Act. Anyone eligible to vote can do so at a polling booth until 7pm this Saturday, and people can enrol until Friday.  

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