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At last night’s meet-the-candidates event for the Taieri electorate (formerly Dunedin South)at...
At last night’s meet-the-candidates event for the Taieri electorate (formerly Dunedin South)at the Musselburgh Baptist Church are (from left) Robert Andrews (Act New Zealand ), Mark Patterson (New Zealand First), Ingrid Leary (Labour), Scott Willis (Greens), Liam Kernaghan (National) and Stan Smith (One Party). PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
Allegations of dirty politics and smear campaigns have seeped into the Taieri electorate race.

Labour candidate Ingrid Leary claimed on social media yesterday she had become the target of dirty politics from some fellow candidates, following questions this week around whether Ms Leary was planning to stay in the electorate were she to lose in October.

Questions were also raised when Ms Leary confirmed she spent lockdown on Waiheke Island.

She said she lived in South Dunedin where she had a child at school, so “don’t believe everything you read on social media’’.

Speaking before a meet-the-candidates meeting at the Musselburgh Baptist Church last night, she said she believed there was a smear campaign against her, but was encouraging Labour supporters to focus on the party’s messages.

National Party candidate Liam Kernaghan, also speaking before the meeting, told the Otago Daily Times he had no control over what media published, or what Ms Leary said.

No seat was a safe seat, and he was focusing on strong representation for the Taieri electorate, he said.

Six candidates for the electorate gathered at the church last night, where they made pitches to a crowd of about 50 people.
Unsurprisingly, the economy and Covid-19 recovery were top of everyone’s minds on the day when New Zealand officially entered a recession.

New Zealand First candidate Mark Patterson said housing affordability was a big problem nationwide, and also in South Dunedin specifically.

He believed the electorate could benefit from being increasingly connected to Clutha, which was a ‘‘rural powerhouse’’.

Mr Kernaghan said yesterday’s news that New Zealand had officially entered a recession was a stark reminder of the impacts of Covid-19.

He highlighted the need to keep people in jobs, and also said if elected, he would prioritise the need for better drainage in South Dunedin.

“None of us can afford flooding in South Dunedin.’’

Green Party candidate Scott Willis focused on climate change, reducing poverty and “depoliticising’’ the response to the pandemic.

The economy needed to be carbon-proofed “to ensure we have an economy for the future’’, he said.

Act New Zealand candidate Robert Andrews said an increasing burden of regulation and red tape on businesses was a major issue in Dunedin.

One Party candidate Stan Smith also wanted more cutting of red tape.

“We need to cut red tape to lift incomes and living standards right across across the country,’’ he said.

He believed raising living standards was vital to improving the environment.

People living in poverty were not worried about their carbon footprint or whether the food they were eating was organic, he said.

For Ms Leary, elder issues needed more of a spotlight.

In the Taieri electorate, one in four people were over 65, she said.

“Although our seniors are resilient, there are vulnerabilities around technology.’’

She also wanted to ensure people in South Dunedin had good access to facilities in the new Dunedin Hospital.

Freshwater regulations also came under fire for their impact on farmers.

Mr Patterson said as a farmer himself, the regulations were challenging.

“But we absolutely have to do it — we need to tidy up our waterways.’’

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Good luck to the Green candidate's ambition to 'depoliticise' the pandemic.

Covid19, like Climate Change, exists. Dealing with the issues is obstructed by denial or conspiratorial nonsense.

Leary is a North Island rope in because Labour had difficulty in finding a "suitable" local for a seat Labour has given up on with the boundary changes.

Apparently Labour made their locals very unhappy when they helicoptered in a non local to go for the taieri seat. There was a local labour person aware of local issues who was not given the opportunity which then made the locals labour supporters unhappy.

Why should questioning this issue be called smear campaign, when it actually hits at the heart of labours campaign strategy. It isn't a smear, its a fact that labour did this.

So then when questions arise, labour move to underhanded methods and label the questionng a smear campaign.

The questions arise as the actions of labour party are dodgy as.

Maybe Ingrid Leary should actually answer the question.

Transparency is required here, honest truthful transparency, so Ingrid, answer the question please.

we all know what your intensions are, just put them on record prior to the election please.

or do you think that your voter base is that stupid that you can get away with not answering the question ?

Seems easy enough to clear up. What was Ms Leary's direct response to the question of whether she was 'planning to stay in the electorate were she to lose in October'?

After all, it's not difficult to pull a child out of school.

Hardly a 'smear campaign', and I note she didn't answer the question with a definitive yes or no......

I do think Ms Leary has been played a little though, by her own party. Looking at her campaign posters, I have to wonder why she would agree to a format where she is wearing white, with light hair on a white background, yet 'Dear Leader' is wearing glorious red, with a mane of dark flowing locks. Ms Leary literally pales into the background, while 'our single source of truth' is positively glowing. Certainly shows which one of them has the bachelor of communications in media studies.....

Given this minority thread vitriol, Ms Leary proves her case.

If you care to look, all Ingrid's posts have her in white. The colour suits her and it goes with red really well!

"Labour candidate Ingrid Leary claimed on social media yesterday she had become the target of dirty politics from some fellow candidates, following questions this week around whether Ms Leary was planning to stay in the electorate were she to lose in October", so when is asking questions "dirty politics"? and "She said she lived in South Dunedin where she had a child at school" "Ms Leary confirmed she spent lockdown on Waiheke Island" so during lockdown the prime minister said "stay in your homes", you obviously didn't, even David Clark got questions asked and a grilling for that, why shouldn't you???.

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