Crowd keeps Walker on toes

Hamish Walker.
Hamish Walker.
Clutha-Southland electorate candidates were quizzed on healthcare, conservation and immigration at a meet-the-candidates evening in Balclutha last night.

National candidate Hamish Walker, Labour's Cherie Chapman, New Zealand First's Mark Patterson and Green candidate Rachael Goldsmith were asked three set questions before they were quizzed by the public.

It was Mr Walker's first public appearance in Balclutha as a candidate since he was nominated last week.

Questions included how the parties intended to keep migrant workers in the regions, how they would increase government support to the regions and how they would deal with high electricity prices and people living in inadequate housing.

The candidates were also quizzed on the proposed Dunedin Hospital rebuild and if there were any solutions to the problem of getting people into their own homes.

Mr Walker was interrupted more often than any other candidate and quipped he was ''only joking'' when he said it was OK to be heckled.

The shortest answer was given by Ms Chapman when asked if Labour intended to increase funding for the Department of Conservation.

''We're going to double the numbers. It needs to happen.''

About 90 people attended the meeting.

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