By the time I got there, the Backbencher pub was packed, with more young student politicians than I’ve seen in a room together for a long time – a table packed with VUWSA/NZUSA types, and luckily, a few feminists of my acquaintance, who offered me a seat with them. Having dropped my bags on the chair, I jumped back up to speak to Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson, who introduced me to Chris Hipkins, new MP for Rimutaka – someone I remember from his years in VUWSA, far too long ago! Along with panelist Jacinda Adern, that was 3 new MP’s in the room, and the Labour support crew were very voluble.
The scene was set for a lively debate – the Young Nat’s represented by their president, Alex Mitchell; Jacinda Adern fronting for Young Labour; Kimo Winiata representing the Maaori Party; and Gareth Hughes, recent contestor of Ohariu electorate, for the Young Greens. Presenter Wallace Chapman reeled out the questions, and kept the pace moving in-between the recorded clips pasted into the programme.
Various funny things happened – one stunt, involving a ‘prize’ framed photo of John Key, fell flat when someone was asked to name Phil Goff’s deputy; having correctly answered ‘Annette King’, he then vociferously turned down the ‘prize’, at which point a voice yells from the back “I’ll have it!”, and along comes Joel Cosgrove, recent past-President of VUWSA, to claim John key’s photo – stunning Chapman into reading out the caption on his (Workers’ Party campaign) t-shirt. Just watch the video on-line, it’s priceless footage.
At intervals, Chapman repeated to the assembled (mostly) students, how great it was to have such a good crowd, and please come down for the next 4 weeks, until the last episode of the season.
Info about the show here.
And since they were looking so photogenic, I’ll add some pix: