The Greens take an inclusive approach to being excluded.
So when we were shut out of the TVNZ leaders’ debate (despite being New Zealand’s third largest party, and despite the two-handed Key-Cunliffe format feeling more like a throwback to First Past the Post days than a genuine representation of the choice facing Kiwis on September 20) we decided to host our own.
We took ourselves off to a local bar (thank you Golden Dawn on Ponsonby Road!) appointed a distinguished host, gathered few high profile commentators, , and invited the public along to watch the TVNZ debate and hear running commentary on it.
The event was live streamed on several websites, attracting tens of thousands of viewers.
People from all around New Zealand had pre-submitted questions via Public Address and social media platforms, so our commentary was driven by what voters wanted to hear about.
Media commentator Russel Brown, actress and climate activist Lucy Lawless, BFM host Richie Hardcore and comedian Guy Williams were there to give their perspective, as were regular punters. It was amazing how many people were keen to get on camera and show their support for the Greens.
It was all about giving people more perspective than just those of Labour and National. We also wanted to make sure voters know where the Greens stand on the big issues.
There was a genuine sense among voters that a certain something was missing from the TVNZ debate…
— claire waghorn (@clairewaghorn) August 28, 2014
Russel Norman summed it up perfectly when he pointed out how many times Key was able to mention the Greens in the debate, despite us having no right of reply.
There was also a real sense of excitement at Golden Dawn –excitement about Metiria and Russel, excitement about the Greens, and excitement about the real choose people have when they go into the polling booth in 22 days’ time.
For the full Green Room debate, behold…