Skip to Content »

Aro Valley multi-candidate meeting

  • October 15th, 2008

Last night’s Aro valley meeting was a pleasure. It was superbly organised. The Chair (Bryan Crump) was well chosen, and there was a persistent current of good humour outlasting nastiness. There may be relief in my pleasure because all of us candidates know in advance that our only required role is to be the target of audience wit.

Witty they were but I think that for this meeting there was more interest than previously in the policy tensions between parties. I’ve had a look back at my rumination on the meeting before the last election. Apart from feeling that it was a nadir for Marian Hobbs who is deservedly well liked, the comparison shows this year’s meeting as much more informative as well as amusing.

I speculate two explanations.

First the finance meltdown may have focussed minds on who may be governing in uncertain times, and they suspect that ideology may not a comprehensive guide to what to do at the moment.

Secondly, many on the left have lost some of their moral smugness as they’ve discovered their heroes involved in electoral corruption, cynical suppression of free speech and an obvious desperation for power whatever the price in the embrace with a lying NZ First leader.

DimPost’s reportage gives some of the flavour.

I was a little surprised that Robertson’s team again tried with three "questions" to smear me as anti-gay. Gay friends had warned me that Robertson thought it was working well for him but this is the fourth meeting in which they’ve tried it. I was glad when the meeting gave me extra time to outline what was actually in the civil union legislation, and why I voted against it despite being in favour of  the Law Commission proposal based on a Danish precedent, and despite a long-standing position against the criminalisation of homosexuality when that was much more controversial.

I think he’s wrong about this issue.  Wellingtonians want to know about what we can respectively offer Wellington and how we will champion the city. I get the same concerns from gay and others alike. I can not think of a single law or policy proposal that has been raised in my ten weeks of knocking on doors where it would have occurred to me or the people at the door to draw a gay/non-gay distinction.

I wish someone in the audience had called on Grant to explain exactly what gay friendly policies he thinks are at risk or what he would promote if he gained power, when he has been at such pains to make this an election issue.


[…] this meeting there was more interest than previously in the policy tensions between different party Share and […]

  • Scott
  • October 15th, 2008
  • 6:48 pm

Hey Stephen,
As a guy that is gay I applaud your stance. Its typical of labour to define their lives by their sexuality and look at the world with rainbow coloured glasses. Im very much against the civil union act as I see it as an unnessary intrusion of the state. Marriage was backed by the state because the off spring of marriage is children, now two memebers of the same sex cant have kids therefore its not needed. The civil union act is basically just regulation for the sake of regulation. If I have a freindship with someone the state has no place to regulate that freindship but thats exactly what is happening with the civil union act. Good Luck

  • Lindsay
  • October 16th, 2008
  • 8:47 am

Two members of the same sex can’t have kids?

News to me. That’s one of the reasons the state started sticking its over-sized beak in.

  • Janine
  • October 16th, 2008
  • 10:33 am

Why is Grant so obsessed with the gay thing? Four questions from his people at one meeting (and every other meeting beforehand??) It looks like he puts being gay before everything else. Wellingtonians live among gays happily but they don’t want the gay agenda to be the number one issue for their MP.
Most gays in Wellington don’t want this sort of negative attention and are much more worried about the economy.

  • Paul
  • October 16th, 2008
  • 1:59 pm

Given that you debunked Grants gay mob so eloquently at Aro Valley will you continue to be so tolerant of their continual homophobic slurs that they know and have been proven to be false at every candidate meeting starting with Tonight 16th at 5 Roxburgh St 7.30

Why dont you just tell thm to get a real life?

  • Kylee
  • October 19th, 2008
  • 10:03 am

Hey Stephen – so rarely am I motivated to make posts on sites like these. But I am so alarmed that you and your fans have missed the point of the ‘love your dog’ question that keeps getting asked at the public meetings. I know that you’re not homophobic, but defending the comments you made in select committe on an esoteric point of law is not doing anything to help people understand that. Everyday people don’t understand what you’re trying to say – the comment remains a pretty outrageous one that is not only offensive to gay people, but is offensive to many others who support everyone’s right to make a public commitment to each other. I have voted National in all the elections I have been allowed to vote in and I will do so again this time for the party vote. But I can’t vote for you Stephen until you convince me that you regret your comments and that you understand why people might find them offensive – regardless of the point of law (which is irrelevant to most of us minions) you were trying to make.

  • Sue Wilson
  • October 19th, 2008
  • 2:00 pm

“Kylee” why don’t you get a life? Why do you and the other young idiots in the Labour team spend your waking hours making falsehoods about a remark made more than three years ago which you have taken out of context, twisted to make into a paper straw man and then keep harping on about? You persist in your dishonesty against an honourable and decent guy who is remarkably patient with you. I don’t remember anything like this surrounding Marian Hobbs. She wouldn’t countenance it. Many, many gays in Wellington tell Stephen they are absolutely sick of what is going on. It gives them a bad name as you uses these remarks (which were not and never have been anti gay) to further your own means. If Grant wins Wellington you will undoubtedly rejoice at your cleverness but you will have left poison in your wake which will be hard to undo.

  • Paul
  • October 21st, 2008
  • 8:26 am

The whinging lot are at it again and again. Stephen Franks is an honourable, honest hard working candidate. The Labour candidate I will concede is hard working.

Leave your comments:

* Required fields. Your e-mail address will not be published on this site

You can use the following HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>