Standing room only at the Robbie

The Robbie Burns may not have quite the reputation as The Cook or the Gardens, but it too has for many years hosted its fair share of Otago students.

Yesterday it was host to a different clientele as the venue for the joint launch of the election campaigns for National’s Dunedin North and South candidates, Michael Woodhouse and Conway Powell.

There was standing room only and a wide range of ages with a good number of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s as well as older people including Percy Wellington, who has been a member for 67 years; and former Speaker Sir Robin Gray.

The speeches were short – an introduction by Katherine Rich, followed by John Key then the two candidates. The messages were similar – New Zealand and Dunedin need National and the party has the right people for the huge task facing the in-coming government, whatever its stripes.

One of the strengths of MMP is that it enables parties to have an MP is an area where they might not win an electorate. Katherine Rich has been a strong advocate for Dunedin and its people and an asset for National in the city and around the country.

John told the ODT that Dunedin would need a high calibre replacement for Katherine and that both candidates were high calibre. I agree.

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