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Mana and Beyer bemused by Waititi stance

Mon 11 Aug 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News

Georgina Beyer on the campaign trail in Christchurch A claim by gay reality TV star Alby Waititi that he has been incorrectly represented as a supporter of the Mana party has left the party bewildered and the MP he does support bemused. Waititi, of the GC TV series, recorded a short video supporting Georgina Beyer in her candidacy for the Te Tai Tonga electorate. The clip was uploaded to YouTube by Mana senior staffer Jevan Goulter and the party sent out a press release drawing attention to it. Waititi says an understanding he had with Mana that his support was only for Beyer has been breached. In the video he praises Beyer but does not mention Mana, the party she has joined for a possible political come-back. "I don't see how he sees it was implied" that he supports Mana, Goulter - who is also a gay man and a friend of Beyer - told Daily News today. "I think it's very clear that he is referring only to Georgina." Goulter doesn't feel that his posting of the clip and the connection to a Mana press release promoting it blurred any agreement he or Mana had with Waititi. "No, I don't believe the video implies support for Mana, the video is what it is." Asked whose idea the video clip was, Goulter will only say "there was discussion about it." He says he can't remember who initiated the discussion. Waititi's distancing himself from Mana does not concern Goulter. "I completely support him showing that he doesn't support Mana, I'm comfortable with that." And asked if he has talked about Waititi's concerns with Waititi himself, Goulter says "We've talked. To the question "Is it sorted between you both? he replied "It was never not sorted." Meanwhile, the candidate herself is bemused by the situation. "It's my understanding he did a clip supporting me, and if you're going to support me I am a Mana Movement candidate. I don't know how you can support me and not support the party I am standing for." She says the endorsement is "fantastic and good of him and it's fair enough if he wants to make that distinction. But I am a Mana movement candidate." Beyer says she has "no idea" of the circumstances surrounding the recording of the video. "I assume he read about my candidacy and felt compelled to support me... Mika's done the same... it's a free country... maybe he doesn't want to be politically aligned and that's fair enough." Beyer says her health is standing up well to campaigning, despite concerns due to her need for repeated dialysis as she waits for a kidney transplant. "I'm travelling with the Internet Mana roadshow throughout the South Island and Wellington. Reaction to me personally has been fairly positive, though one woman in Nelson did ask if I am being used by the party for branding. Actually, I'm not sure what my 'brand' is!" "No," she laughs, "I'm an ex-politician with fifteen years experience and I'm angry about the poor getting poorer in New Zealand. I'm wanting to help bring young Maori people into the digital age, beyond 'grievance mode.'" She says she is pacing herself and her hospital has provided a travel dialysis kit. "I sit in the back of the vehicle doing it. I'm making sure I get plenty of sleep and I'm eating properly. I'm doing fine."    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Monday, 11th August 2014 - 10:36pm

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