Mt Albert by-election debate set for Splore

The Mount Albert by-election contest is to go on the road, as Labour's Jacinda Ardern and the Green Party's Julie Anne Genter meet on stage at the annual Splore Festival in Tapapakanga Park, 70 km South East of Auckland’s CBD. 

Both candidates are past Splore festival attendees and only a week before the vote they'll be the headline act of the festival's Saturday talk programme, The Listening Lounge.

Listening Lounge moderator Russell Brown says both candidates were enthusiastic when they were approached about the joint appearance.

"They know the festival and both love it, so they didn't take any convincing," says Brown.

"It's not the first time we've aired Auckland issues and aspirations for the city as part of The Listening Lounge. Most of the Splore audience come from Auckland and we've found that thinking about Auckland slightly removed from the place works really well."

The pair will be interviewed jointly on stage by Russell Brown, about cooperating and competing in election year and about their respective parties' policy offerings.

The Listening Lounge will also feature a discussion about the "circular economy" with Air New Zealand board member Linda Jenkinson and her new business partner Ryan Everton, the provider of the reusable Globelet cups and water bottles being used at Splore. Splore will be New Zealand’s first festival to eliminate single-serve plastic water bottles.

New Zealand Drug Foundation director Ross Bell and harm-reduction pioneer Wendy Allison will discuss drug safety and members of Fat Freddy's Drop (and their kids) will talk about family in the context of the band whanau.

Splore 2017

17-19 February: Tapapakanga Park, Deerys Road, Orere Point

Entertainment kicks off at 12pm Friday 17 February, entertainment finishes 5pm Sunday 19 

Tickets via iTicket