Lee fails to front Mt Albert meeting - RePress

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Wednesday, May 20

Lee fails to front Mt Albert meeting

The people of Mt Albert deserve a political leader who is prepared to publicly debate the electorate’s issues, so Melissa Lee should engage at tonight’s community meeting on SuperCity proposals, Green Party Co-Leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

“I call on Melissa Lee to front up and debate the issues. Preparing a statement for someone else to read out just isn’t going to cut it. The people of Mt Albert need a representative who is willing to engage in public debate.

“The fact that Melissa isn’t debating at Owairaka District School tonight suggests that National is not serious about contesting the Mt Albert by-election.”

The controversial National Party candidate will not take part in tonight’s 6.30pm Eden Albert Community Board meeting to discuss Auckland Governance. Ms Lee has told organisers she is double-booked, so will turn up instead at 6pm and won’t stay for the by-election candidates’ debate.

Ms Lee has asked for a statement to be read out at the meeting. 

“The National Party seems to be mounting a campaign-in-hiding, with no media even invited to Melissa Lee’s recent closed-door campaign launch. It’s looking like the Mt Albert by-election could become a two-horse race between me and David Shearer,” Dr Norman said.

On the other hand,The National Party said The Green Party seems to be making mischief after Green Party Mt Albert candidate Russel Norman made claims about a community board meeting planned to discuss super city issues.

Mount Albert candidate Melissa Lee MP confirmed today she had never received an invitation to attend the Eden/Albert community board meeting being held in Owairaka tonight.

"We were first made aware of the meeting by the media on Monday afternoon. At about the same time we received an email from a supporter within the Mt Albert residents Association."

"I understand the community board chair Chris Dempsey may have mentioned the meeting to the Labour and Green candidates last week, but I received no such notice."

Ms Lee said she was disappointed not to be able to participate in the meeting but as she had a prior engagement this would not be possible.

Her campaign team advised Chris Dempsey of her other commitment early Tuesday morning and suggested a way her views could still be represented. She was concerned to see this advice appear in a Green party media release just 3 hours later.

"It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that this meeting is a Green party jack-up. I received no invitation and scarcely 24 hours notice that it was happening. My campaign team's advice to the organiser was then transmitted straight to the Green party...

"I have spent today on the streets of Mt Albert with Local Government Minister Hon John Carter speaking directly with residents about the super city proposals and other issues. This has been a much more useful means of getting feedback than participating in a Green party jack-up".

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