The Working Group hosts Taxpayers’ Union Hamilton West By-Election Debate


Taxpayers’ Union | The Working Group Hamilton West By-Election Debate

After a successful Auckland mayoral debate earlier this year, the Taxpayers’ Union and The Working Group podcast are again teaming up to host a candidates’ debate ahead of the Hamilton West by-election.

The debate will be held on Monday, 5th December in the Waikato Rooms 1-2 at SkyCity Hamilton, 346 Victoria Street, Hamilton, 3204.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. with the results of an exclusive Taxpayers’ Union | The Working Group – Curia poll of Hamilton West residents on how they intend to vote and what issues matter most to them.

This will be followed by the debate itself at 7.30 p.m., which will be hosted by The Working Group’s Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury and Damien Grant. The following candidates have been invited and have confirmed their attendance:

  • DANSEY, Georgie (Labour)
  • McDOWALL, James (ACT)
  • POCOCK, Naomi (TOP)
  • POTAKA, Tama (National)
  • SHARMA, Gaurav (Momentum)

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The debate will also be streamed live online on The Daily Blog ( and Taxpayers’ Union website ( as well as being available to watch back after the event.


  1. Very good nteresting. If I was just going on their performance on the night it would

    1. Act guy

    2 Dr Sharma

    3 =. Nats, Lab and Top

  2. Sharma Drama in Hamilton tonight.
    Sharma & Tama 1st equal
    Both were on song and we’re unloading on Labour! Hehehe!
    Top 2nd. But she was overseas most of the time
    Act and then the Labour candidate Dansey got a bit of a hammering.
    The Act guy looked like he didn’t want to be there

  3. National’s candidate Tama Potaka was the clear winner.

    Incumbent Sharma and ACT’s James McDowall were probably tied for second place, though Sharma made compelling points regarding his embeddedness in the community, his ability to hit the ground running if reelected (as he’s already running an electoral office) and his self-proclaimed track record of ‘holding the government to account’.

    TOP’s candidate Naomi Pocock was in a league of her own. Though answering questions well, she failed to engender confidence in her ability to represent Hamilton West meaningfully. As a exercise in raising TOP’s profile/party-vote, it was a solid performance, she should feel satisfied.

    Georgie Dansey, being new to central government, she wasn’t able to compete credibly with her fellow candidates in the market place of ideas. Unlike Sharma she failed to capitalize on the valid argument of being able to hit the ground running and in her case have the full weight of an incumbent government behind her.

    Strangely the strong performances from Potaka, McDowall and Sharma could see vote splitting, and Labour’s Georgie Dansey coming through the middle. Labour certainly have a baked in voter base in Hamilton West, what percentage that base equates to.. who could say!?

    Martyn Bradbury and Damien Grant were fantastic. Their questions were on point and both were extremely magnanimous towards the candidates. As a viewer it’s great to be able to hear what individual candidates have to say, especially when they’re passionate on an issue.

    The dichotomy of ideology between Martyn Bradbury and Damien Grant is magic and made for a great debate.

  4. Christ on a bike!
    That Tama Potaka reminds me of a Quinn.( HIM of White Island and ban-the-prisoner-from-voting fame.)
    I still occasionally see HIM driving his black SUV around my gentrified neighbourhood breaking every road rule that was ever created with HIS elbow leaning on the driver’s door yearning for a public to ‘look at moi look at moi’
    What a fucking wanker. Almost as bad as Shane Jones. All ego and no substance.

    Somewhere the ‘o’ in Potaka got lost in translation ‘cos sure as shit has got his snout in the pantry.
    Go for it Hamilton. Elect him and see where it gets you.

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