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MPs and community value the Maxim Political Forums

MEDIA RELEASE

MAXIM INSTITUTE

24 August 2005

MPs and community value the Maxim Institute 2005 Political Forums

Over 38 MPs and 29 candidates from the eight parties represented in Parliament have taken part in the first 17 Political Forums in the Maxim Institute road show which is touring the country. A further 12 Political Forums have been scheduled to take place before the general election on 17 September.

Maxim Institute Managing Director and chair of the Political Forums, Greg Fleming, has been delighted with the grass-roots enthusiasm from people around New Zealand who have taken the initiative to host a forum in their local region.

"There certainly is a growing interest in the community to be more involved in the political and democratic process", says Fleming.

"We have been very impressed with MPs and their willingness to take part in the Forums, and the audience have valued the opportunity to put questions to them. It is important for the public to connect with those campaigning for their vote-the Forums are a win-win for the community and political parties", says Fleming.

Some comments from MPs who have taken part in a Political Forum:

"Of the three General Elections I have campaigned in, this is the first where there is so much active interest amongst the public in the outcome. People are clearly unnerved about Parliament's social engineering agenda and are fronting up to these meetings to express concern. Such activity is good for democracy." Phil Heatley (National)

"Thanks for a series of well run meetings...there was an encouraging response to my suggestion that regardless of voting intentions we all needed to look carefully at the impact of our own lives and behaviour on the planet and communities that we bequeath to our children." Mike Ward (Greens)

"The Forums are a very worthwhile contribution to grassroots democracy in the build up to the 2005 election." Dr Muriel Newman (Act)

"The Forums are very well organised, well attended and very useful for both the MP's in sharing their policy and for the public in gaining information." Larry Baldock (United Future)

ENDS

For details of past and upcoming Political Forums visit:
www.maxim.org.nz/events

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