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PoliticsSeptember 6, 2017

The Spinoff Great Debate – 7pm Tonight on Facebook Live

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All the information you’ll need about The Spinoff’s incredible election debate, screening LIVE at 7pm tonight on Facebook.

Tonight The Spinoff hosts seven of election 2017’s most exciting candidates in a royal political rumble at the Generator’s 150 seat stadium in downtown Auckland. Hosted by our senior editor Toby Manhire, along with Simon Wilson and Leonie Hayden, it begins at 7pm sharp, and will screen LIVE on The Spinoff’s Facebook page.

We picked the mouthiest and most passionate politicians and wannabes so that this debate – which is definitely about vision and policy – also be entertaining. Politics can get dry, which turns some of the people most impacted by it off and away. We will do our best to make this one crackle and pop.

The full line-up reads:

Paula Bennett, deputy leader of National

Kelvin Davis, deputy leader of Labour

Marama Davidson, of the Greens

Shane Jones, of New Zealand First

Marama Fox, co-leader of the Māori party

David Seymour, leader of ACT

And a very welcome late entrant:

Gareth Morgan, leader of TOP

They will speak on whatever we ask them, with particular emphasis paid to transport and housing, via the Spinoff Auckland editor Simon Wilson and Māori issues, via former Mana editor and current Kaupapa on the Couch host Leonie Hayden.

“You can say whatever you like,” said Toby Manhire, looking flustered, when asked for a quote for this announcement.

As we get closer to the election the two main parties are breathing in all the political oxygen, leaving the minor parties gasping. This will be a rare opportunity to see all the fish, big and small, on one stage – savagely spiking one another in a desperate attempt to get some coverage. It will be very good, that’s something we can almost promise.

Please watch our excellent debate LIVE on Facebook by heading to

With thanks to Generator and Facebook for their help with the venue and promotion respectively, and the hosts plus Ashleigh Bogle and Kerryanne Nelson for their diligent work organising.

Keep going!