But a close look at the statements announcing the aspiring MPs reveals many are singing from the same song sheet – to a suspicious degree.
Take National, which appears to have tapped into a rich vein of “proud boys” for its electorate candidates.
Current MP and Hutt South candidate Chris Bishop, a “proud born and bred Hutt boy”, is in good company.
Northland candidate Matt King declares himself “a proud Northland boy”, while the biographical notes for Waikato candidate Tim van de Molen note he is a “proud Waikato boy”.
However, Labour has been a particularly egregious offender, with no less than seven candidates using near-identical phrasing in their pledges to fight for their would-be constituents in Parliament.
Hutt South candidate Virginia Andersen was the first to start the trend in October last year, saying: “Hutt South is made up of strong communities and I will be working hard to make sure those voices are heard loud and clear.”
She was followed by Maungakiekie candidate Priyanca Radhakrishnan the next month: “Maungakiekie is made up of many strong communities and I will be working hard to make sure these voices are heard loud and clear in Wellington.”
Well done Fairfax. You have discovered that political parties use press release templates. Who would have guessed.
Each party has a staffer at HQ whose job it is to do a press release for each of the 71 candidates selected. And no surprise, they use a template. Each one is varied as appropriate as the candidate wants, but of course most of them will have phrases in common.