Fairfax apologises for Mt Roskill debate snub

(Roshan Nauhria/ supplied)
(Roshan Nauhria/ supplied)

Fairfax has apologised to New Zealand People's Party candidate Roshan Nauhria for excluding him from a by-election debate it is hosting in Mt Roskill on Wednesday.

But he's still not invited.

Mr Nauhria says Fairfax told him it made the call to only include the candidates from Labour and National because both had polled above 10 percent at the last election.

It comes after Mr Nauhria considered taking legal action over the snub, which he's since withdrawn following the apology.

"I don't want to be a sort of shit-stirrer type person," he said.

Mt Roskill's local newspaper Central Leader is hosting the debate, and has now promised to include Mr Nauhria in all by-election coverage going forward, including social media live chats and candidate profiles.

"We are new to the game and they think we may not last long, so we have to sort of prove ourselves and then they'll probably start taking notice of us," he told Newshub. "One day we'll get 10 or 12 MPs and then everyone will talk to us."

Mr Nauhria still thinks the decision to exclude him was unfair, but he's made peace with it.

"It's not fair, we're unhappy, but it's happened now - we just made noise, they understand and now they're trying to accommodate us."

National's Parmjeet Parmar and Labour's Michael Wood will go head-to-head at the debate as originally planned.

The People's Party held its official campaign launch on Saturday night drawing a crowd of around 300 people. In comparison, the National Party candidate's campaign launch held on the same day, with the Prime Minister in attendance, attracted a crowd of just over 200.

The legal threat was similar to that of former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig, who successfully took TV3's The Nation to court for being left out of a minor party debate in 2014.