Lining up for shot at Coast electorate

Tolley's sights on fifth election win.

Tolley's sights on fifth election win.

THREE candidates are seeking the Labour Party’s East Coast candidacy after nominations closed earlier this week.

The successful candidate will be selected tomorrow after meetings in Gisborne and Whakatane.

Labour has not won the electorate since Janet Mackey was re-elected in 2002. Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has held the electorate for National since 2005 and will stand again next year.

National Party East Coast electorate chairwoman Amelia East confirmed Ms Tolley would seek re-election.

“We look forward to her continuing to provide a strong voice for the East Coast and campaigning hard to ensure another three years of stable National-led Government delivering for New Zealand.”

Former Gisborne man and Green list MP Gareth Hughes has been selected as his party’s East Coast candidate.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, when in Gisborne last month for the Tairawhiti Rail Forum, said the party was seeking a “top-class” candidate to take on the East Coast electorate’s “economic tormentors” and to stand up for the return of the Gisborne-Wairoa rail line.

East Coast Labour electorate committee chairwoman Anne Collins said she was looking forward to selecting a strong candidate to represent East Coast as MP.

East Coast was an electorate with huge potential for economic development but it had been neglected by the National Government.

“Gisborne has suffered from the railway closure,” she said. “The whole electorate still has large numbers of people unable to access basic telecommunications and even populated areas like Ohope and Coastlands are unable to gain fibre broadband.

“Opotiki is still waiting to hear the final go-ahead on their harbour project.

“Kawerau is under threat with proposed electricity charge increases.”

Mr Hughes said he would have no problems returning to live in Gisborne if he won the seat.

There were great opportunities for the Greens, with Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign against free trade and his pledge to end American participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

“We’ve been against the TPPA for seven years, when he was running celebrity television programmes.’’

Mr Hughes said the public had learned more about TPPA and were now against it.

The key lesson from the Democratic primary campaign of Bernie Sanders was that the interests of corporates should not be conducted in private over the interests of the public, he said.

A New Zealand First spokesman was unable to say when a candidate would be selected.

In 2014 Ms Tolley retained the seat from then-Labour list MP Moana Mackey by a majority of 7934, compared with a majority of 4774 three years before.

Ms Tolley won a majority of the 2014 electorate vote (52.38 percent) and a plurality of the party vote (48.6 percent).

If Ms Tolley wins next year, she will match the success record of Labour’s David Coleman, who won the (Gisborne) seat in 1931, 1935, 1938, 1943 and 1946.

Sir James Carroll is the region’s longest-serving MP, winning 10 elections in the seats of Eastern Maori, Waiapu and Gisborne between 1887 and 1914.

THREE candidates are seeking the Labour Party’s East Coast candidacy after nominations closed earlier this week.

The successful candidate will be selected tomorrow after meetings in Gisborne and Whakatane.

Labour has not won the electorate since Janet Mackey was re-elected in 2002. Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has held the electorate for National since 2005 and will stand again next year.

National Party East Coast electorate chairwoman Amelia East confirmed Ms Tolley would seek re-election.

“We look forward to her continuing to provide a strong voice for the East Coast and campaigning hard to ensure another three years of stable National-led Government delivering for New Zealand.”

Former Gisborne man and Green list MP Gareth Hughes has been selected as his party’s East Coast candidate.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, when in Gisborne last month for the Tairawhiti Rail Forum, said the party was seeking a “top-class” candidate to take on the East Coast electorate’s “economic tormentors” and to stand up for the return of the Gisborne-Wairoa rail line.

East Coast Labour electorate committee chairwoman Anne Collins said she was looking forward to selecting a strong candidate to represent East Coast as MP.

East Coast was an electorate with huge potential for economic development but it had been neglected by the National Government.

“Gisborne has suffered from the railway closure,” she said. “The whole electorate still has large numbers of people unable to access basic telecommunications and even populated areas like Ohope and Coastlands are unable to gain fibre broadband.

“Opotiki is still waiting to hear the final go-ahead on their harbour project.

“Kawerau is under threat with proposed electricity charge increases.”

Mr Hughes said he would have no problems returning to live in Gisborne if he won the seat.

There were great opportunities for the Greens, with Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign against free trade and his pledge to end American participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

“We’ve been against the TPPA for seven years, when he was running celebrity television programmes.’’

Mr Hughes said the public had learned more about TPPA and were now against it.

The key lesson from the Democratic primary campaign of Bernie Sanders was that the interests of corporates should not be conducted in private over the interests of the public, he said.

A New Zealand First spokesman was unable to say when a candidate would be selected.

In 2014 Ms Tolley retained the seat from then-Labour list MP Moana Mackey by a majority of 7934, compared with a majority of 4774 three years before.

Ms Tolley won a majority of the 2014 electorate vote (52.38 percent) and a plurality of the party vote (48.6 percent).

If Ms Tolley wins next year, she will match the success record of Labour’s David Coleman, who won the (Gisborne) seat in 1931, 1935, 1938, 1943 and 1946.

Sir James Carroll is the region’s longest-serving MP, winning 10 elections in the seats of Eastern Maori, Waiapu and Gisborne between 1887 and 1914.

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