Dunedin North MP, Pete Hodgson, has announced he’ll retire at next year’s election.
Kiwiblog speculates that list MP David Parker is a likely successor.
If so he will need to show more enthusiasm for winning and holding the seat than he did for Otago and Waitaki.
I think Parker was surprised to win Otago in 2002 and he didn’t make much effort to hold it. I have some sympathy with him on that because it can’t have been easy juggling commitments to a young family in Dunedin with work in Wellington and one of the biggest electorates in the country.
His candidacy for Waitaki (which was formed from most of Otago and Aoraki when the boundaries changed) at the last election was at best perfunctory. He conceded defeat to National MP Jacqui Dean at a public meeting in Geraldine a couple of weeks before polling day much to the horror of Labour’s volunteers who were working in the electorate.
Dunedin North is much redder than Waitaki and far more compact. It’s just 642 square KMs compared with Waitaki’s 34,888 sq kms, and therefore much easier to service.