Two Nat MPs to be challenged

Marlborough grapegrower and fourth-generation farmer Stuart Smith is to challenge sitting MP Colin King for the National Party’s Kaikoura electorate candidacy for next year’s election.

This is the second challenge of a sitting MP.

Former banker and owner of Matahiwi Vineyard Alistair Scott is challenging John Hayes in Wairarapa.

MPs should always be aware they have a use-by date and it’s better to retire gracefully than lose a challenge.

However, if they are as good as they think they are they can survive a challenge and be stronger for it.

Challenges can be messy for a party and cause problems within electorates.

But they can also invigorate them, bringing in new members and offering refreshment.

Prime Minister John Key and Justice Minister Judith Collins both won their seats after challenging sitting MPs.

Sometimes the challenger doesn’t win as once the challenge is public more contenders join the race.

This happened in what was then Wallace when someone challenged the sitting MP who decided to retire. Several others were nominated, one of them was Bill English who won the candidacy and the seat.

National selections are democratic – providing an electorate has enough members it is they who choose the candidate under a proportional voting system.

#gigatownoamaru gains points across the political spectrum.

2 Responses to Two Nat MPs to be challenged

  1. There’s definitely something in the grapes.


  2. Gravedodger says:

    I first met Colin King in the 1970s when he turned up in a shearing gang.
    A good mate of mine said, when Colin went for the Kaikoura seat, “well he will geet my vote as anyone who could win the Golden Shears open championship as a southpaw from a right hand stand must be a good bastard”.
    You see all shearing sheds were designed around right handed shearers and lefties had to dance the sheep 180 degrees before they start shearing it and the exit for the shorn animal was not where it can go without extra manouvering.
    Many instructors teach lefties to shear with their ‘wrong’ hand but not Colin King, he was different and determined.

    Of course the quick thinking organisers of “The Shears” sorted things out for the next year and King went on to win three titles the last after the start of the Fagen reign.

    Under-estimate him at your peril, there is more man there than some thick pricks think.


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