A tale of two selections

A media release from the National Party:

Former Westland District Mayor Maureen Pugh has been selected to stand for the National Party in the West Cost-Tasman for the 2014 general election.

“My family has history on the Coast going back more than a century.  It’s an immensely proud day to have been selected by National to contest the 2014 election and given the challenge of winning back the electorate for the National Party.”

Maureen Pugh was selected as the National candidate at a meeting of local party members in Murchison today.  

“This region has massive jobs and growth potential and National has a good story to tell here. I am looking forward to getting out and telling that story,” says Mrs Pugh.

Maureen was first elected to the Westland Distract Council in 1998 serving two terms before becoming the first woman elected as a mayor of Westland District. She served in that role for 9 years before standing down at the recent local body elections.  

“Growing our local economy is essential for the development of our region. We need to continue to explore our mineral resources and capitalise on our massive tourism potential. Now is the time for leadership on these issues, while my opponents aren’t sure where they stand on these important issues,” she says.

National Party Canterbury/Westland Regional Chair Roger Bridge says he’s “delighted to be able to confirm a candidate of such calibre with such strong connections to the West Coast-Tasman area.”

Mrs Pugh says “I have a family history here going back 130 years. I am passionate about the area and have worked hard in one capacity or another for the last 30 years to make it better place from within. Now I am looking forward to promoting our region’s opportunities in Wellington.”  

Maureen Pugh and her husband John live on their dry stock farm in Turiwhate. They have 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren. Before entering public life Maureen balanced being a full time mother with part time work and a substantial involvement in community work. 

Throughout her working career she has worked in many different fields from hospitality to school administration. She is currently serving as a trustee or director of several groups including the West Coast Power Trust and the Pike River Memorial Scholarship Trust.

“I have seen through my former role as mayor that the top priorities for our region are job security, improving our tourism sector and filling in the communication/broadband gaps.”

“As a mayor I am proud to have made real achievements in developing our tourism economy, building partnerships with private enterprise to improve the financial literacy of our region’s children and advancing the important role that women need to play in local development.”  

“I am a passionate West Coaster, This is where my family are from and this is where I have made my home. I want to be able to make sure that the issues that matter to us here on the West Coast & Tasman are represented inside the next John Key, National-led government.”

 A media release from the Labour Party:

In the party’s first selection meeting for the 2014 General Election, Labour has endorsed Dr Deborah Russell as the candidate for Rangitikei.

Deborah Russell is a tax expert and left wing columnist, well known in New Zealand social media. She was born in Taranaki and currently lives in Manawatu with her husband and three daughters.

“I’m delighted to be chosen to run for Labour in Rangitikei,” said Dr Russell.

“Rural people have major issues about access to basic services and the infrastructure needed to be a part of New Zealand society. Labour is the party best placed to deliver on this.”

Dr Russell said that the current government tended to forget about some New Zealanders. “Whether you’re a farmer in Taihape, or a mum at home with children in Marton, or a teenager on the streets, you should be able to get decent healthcare, decent housing and decent education.”

She said that the current government was all about big business, and that ordinary people weren’t getting a fair go.

Dr Russell started her career as an accountant working for Deloitte and Treasury. She subsequently completed a PhD in Philosophy at the Australian National University. She went on to be a senior tax policy analyst for the IRD, and is now a senior lecturer in taxation at Massey University. Russell chairs the Labour Party Economic Policy Committee.

In her youth, she was captain of the New Zealand Universities Debating Team.

The difference between the selections is that National selects on merit and Labour has a quota for women.

I know Dr Russell only through her blogs ( A Bee of  A Certain Age and Telling It Left),  and radio appearances.

We’re not going to agree on politics but there is no question over her ability to be an MP.

She’s even been endorsed by David Farrar, although she might not thank him for that!

The question is over Labour’s political management.

Why did it buy itself an argument it doesn’t need to have when it has women who can win selection on merit?

2 Responses to A tale of two selections

  1. Deborah says:

    We’re not going to agree on politics but there is no question over her ability to be an MP.

    Just so (with respect to our non agreement on politics), and thank you.


  2. homepaddock says:

    I suspect a lot of the differences aren’t over where to go but how to get there.


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